The best of 100%design and Designersblock

Australian Jay Watson’s table coated in a thermochromic varnish, leaves a lasting impression

We all know the Argentinians love their meat. It is heartening to see that something useful is being made from the vast quantities of leather scraps generated each year.

As always, there is a cornucopia of talks, events, exhibitions, trade shows and parties spread across town – more conservative in the west and a little more daring in the east. This year, 100%design feels much more like a trade show than the healthy mix of established and emerging, as has been customary in recent years.

Striking chairs by Zhang Zhoujie

Zhang Zhoujie. Incredibly smart guy. Hand scored and somehow he works out how he can bend each sheet into shape.

Closed as a square

Fits in to a corner…

One of a number of combinations..! The DTable by DHaus. In 1908 an English mathematician called Henry Ernest Dudeney discovered how to turn a perfect square into an equilateral triangle. Based on this principle, this rotatable dynamic table can change shape from a perfect square to a perfect equilateral triangle with 6 different shapes in between the 2 well recognised shapes.


Grotesque and weird.

Very nice…

Dog wallpaper anyone? Just nice.

Designersblock, in the incredible Farmiloe Building, Farringdon.

They always know how to pick a good venue!

Sangmyung University. Made painstakingly out of matches…

Very Wim Delvoye

The Seismometable by JAILmake

Both tables by JAILmake, they are controlled by an RSS feed telling when, where and how strong an earthquake is in the world. The table listens for this data and shakes with a relative intensity in real time.

Formed into shape insitu

A hard one to illustrate, but it is wallpaper that looks like concrete. Brilliant. Expensive though 110 euros per sqm!


As I walked around the show with two of the judges from this year’s Blueprint Awards, we couldn’t help but feel that perhaps the present economic situation of the country has had some effect. This is not lost on the Festival’s organisers who are keen to emphasise the importance of design in driving the UK’s economic revival. Chairman of the LDF, Sir John Sorrell said, “This year the key word on everyone’s lips is growth. With a £60bn creative industries sector that employs over 2 million people and produces nearly 6% of GDP, the government has identified our creative industries’ sector as crucial to growth. We all know design is the engine that drives the creative industries, so this year the London Design Festival will promote design not only as absolutely central to society and to culture – but also to the economy, to growth and the future”.

It is heartening to see that the value of design is increasingly taken seriously. In the recent budget statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said “We want the words: ‘Made in Britain’, ‘Created in Britain’, ‘Designed in Britain’ and ‘Invented in Britain’ to drive our nation forward – a Britain carried aloft by the march of the makers.” If only Australia could take a leaf out of the UK’s book….