A Day Out East: TENT
At some point during 100%Design there is an emigration East. East is the new West, as they say. TENT, now in its third year has really capitalised on this trend to move ‘out East’ and transforming the Truman Brewery into a vibrant design destination. It’s a beautifully sunny Sunday here in London and the light pours through the skylights into the space illuminating some of the most diverse and original work I have seen so far.
TENT has established itself as a little different to the other events of the London Design Festival, including 100%Design. Broken-up into zones you stumble across everything from recognized brands and trendsetters to raw talent and newcomers.
In Talent Zone ten of the hottest design graduates of 2009 are given free space to exhibit. The best three have the opportunity to pitch their work to Sir Terence Conran and Philippe Starck, although given the bad press recently over Starck’s TV show ‘Design For Life’ (‘Reality TV Goes Starck Raving Mad’!) I’m not sure some of the contenders will be keen!
Nevertheless the best on offer in this zone was Bischoff & Emanuelsson’s THE CLOCK CLOCK, a series of clocks stacked-up one on top of the other that read together, tells you the time. Clocks were a popular theme in the Content Zone with the Japanese Nendesign Studio incorporating clocks into posters displaying eye-catching illustration.
The Content Zone offers a rich mix and is twice the size of previous years. Lebanese furniture company Bokja is exhibiting some genuinely fabulous brightly multi-coloured hand-made chairs. Vaugh Shannon is making art out of pencil storage. DIY Kyoto offers you Wattson a neat way of showing energy usage in your home, glowing blue when you save money, whilst James Plumb’s dog-come-light made out of recycled material just makes you want to stroke it.
TENT Digital has everyone talking this year and deserves a special mention. With the increasing integration of technology in our lives, this industry is one of the most innovative fields of design and the interactivity involved in this zone just blows you away. From a digital tea party to kinetic musical instruments and a mirror that reflects your movements in a shower of gold glitter, the question on everyone’s lips was ‘how DO they do that?’ Very impressive. Watch videos at youtube.com/user/tentdigital
That Was the Event That Was
It’s been a colorful few days. There has been laughter – designers sitting up in cherry-pickers embarrassed to have to speak about their favourite designed object.
There has been (almost) tears – microphones not working during presentations, and the ‘Design for Life’ Philippe Starck contestants glum about their experience of working with one of the most prolific designers of our generation. There has also been a sense of possibility, talking with Panel Member Dominic McCausland and Director of 100% Design Peter Massey, about the scope for bringing 100%Design to Australia. I’m all for it. What do you think?