The very best of British

100% Design is Britain's foremost contemporary interiors show. Katherine Sorrell rounds up the talent
Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online
Fresh Momentum

`Snap' interchangeable lighting, pounds 25 to pounds 55 (top left)

In plastic, paper, plywood or steel mesh, these nifty interchangeable lights demonstrate how the simplest ideas are often the best. They were developed in conjunction with lighting designers Lamp Art, and come either singly or with a pair of contrasting shades. consists of Phil Lardner (pictured) and Jason Alastair Lansdale, who met at Buckinghamshire College and set up the company 18 months ago. Also new at 100% Design are their "Hide-Away" storage coffee tables, in ply, maple and plastic laminate, an "In Sync" flat-pack plywood table, and a matching ply chair with a rubber seat. "Using inexpensive materials makes the furniture accessible," says Phil. "And people like the fact that it fits into most room settings and that it's been individually designed."

, 0171 503 2116

Kiosk/Made of Waste

Tables, about pounds 150 (second left)

Jane Atfield says she's not a fanatic about recycling, but she became fascinated with the possibilities of re-using plastics while doing an MA in furniture design at the Royal College of Art, and set up Made of Waste in 1995. Now the company's multi-coloured, flecked sheets made from discarded plastic bottles have become instantly recognisable, and have been used in a variety of projects, including chairs, tables, worktops, shower cubicles and shop fittings. This trio of tables, on slim aluminium legs, are topped with a new plastic that uses old chopping boards collected from restaurants. "The shape comes from my interest in modern architecture. They have a minimalist feel," says Jane. She has now launched an another venture called Kiosk, with designers including her husband, Robert Shepherd.

Kiosk/Made of Waste, 0171 278 6971

Azumi's

Chair/table, pounds 350 (third from left)

Nothing designed by Tomoko and Shin Azumi is quite what it seems. It looks like a bench? No, it's a bed. Looks like a table? No, it's a chest. And this elegant, pared-down chair, made from steel and maple-veneered MDF, is no different. A fingertip touch and the seat and back fold together, rotate and flip out, to produce... a table. "We love showing people how our pieces work," says Tomoko. "It's like a piece of theatre." The Azumis started designing together in 1995, since when they have attracted enormous attention for its detailed engineering and effortless good looks. "It looks simple but there's a lot of thought behind it," says Shin. "Although the pieces look quite minimal, in fact they aren't at all."

Azumi's, 0181 731 7496

Peagreen

Duvet covers, from pounds 85 (top right)

Gap, Calvin Klein, Guess, Esprit and Warehouse have already snapped up Peagreen's funky fabric designs and now the company is moving into homeware with a collection of contemporary printed bedlinens and a range of furniture. Peagreen was set up by knitwear graduate Izzy Matthews in 1992 to produce textiles designs for fashion, and she was joined last year by her husband Michael, a graduate of the famous John Makepeace fumiture college in Parnham. Their aim is to combine prints with furniture, so the duvet covers complement a clean-lined, birch ply bed, while a stool and chair both have printed seats. "We're planning on using the prints for all sorts of other surfaces," says Izzy. "Formica-topped tables, rugs, biscuit barrels and so on. We are always looking for new ideas."

Peagreen, tel 01264 889877

SCP

Modular sofa by Terence Woodgate, from pounds 1,995 (inset)

"There's been an enormous change in attitudes towards design in the past four or five years," says Sheridan Coakley. "People have really started to accept that it's okay to put modern furniture in their homes." Sheridan's company, SCP, has been in the vanguard of the promotion of British contemporary design for 10 years, producing furniture with a creative edge by the likes of Jasper Morrison, Matthew Hilton, James Irvine and Konstantin Grcic. This modular sofa by Terence Woodgate is a stylish Nineties take on a Seventies classic, combining flair with functionality. "It's well made, light, and, what's more," says Sheridan, "really comfortable."

SCP, 0171-739 1869

Design Nic Wood

Pewter tableware, from pounds 15 to pounds 140 (not shown)

To be running your own company while still at university seems like evidence of a precocious talent, yet Nic Wood is unfazed by his success. His range of pewter tableware grows all the time and he has plans to expand into Japan and New Zealand, in addition to being stocked by home furnishing stores in many of Britain's major cities. It all began with a design for an egg cup, the result of a project for a BTEC course, which was accepted by Harvey Nichols and got into the Design Museum, so he began designing a set of complementary products, at the same time starting a BA in Industrial Design at Sheffield Hallam University. Nic graduates next year and, though he enjoys working with pewter, aims to branch out into other areas as well. "I want to have a name associated with quality, functionality and originality"

Nic Wood, 0114 250 9297

100% Design is open to the public on Wednesday between 10am and 8pm; tickets cost pounds 6 in advance or pounds 12 on the door. For details, call 0181 240 5070.

For more on 100% Design, see the Sunday Review, page 60.

Comments