Occupying multiple galleries and two floors of the Old Truman Brewery, the 9th edition of TENT London was an international showcase of design with country pavilions from a diversity of regions including Ireland, Korea, Norway, Italy, Poland and Australia showing alongside local design talent from across the United Kingdom. New for this year's show was the small but formidable Techable showcase of smart and connected consumer products from some of our favorite new wave product designers like Sam Labs, MAP, Technology Will Save Us and Hackaball.
The continued fascination with 3D printing and the intersection between technology and the handmade were on view with two "ceramics" projects: Breaking the Mould's 3D printed ceramic and glass vessels and Tanner Bowman's "Hot Mess Vessels," using a thermoplastic extrusion process aka a hot glue gun and his hands. Bowman writes:
My inspiration for this project comes from my frustrations with 3D printing in its process and materiality. The shift toward digital and automated manufacturing makes much of the craftsman's labor become invisible and unappreciated; the objects and maker lose their spirit...By replacing computers and robotics with my own brain and hand, I extrude the plastic faster than an 3D printer and with a messy yet alluring resolution.
The diversity of products which included bikes, the aforementioned Techable showcase and more traditional lighting and furniture designs made TENT a highlight of this year's London Design Festival anchor shows. With 25,000 visitors to this year's show, their decade anniversary promises to be an exciting survey of design and its potential in the next decade.