Chris Eckersley, exhibited at 100% Design 1996-2002, photographed outside his home/studio in Herefordshire with his prototype designs for contemporary Windsor chairs. (Image: Barbara Chandler)
Attracting architects, interior designers and industry insiders from all over the world, 100% Design is an annual showcase of contemporary design, now in its' 20th year. The four-day extravaganza at Earls Court has more than 400 exhibitors, hundreds of product launches and a packed programme of seminars.
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of 100% Design, a 16-metre photographic installation will line one of the walls at the Earls Court Exhibition Centre.
20 20 Vision (Stand E450), produced by design expert and photographer Barbara Chandler, highlights the importance of 100% Design to the growth of this industry. Chandler has visited 20 past exhibitors at 100% Design, and taken photographs that reflect their present success.
"In 1995, the show was a completely new type of venture, attracting, as it happened, a new wave of talent. So I chose to feature many designers/entrepreneurs from the early years – notably Sheridan Coakley and Mark Jonas who were on the first organising committee. Indeed co-founder of the show, Ian Rudge, told me (on a trip to photograph Guy Mallinson in Dorset) that the initial idea for 100% was hatched up between him and Mark in a pub in Weybridge…which Mark later confirmed," says Chandler.
20 20 vision at 100% design
20 20 vision at 100% design
1/10 Jocelyn Warner
Exhibited at 100% Design 1999-2009.
Photographed in her East Sussex studio, with her wallpapers which are distributed worldwide. “I was so thrilled to be selected for 100% Design. Visitors could not believe my large scale designs really were wallpaper, and the show triggered a dramatic revival.” jocelynwarner.com
2/10 Mark Jonas of Authentics
Exhibited at 100% Design 1995-2006
Photographed outside company headquarters on Eel Pie Island, with own-brand products. “Ian Rudge and I hatched up the idea for 100% Design in a pub in Weybridge. The UK needed a serious show. 100% Design gave British products design credibility worldwide.”
3/10 Dan Black and Martin Blum
Exhibited at 100% Design 2000-2008. Photographed at Oxo Tower, SE1, outside the black + blum design studio. “100% Design was our first show with our first products and our success gave us the confidence to stop consulting and concentrate on selling our own designs.” black-blum.com
4/10 Chris Eckersley
Exhibited at 100% Design 1996-2002.
Photographed outside his home/studio in Herefordshire with his prototype designs for contemporary Windsor chairs. "In the mid-1990s, there was a new design buzz in the air. Ian Rudge and 100% Design were a vital part of this. Later 100% became the springboard for the London Design Festival.” chriseckersley.co.uk
5/10 Nick Crosbie of Inflate
Exhibited at 100% Design 1995-2010.
Photographed in his inflated yoga studio on an East London roof.
“Our first stand had just five products on chipboard shelves (for example our inflated fruit-bowl), with amazing retailer/media reactions. Then we evolved our inflated structures, which we are developing into a global brand.” inflate.co.uk
6/10 David Colwell
Exhibited at 100% Design from 1995-2003, and 2012-2013.
Photographed in his Welsh workshop, with his table in steam-bent ash and its copper tubular rivets. “Since its beginning, 100% Design has been the mainstay of our exhibition programme, the early impact of which was outstanding.” davidcolwell.com
7/10 Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo of El Ultimo Grito
Exhibited at 100% Design 1996-2000.
Photographed outside their South London studio, where they develop products, exhibitions, concepts, and books. El Ultimo Grito won the Blueprint Award for Best Product three times in a row, 1997-1999. eugstudio.com
8/10 Ella Doran
Exhibited at 100% Design 1997-2001 and 2003.
Photographed in her East London studio, reminiscing about the early years of 100% Design. “In particular I loved it when I could test-drive my photo-printed products on the public days. Back then, too, I met many of the retailers who have been important to me.” elladoran.co.uk
9/10 Guy Mallinson
Exhibited at 100% Design 1995-2005.
Photographed working green wood in Dorset, where he hosts courses and “glamping”. “100% Design was a much-needed showcase for our design and making services. From the work which it generated, our business grew from two to 16 craftsmen.” mallinson.co.uk
10/10 Lorna Syson
Exhibited at 100% Design 2010-2013.
Photographed in her Deptford studio, working on a commission. “100% Design is a targeted and professional showcase, which secured me many commissions for bespoke pieces, and retailers for my range of products. I came in as part of Futures and am now well-established.” lornasyson.co.uk
Barbara visited all of her subjects on their home ground, working with them to achieve a photograph that reflects their current design activities. Each designer has also shared what 100% Design has meant to them.
Says Barbara Chandler: “A particular strength of 100% Design was that all would-be exhibitors had to go before a selection committee and as many as half might be turned down. Participants have told me of their huge joy when they heard they had been selected. Committee members were drawn from all around the industry: including architects, designers, manufacturers, retailers, academics, curators, and even journalists, all of whom (without pay and putting in long hours) were dedicated to excellence. Indeed 100% Design is as much testimony to the enthusiasm and commitment of the whole design industry as it is to commercial enterprise.”