London Design Festival: 100% Design on My Mind

October 2, 2012 by

A remembrance of things past: Magis red Proust Armchair sits indoors or out. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens.

I hope you’ve been following along as I report on my recent travels to Paris and London in search of cool trends, products, designs, and everything else I soaked up to share with you. There was so much to absorb in the three weeks I was away, that I’ll be dividing it up into numerous posts. (If you are new to the blog or missed the last missive, I’ll be reporting on what I’ve seen at the design fairs and festivals, gardens, and other bits of inspiration from the city streets–the first week in Paris for Maison et Objet and Paris Design Week, and the last five days in London with Modenus for BlogTour London during The London Design Festival.)

Loved how James Bullen translated garden details into canvas and Perspex prints. Via the artist.

100% Design
In its 18th year, 100% Design, Britain’s most influential contemporary interiors show, is the original design venue that spawned the other four which in turn resulted in the launch of The London Design Festival to unify and organize it all. This show had a great collection of emerging designers, some of which were among my favorites from the entire Festival.

Designer, Je-Uk Kim. Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens.

Garden Indoors: I’d met designer Je-Uk Kim, above, of London’s JiB Design Studio, online before getting the opportunity in London to meet him in person. I was already in love with his Credenza O, a versatile furniture design whose various sized ceramic containers can accommodate plants and/or household objects while still leaving room for storage below. (To maintain the plants and facilitate drainage, one would need to place already potted plants into the decorative ones, then remove for watering.)

And again: Furniture that does double duty…lighting doubles as furniture with designer Marco Stefanelli’s lighted stools, below, made from reclaimed wood infused with glass. For interior spaces but the logs do bring some nature indoors.

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens.

Stefanelli says of his designs, “…I wanted to take inspiration from the research of natural objects that, in some ways, have reached their final step in the life cycle. They are for example sawmill’s outlets, pieces of urban architecture, logs carried by the river, firewood …I have tried to give a second chance these pieces, attempting to make the light come out from the material and to amplify the sensorial experience.”

Do you see an emerging trend? Like indoor and outdoor furniture that incorporates plants into its design like bookcases from the Greenline Collection, above, for Nautinox Living by designer Luca Pegolo. Equipped with removable birch plywood shelves for books and objects, Greenbook is a white enamelled steel framed bookcase that, with its brick patterned design, brings green indoors combining storage with containers for plants or evergreen vines. I fell in love with this brand’s collections and plan to post more about them…

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens

Glass designer, Emma Britton, above, offers up an intriguing way of bringing the feeling of indoors out into the garden. She sandwiches delicate lace panels between glass to create hanging screens or decorative dividers. Making them suitable for indoor or outdoor use, Britton uses a clear adhesive that seals the edges rendering the pieces waterproof.

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens

Inspired by the Japanese art of Kirigami, whereby a sheet of paper is cut and folded into a three-dimensional form–Constanze Schweda’s Curl tables, below, live happily indoors or out. More about this emerging designer to come…

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens

From the Czech Republic
100% Design offered eleven International Pavilions, including the Czech Republic known famously for their glassware and lighting, but where I spotted Plastia’s Calimera plastic self-watering flowerpots and flowerstands, below, a joint project of two designers–flowerpots designed by Jan ?tvrtník and the stands by Petr Mikošek. Winner of this year’s Red Dot Design Award, the innovative design allows one to create versatile combinations of the upper and the lower part choosing from palette of colors to create various combinations. By grouping several units of varying heights, one can create a visual focal point indoors or out, matching a metal or metal and birch flower pot with a stand in one of three heights.

Outside-Inside Furniture
The ever-so-stylish Jennifer Newman, dressed in a Rick Owens jacket I lusted after, poses beside one of her garden containers. Her studio’s tagline is “outside-inside furniture”– just about everything she designs works indoors or out. It’s so great to meet in person designers I have only met online. Jennifer and I had a really nice chat about design and the fusion between interior and exterior, something her brand totally represents.

Photo: Robin Plaskoff Horton, Urban Gardens

Unveiled at 100% Design, Newman’s new RIB range, like all her furniture, is produced in the UK of solid aluminum but the new line, in yellow, below, introduced natural oiled hardwood tops–a contemporary take integrating the texture and natural feel of wood with the modernism and simplicity of the rest of the Newman product range.

Although I had seen Kettal many times at Maison et Objet (where I went mad for Patricia Urquiola’s Maia chair), the outdoor furniture and accessories brand is one of my favorites so it never hurts to visit them again. I love their new range of outdoor rugs, a great compliment to their beautiful furniture designs.

Kettal outdoor rugs display of four colorways…

And just as I was beginning to feel weary from all the walking and a bit too much champagne at some of the receptions, I happened upon Seóra Hammocks’s stand. Afraid if I laid down in one I might never get up, I did try one out, below. Pretty comfy and nice looking too.

Seóra introduced their new La Seóra Crystal Hammock at the show, below, a clear version of the wood slatted hammock I tested.

Once rested, it was on to the evening’s festivities which included a party at The Conran Shop. Oh how I wish they still had their big shop in New York City! You’ll have to return to hear what Conran is doing to bring gardens into the stores…


  1. Sharon Wong said:

    A superb blog Robin. I’m really looking forward to your next installments, to feast on what I’ve missed. Thank you, and bravo!


    — October 3, 2012 @ 07:16

  2. Lynn Hoffman said:

    Good content and very nice selections of furniture, pots and other objects. Looking forward to your next post. Thanks for sharing!

    — October 3, 2012 @ 08:45

  3. Igor said:

    I love your picks, Robin! You’d even spotted some things I hadn’t seen!! Miss our time!!

    — October 7, 2012 @ 14:05

  4. rosemarie sansone said:

    Great site with beautiful visuals and inspiring ideas. Thanks!

    — October 16, 2012 @ 10:36

  5. Indoor-Outdoor Highlights and Trends From Stockholm Design Week | Urban Gardens | Unlimited Thinking For Limited Spaces | Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] friend Linda Hales scouted some cool indoor/outdoor products for us. Like many other international design fairs, the “grow your own” trend was ever present in Stockholm with furniture, lighting, and […]

    — February 24, 2013 @ 08:27

  6. Farm Kitchen Blends Micro-Agriculture and Design at London's 100% Design - Urban Gardens Pingback said:

    […] had the pleasure of visiting 100% Design last year during the London Design Festival with the Modenus BlogTour and can agree with the The Farm […]

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