The annual exhibition, held within Birmingham’s NEC exhibition centre has been a valuable trade resource for over 25 years. An essential event for British Interior designers, manufacturers and specifiers; a useful place to research trends, make new connections, gain design inspiration or simply soak up the creative, bustling atmosphere.
Looking around the exhibitors it is evident that trends from recent years continue to prove popular: Shabby chic, faux vintage / industrial, glamorous, deco, high street contemporary and hi tech / modern.
Lighting is perhaps the most revolutionary area of domestic product design currently. LED and electroluminescence being two of the more prolific areas of development. Philips have developed an excellent range of futuristic looking items using dimmable, multi-colour LED’s.
The Design Village within the contemporary design section in hall two showcased fresh and innovative, new talents. This area was buzzing with excited, optimistic people busy swapping notes and hatching deals. It was truly inspirational and encouraging to see fabulous creations still being produced during these sometimes flat and difficult financial times. The combination of fine British craftsmanship, innovate material specifications, avant-garde surface pattern and joyous colour was invigorating and reassuring. James Uren, Donna Wilson, Stuart Melrose and Lucy Alice Porter were amongst some the most inspiring exhibits.
NDA’s Director of studies, Anthony Rayworth, was on the judging panel for The New Design Britain Awards 2012, which is one of the most important competitions in the UK for young design talent. Talking about the awards Anthony said: “The future of domestic product and furniture design seems safe in the hands of our bright, enthusiastic graduates.” You can read more about Anthony’s experience of The New Design Britain Awards 2012 and find out who the winners were in the News section of the NDA website.
There was, as always, a handful of novelty furniture suppliers. Fusion tables were a good example. Their flagship design is a highly popular, carefully manufactured dining table that transforms into a pool table; perfect for that after dinner game of pool.
Fine craftsmanship, teamed with subtle eccentricity remains something of a British speciality. Sitting Firm presented an exquisite collection based upon this concept. The traditional Windsor chair had been given an imaginative range of twists using unexpected materials and colours such as carbon fibre.