Located alongside Super Brands London, Tent London has established an impressive reputation as one of the most creative hubs at London Design Festival. With the aim of constant evolution, the event provides a thought-provoking forum for discovering the best of home-grown and overseas design talent.
Having grown over the last seven years, Tent London maintains a balance of highlighting products that sell without having a corporate atmosphere. The balance between creativity and commerce requires constant and careful curation by the show’s founders, Jimmy and Rachel MacDonald. This year sees a shift in emphasis away from the soft furnishings that have proved a run-away success in previous seasons, towards new growing market sectors.
The first of these is undiscovered European talents – such as Vera & Kyte, Atelier Violeta Galan, Grand, Orée, Philipp Aduatz and Tokio. These labels sit well alongside UK-based established independents including Studio Jon Male, Chisel & Mouse, Thomas & Vines, Suzanne Goodwin, Room39, Erica Wakerly, Bold & Noble, Inca Starzinsky, Curiousa & Curiousa and Parris Wakefield. “We are effectively hardening up the edges of the show and broadening the offer to better reflect current trends in the market,” explains Jimmy.
Super Brands London will be in the same location as last year but will be opened up, making the transition from Tent London to Super Brands London fluid and less marked. The idea here is to create what is effectively a series of temporary showrooms for brands that want to broaden their exposure in the UK market.
Already signed up is the cult brand Edra, best known for its collaborations with the Campana Brothers, along with fellow Italian brands Parchettificio Toscana and La Falegnami. Other Super Brands to keep an eye out for include Ginger & Jagger, Munna, Front London, Objekten, Surface View and Materials Council.
Encouraged by last year’s successful showing, Jacuzzi is returning to the Super Brands London fold this year, bringing with it the much-anticipated UK launch of the Daniel Libeskind collection. This collaboration reflects the brand’s commitment to the designer-led market, with a new piece by the renowned architect.
One of the most keenly-anticipated events during London Design Festival’s talks circuit will be Tent’s Super Talks programme, this year under the theme Mobilised. Super Talks aims to engage with audiences in a more participative and unstructured way – allowing for a free-flowing exchange of original ideas.
The overall programme will be split into four key elements – Scenario Labs, Inspiring Debates, Supermobile and Super Exchange – and will include talks, demonstrations, workshops and idea sessions. “We want to create a really audience-focused programme, breaking down barriers and engendering a free and easy forum for the swapping of ideas,” says Jimmy.
Tent London’s Country Showcases have always been an essential bedrock of the show, a chance to see previously unseen work from over 100 designers and companies. This year sees the largest collection to date, with 100% Norway back celebrating its 10th anniversary, as well as Made in Bergen, a welcome second design exhibit from Norway. Fresh Taiwan returns this year, and is joined by the Hungarian Investment & Trade Agency, the Crafts Council of Ireland, Artesanía de Galicia and the Ukrainian Design Pavilion.
Breaking up the booths will be Project Spaces. This is a chance for architects and designers to experiment with ideas and processes, three-dimensional environments, colour, material, light and human interaction.