Interview with Jimmy MacDonald

In 2016, Tent London and sister event Super Brands London will return to Truman Brewery in East London under the new umbrella of London Design Fair. Why and what are the news for the visitors?
Tent London and Super Brands London have nurtured the sole aim to provide London’s most ambitious and pertinent design trade fairs – And fulfilling this aim on every occasion over the past ten years. It’s is now time to combine brand and function and present the new “London Design Fair”.
For our new name we decided on the 'London Design Fair’, in part drawing inspiration from Europe, a region where we carry out a great deal of business and where ‘Fair’ is a familiar term.
The London Design Fair is an umbrella brand for Tent London and Super Brands London alongside the other shows we host, for example 100% Norway and the Design & Crafts Council of Ireland. With the addition of the third floor space at the Old Truman Brewery, we will be hosting further group shows, country pavilions and themed exhibitions, affording these key facets even greater visibility.

450 exhibitors from 29 countries, including; independent designers, established brands, international country pavilions, and galleries. Can you tell us some previews? 
We’re pleased to be launching the British Craft Pavilion this year – a showcase of 25 craftspeople from across the British Isles. These designers were specially selected by the Crafts Council & the Fair to represent the best of British craft and innovation. It seemed obvious to examine where Britain is in the worldwide craft movement, and we were delighted when the Crafts Council came our way because it gave us the opportunity to visit that component in our show. 
We’re excited to have our first guest nation in the form of This is India, curated by Spandana Gopal of Tiipoi; and the space is being designed by Kangan Arora. We’re really pleased to have Indelust supporting talented designers like Claymen and Taama.
And as always, we will be showcasing new and emerging talents in design. Designers such as Troels Flensted and 'out for space' are true material innovators.

‘We were invited to propose a project by the trade commission of the Trentino region of Italy,’ you said. Can you explain to us the collaboration?
Trentino Collaborations is all about connecting four British designers with four Trentino-based manufacturers to create new products for retail. The point is to create a profitable exchange – both artistically and economically. Max Lamb is using the expertise of Pedretti Graniti to produce granite furniture, intent on beautifying the medium. Sebastian Cox is working with Arte Del Legno to produce furniture from local hardwood, alongside weaving techniques from Trentino. Lucy Kurrein is designing leather upholstery, inspired by leather household objects, with help from Molinari Design, and Giles Miller will take his first foray into natural stone tiles with Euro Porfidi.

What makes a successful design fair?
In 10 years at the heart of London Design Festival, Tent London has shown that it’s about more than designers’ work. It’s about creating an inspiring experience for 25,000 attendees as well as concrete, career-defining possibilities for exhibitors. It’s having an instinct for quality. London Design Fair is made from equal parts curation, collaboration and connections.
We stand out as a Fair because we understand the design industry and we are passionate about it. We work hard to create content you won’t see anywhere else. London Design Fair will be an inspiring and useful experience for everyone who exhibits and attends.