In 2019, I've attended Focus, London Design Festival, Maison et Objet, AD Intereurs, IIDE, Decorex, PAD LONDON, 1-54 in London, Salone Del Mobile, Downtown Design Dubai, Art Dubai, Abu Dhabi Art and the huge furniture market at High Point in the USA. In addition, I hosted some private events, the largest of which was Art House in Cape Town in November. I also had to be in Dubai for the annual Design Week and Miami for Design Miami, but there is only so much you can get.
Holding my finger on the pulse worldwide is a big challenge. It costs a huge amount of money and time to do this. ROI investing, of course, builds global relationships with brands, designers, authors and those who know. It also helps guide my clients by helping them understand global opportunities and helping build their networks as well. Design is a global business and if you want to be at the top of your game, you have to understand this dynamic.
There aren't many people traveling in so many show designs, it puts me in a very unique place for me to comment on. Those of you who know me will know that when I'm excited about something, I share it everywhere. Going by my instagram is a showcase of highlights for me. What I find sad is that the London plan shows that it does not have many features, with the exception of two exhibitions, Decorex and PAD London.
Decorex has really sorted it out and made a statement moving back to the city, taking up a lot of space and doing a fantastic job of curating exhibitors. Nearly everyone I spoke to at the Decorex show said they certainly had a return on investment. That's good to know.
But most importantly, it was a thrilling show to watch. Great to see all the usual faces, but also to meet some new and exciting brands. Personally, I think Decorex did a better job of presenting the London plan than LDF did. I know it's controversial, but I've never understood and associated with LDF, not the way you do with Salone del Mobile.
London is home to great design and I hope Decorex is going to step up our game.
The performances on the international stage that I love and will continue to watch are Deco Off, Salone del Mobile and Art Dubai. 3 very different looks, but they are all so good at demonstrating design, art and creativity in unique ways.
I love the intersection of design and fashion at Salone. Deco Off is simply the best experience, amongst the galleries and ateliers of St Germain, you can see everyone, get into a brasserie for lunch and continue until the evening party begins. Why can't Clerkenwell Design Week be like this? It's similar, but it doesn't seem to have seduced us in the same way that the French have.
Art Dubai is certainly an art and not a design, but for a small new show, it is well over its weight with the curation of galleries and experiences. The rest of the city is joining forces as well, and a visit to Art Dubai is not complete without visiting Alserkal Avenue and the Jameel Arts Center. It makes a real experience of Middle Eastern, Indian and North African art.
I love Design and I love Art, but what I love most is seeing different expressions of these disciplines. My travels allow me to see these different perspectives. I just hope London gets the act together and puts on a world show (banning Decorex and PAD).