100% Design at Earls Court – Glass wall by Lasvit; designed by Koncern (Jiri Pribyl and Martin Imrich), inspired by traditional glass in Czech architecture of the 1960s and 1970s.


Hello all! I’m very excited to share this review of the recent London Design Festival by a fellow designer and a dear friend of mine, Mark Leib. You may also recall Mark as my ‘partner in crime’ from some of my earlierpost. Mark is a very talented interior designer who currently lives in London – he is an Associate at the very fabulous design studio Blacksheep. Huge thanks to Mark for taking all these fantastic photos and for putting together this epic report which I will share with you over two days. Mark, I am most impressed – love your work!

x dana


The Heidi Stool by Sebastian Wrong for Established & Sons – a new version for 2010 with the tractor seat in solid timber.

Left – in the foreground the new “Audrey“ vase by Michael Eden and the “Wrongwoods” credenza by Sebastian wrong and Richard Woods. Right – Detail of “Hang” coat stand.

Left – outside The Wenlock Arms. Right – “Heidi” stool and pub local.

More images of “Heidi” stool inside the pub.

Left – Warm ale!!!! (Well it didn’t seem to stop your mate on the right, did it?)

 This was my first real visit to the festival. Last year I only went to 100% Design and it was rather disappointing, maybe I should have made more of an effort! But this year things were a lot better. This year the festival had 200 events over nine days. Last year there were over 300,000 direct visits, so there’s loads to see if you have the time. The problem with the festival is that is spread out all over town, so requires serious planning to see the key events.

I made it to the three main shows: 100% Design at Earls Court – the established main event; The Tramshed in Shoreditch – the boutique stylish one, and Tent in Brick Lane – the studenty, edgy one. I also checked out the studio and installation of heavyweight manufacturer Established & Sons, a short walk from our studio in Clerckenwell.

Established & Sons had taken over a famous east end boozer opposite their studio for the week and filled it with their pieces. It was a great mix of flouro minimalism, real local characters and sticky pub décor that has never been renovated. I’ve been to the pub before and there were three seventy-year-old blokes playing 1960’s tunes and a real ale festival going on. All the bar staff have beards and its best to stay on the right side of the local lads as they’re proper hard.

Image on the left shows 100% Norway stand.

Design psychology test by The Decorators Collective,

The Decorators Collective are a group of architects, designers and a psychologist that met at Central Saint Martins College and set up this year “to build experiences, generate unexpected encounters and test conventions. Interested in stories, people and place, they collaborate, they research and they make use of narrative to create context-specific projects for art, cultural, or community environments.”

The test consisted of 15 multiple choice questions designed to delve into your personality and “figure out what percentage of design lies deep in your soul”. They then translate the results into one of nine designs and print it onto a tote bag. I did the test and was very happy with my test feedback – 18% designer : 82% visionary. Result!! (You are a nut bag!)

Super cute!!!! Ceramic ”Owl lamp” by Mette Fjotoft Vagnes for Scusi.

(Awesome – I love it some much that I gave this image extra space!)

Left – A lovely pendant… cant find the contact details though. Ooops!!!

Right – “Still life meltdown gold” vase by Danish designer Marie Repten.

Left – “Cheaney “chair handmade upholstered in shoe leather and tweed by Alexena Cayless.

Right – The “BA3” chair by Ernest Race.

I love the BA3 chair (I totally agree!) – it is super comfy and not expensive. We have one in the studio now and it’s a superb café chair. There is a great story with it as well. After the war, Ernest unveiled a revolutionary cast aluminium process that used salvaged metal from post war airplanes. The chair was designed in 1945 and won the gold medal at the Milan Triennale in 1954. Ernest Race was one of the most inventive and challenging exponents of mid-century British design and is an unsung furniture design hero. Read about Ernest here and here.

“Sauherad” prototype chair by Graduate Oyvind Wyller and cabinet maker Trulus Eilev Schia. A very beautiful chair – a stretched leather seat and fine detalling; the chair is so light it can be lifted with two fingers!! Check out their website.


I made it to three of the big parties on the Thursday night with my colleague Tim Mutton from Blacksheep. First up the B&B Italia/ Wallpaper ‘do’ at the B&B showroom in south Kensington. It was typically boring- loads of west London types chatting and comparing shoes. The Antonio Citterio designed store is quietly imposing, a vast, Spartan temple of Italian niceness and was really too warm for comfort. So, time to go and next up was the official festival party at the V&A museum, a five minute walk around the corner. It wasn’t very busy and the cocktails were nothing compared to last year, so we bailed and headed back east for Established & Sons. I expected a roadblock as per Milan, but most people were thankfully outside. We decided to sample the ale of the night, but it was a doomed romantic gesture back to my youth. A pint of warm murky dark brown stuff does not cut it anymore, should have stayed with overpriced foreign lager. The pub was a bit quiet so we made a last dash to the birthday party of one of our furniture suppliers in a pub in Farringdon. It was a solid finish to a busy night, we caught up with most of our team getting very juiced up on the free bar going well past 2am.

I heard that the Tramshed party was amazing, so next year it’ll be top of the list.

B+B Italia / Wallpaper party at the B+B showroom in South Kensington.

Left – new ceramics from B&B. Right – detail from B&B showroom.

Left – Tim Mutton of Blacksheep and freelance designer Rich Ryan. Right – Handbags, shoes and cocktails.

V&A Museum courtyard Installation by Oskar Zeita called “Blow & Roll”.

I have been a fan of Polish contemporary craftsman Oskar Zieta’s amazing inflated steel furniture for some time. He was commissioned by London design festival to develop an installation for the Victoria & Albert Museum. He designed an installation for the Madejski Garden using a unique technology. Matching the form of the ellipse, the piece is made of large-scale elements more than 10m long and up to 5m high.

To install Blow & Roll, welded steel pieces have been transported flat, rolled out, and inflated using water. Air is then pumped into the gap between the steel plates to create perfectly shaped 3D objects.

Check out Oskar’s website. An interview with him can be found here.

(Mark, this is the seriously the most amazing photo. Extreme love!)

The V&A bookshop.

The bar in the main entrance of V&A.


All photos by Mark Leib for yellowtrace.

About The Author

Dana Tomić Hughes
Founder & Editor

Dana is an award-winning interior designer living in Sydney, Australia. With an unhealthy passion for design, Dana commits to an abnormal amount of daily design research. Regular travel and attendance at premier design events, enables Dana to stay at the forefront of the design world globally. While she is super serious about design, Dana never takes herself - nor design - too seriously. Together with her life and business partner, Dana is Boss Lady at Studio Yellowtrace, specialising in Design Strategy, Creative Direction and Special Projects. The studio takes a highly conceptual and holistic approach to translating brands & ideas into places & experiences.

4 Responses

  1. Galit

    For a moment I thought you’re having too much fun for just one person but then I read it is not you reporting but your friend :)
    Great series of posts from the London Design Festival! Enjoyed reading/viewing them so much

    P.S. This Owl lamp is gorgeous!

    • yellowtrace

      Thank you for your feeback – so glad you enjoyed this mini post series. I wish I was lucky enough to have been reporting from London personally. Maybe next year!
      Yes, the little Owl lamp and Gipsy futniture (from the second post) completely stole my heart!


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