The exhibition was one of three Norwegian design showcases across the capital. In the east, ‘Made in Bergen’, which featured works by designers from Norway’s second largest city, and ‘Norwegian Prototypes’, an exhibition of prototypes by some of the country’s most exciting talents, drew large crowds as well. At 100% Design at Earls Court, where 100% Norway occupied one of the largest stands at the fair, it was estimated that around 12,000 people visited the Norwegian show, which was curated for the fourth year in a row by Henrietta Thompson, design editor with Wallpaper*, along with co-curator Benedicte Sunde from the Norwegian Design Council.
StokkeAustad, one of Norway’s most talented young design duos whose new dining table from Nora of Norway was on display, had also designed the 100% Norway stand this year. Taking their inspiration from the ‘hjeller’, a scaffold structure that for centuries has been used to dry fish in many parts of Norway, they had constructed the simple A-frame architecture over the entire exhibition space. The stand was built from Kebony, a revolutionary new wood which has been treated using bio waste from the sugar industry, making it not only aesthetically wonderful, but also as hardwearing as teak, maintenance free, and environmentally sound.
Inside the hjeller, many of the best and most prominent contemporary Norwegian manufacturers such as LK Hjelle, Fora Form, Varier, Håg and Fjordfiesta exhibited new designs for furniture and home accessories by home-grown designers, including Norway Says and Tveit&Tornøe.
New exhibitors for 2009 included Biri Tapet, whose beautiful contemporary take on traditional straw wall coverings are already much loved by Scandinavian architects. Returning to London with new wallpaper designs was the all female design team Scandinavian Surface whose products are inspired by their local surroundings in Bergen.
The homely, down to earth feel was one found in many of the products throughout the exhibition, but perhaps nowhere more so than in the Aksel chairs by Aksel Hansson, a traditional seat seen in many Norwegian homes for decades. Pieces by glassware stars Tanja Sæter, Kjersti Johannessen and Anne Haavind were also on display, as were new porcelain collections to rival Scandinavian’s oldest and finest from up coming duo Wik & Walsøe, and first time exhibitor Sara Skotte.
New launches from lamp manufacturer Northern Lighting, were also a big draw at 100% Norway this year too, while new polar bear inspired rug designs from Permafrost made an impact on the ground. Although most of this year’s exhibition featured items already in production, prototypes from one of Norway’s most exciting new designers, Petter Skogstad, did also travel to the UK for the first time.
It all amounted to what was unequivocally the best collection ever seen at 100% Norway so far according to curator Henrietta Thompson; “Over the last few years an exciting contemporary design scene has emerged in this part of the world, and despite that the design industry in the country is relatively young compared to that of its Scandinavian neighbours, it is fast proving itself to be both world class in standard and very firmly rooted in Nordic culture.”
100% Norway 2009 was organised by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in London, the Norwegian Design Council, Norsk Industri - The Association of Norwegian Furniture Industry, and Innovation Norway. Prior to the show, it attracted a lot of attention in the UK press, including large articles in the Financial Times and Daily Telegraph. Wallpaper* also produced a 24 page special on Norwegian design and architecture in its October issue. More to follow!
To see a video report from 100% Norway by the Luxury Channel, click here.
The Norwegian stand at 100% Design was one of the largest at the entire fair. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy
100% Norway presented the best of Norwegian furniture and home accessories across 133m2 in Earls Court Exhibition Centre. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Glass sculptures by Kjersti Johannessen and porcelain by Wik & Walsøe were on display at 100% Norway. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Around 12,000 people visited the Norwegian stand at 100% Design from 24 to 27 September. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy
100% Norway was curated by Henrietta Thompson, design editor with Wallpaper*, along with co-curator Benedicte Sunde from the Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture. Here Thompson is interviewed by international TV at the stand. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Anne Haavind was once again selected for 100% Norway with her colourful vases. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Wallcoverings from Scandinavian Surface were very popular among the visitors. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy
Detail of Cathrine Kullberg's Norwegian Forest lamp. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy
LK Hjelle's Duo sofa, designed by Norway Says and Hallgeir Homstvedt, was a huge hit with Londoners. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy
The six meter tall wooden A-frame structure at the Norwegian stand was designed by StokkeAustad and manufactured by Kebony. Photo: Thomas Aastad / Royal Norwegian Embassy
The night before 100% Norway opened, the Norwegian Embassy and Wallpaper* magazine hosted a party at One Marylebone in Central London for 700 guests to celebrate Norwegian design. Photo: Martin Usborne
Curator Henrietta Thompson speaks to the guests about this year's exhibition and the 24 page section in this month's Wallpaper* covering Norwegian design and architecture. Photo: Martin Usborne
Norwegian popstar Annie was the night's DJ. Photo: Martin Usborne
Drinks were sponsored by Bombay Sapphire. Photo: Martin Usborne
Voss Water from Norway was once again the water sponsor for 100% Norway and ensured that no guests left dehydrated!. Photo: Martin Usborne
No-one left empty-handed and the 100% Norway goodie bag was once again a hit with the guests. Photo: Martin Usborne
100% Norway party guest Lady Victoria Harvey is the latest British it-girl to fall in love with Norwegian design...!. Photo: Martin Usborne