A report by Giorgio Tartaro, Academic Supervisor at SPD, from the London event which has just closed.

Not “about nothing” but there was definitely a lot of noise, in the campaign sense, for the events which promoted London as the temporary capital of the Empire of Design.

100% Design, Design Festival and other major brand names brought in dealers, journalists, devotees of beautiful shapes and certain functions and the plain curious to the capital of communications, graphic design, music, image and architecture. It was a pity that, having got there, for those who are used to getting around little Milan with its jams, crowds, banners and flags, just one lean – but lovely – guide revealed itself.

The Earls Court show – as well set up as it was – didn’t stand comparison with any Italian event, and came closer to the transatlantic events like ICFF and so on.
br> Definitely more interesting was Designers BlockMazorca Projects(which we’d been able to appreciate in our little Milan at the Spazio Consolo).

Further “ahead” to us though, seemed the consummate, highly elegant charm of the show-rooms (from Pawson and Citterio’s B&B to Cappellini’s installations, which are well-known to us by now, and so on and so forth).

Despite interesting exhibitions at the Design Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, the city couldn’t take part beyond that in what had been billed as the first embryonic world design forum. The Davos model is a long way off, design globalisation far from being torn by “designers-block”, with lots of ideas but few identifiably real products. London’s always London but Milan can sleep peacefully… perhaps just to dream a bit more.

Giorgio Tartaro, journalist, professor and SPD Academic Supervisor