Thousands visit Norwegian design exhibitions

The fifth anniversary of the annual design exhibition 100% Norway, which this year was officially opened by HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit, saw thousands of visitors to its two shows at 100% Design and Designersblock in London.

The latest furniture and home accessories to emerge from one of the world’s most exciting destinations for design today were on display across a monumental stand at 100% Design, Earls Court, as well as at a sister exhibition staged as part of Designers Block in Covent Garden. Over 60 products from around 35 designers and 29 manufacturers were displayed at the Norwegian stands, which attracted a lot of media attention both prior to and during the show.

It was at Designersblock that the launch party took place on Wednesday 17 September where Norway’s Crown Princess opened the two anniversary shows in front of 600 invited guests. “It’s good to be back in London to officially open yet another 100% Norway exhibition,” she said. “The UK is a driving force in modern design and a meeting place for young talents from around the world. It gives me therefore particular pleasure to present some prime examples of Norwegian design and architecture to this public. I am proud to see the stand grow in size and character year by year.”

As a patron of the Norwegian Design Council, the Crown Princess said she was in a fortunate position to be able to follow the designer’s works closer. “Many Norwegian designers and manufacturers are increasingly working closer together to form partnerships where ideas and creativity can be materialised. Bu there is still room for more companies to include design in their strategic thinking and work closer with designers on a regular basis; a teamwork I am confident would benefit both parties,” she continued.

The joint exhibition was once again curated by British design journalist Henrietta Thompson, with the main stand designed by young architects of the moment Brendeland & Kristoffersen whose Bedroom Box, a standalone two-storey bedroom element taken from the architects’ Svartlamoen project in Norway’s third city Trondheim, formed the central element of the show at 100% Design. Forty meters of recycled shelving units, built as part of a project to get troubled youth back to work in Trondheim, were also used at the exhibition and will now be sent back to the city to be used in a new culture centre for kids. “Design needs to promote conscious living. I’m pleased to know that almost every element of the 100% Norway us recyclable or to be used elsewhere after the exhibition,” concluded the Crown Princess who also visited the Norwegian stand at 100% Design the following day.

Henrietta Thompson added that the products featured in the exhibition, which was organised by the Norwegian Embassy, the Norwegian Design Council, Innovation Norway and InsideNorway, were more internationally relevant, planet-aware, innovation-driven and culturally sophisticated than ever before.

“It was easy to find fantastic work and new design talent to showcase at 100% Norway. Deciding what not to include, however, was not. There has been a boom over the last couple of years in emerging young designers demonstrating sophisticated skills and intellectually informed concepts – many before they even graduate – and even though we are only showing the cream of the creative crop at 100% Norway, the selection criteria has been tougher than ever,” said Thompson.

To see a video of the build-up of the 100% Norway stand at Earls Court, visit the website of leading design and lifestyle magazine Wallpaper* - click here.

600 guests crammed into Designersblock in Covent Garden to attend the 100% Norway launch party. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit does not leave the launch party empty-handed and takes away the official 100% Norway bag. Photo: Aasta Børte

The 100% Norway stand at 100% Design, Earls Court, which was one of the largest at the entire fair. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit arrives at the Norwegian stand at 100% Design together with curator Henrietta Thompson. Photo: Aasta Børte

Johan Verde's Spir jugs, manufactured by Figgjo, were one of the over 60 products displayed at this year's 100% Norway exhibition. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

The Norwegian stand at Designers Block featured no less than 12 Copenhagen chairs, which are designed by Tveit&Tornøe and manufactured by Fora Form. Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

The Norwegian stand at Designersblock still looked presentable after the launch party! Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

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HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit at the 100% Norway launch party with curator Henrietta Thompson.Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

Kim Thome's No 3 lamp at 100% Norway, Designersblock.Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

Petter Skogstad's Break vase at the 100% Norway stand at 100% Design.Photo: Siri Aronsen / Royal Norwegian Embassy

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