London Design Week 2011

August 29, 2011 — 13 Comments

I haven’t been making a big stink about this yet but the time has finally come to start stinking the place up (wait … what?!??). In just a few weeks, I will be jetting off to London, sipping champagne and eating caviar because I was selected to join an elite group of fellow design oriented bloggers to attend London Design Week.

Modenus, the online design resource, in collaboration with MMPI (Merchandise Mart Properties Inc.), the producers of the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and are organizing Blogtour 2011. The tours will bring bloggers from US and UK together, first at London Design Festival in September of 2011 and then again during New York Design Festival in March of 2012.

The mission of Blogtour is to further the understanding and awareness of design in the US, UK and Europe and support networking and information exchange between design bloggers, designers, artisans and manufacturers while providing more exposure for international design events.

Blogtour 2011

BlogTour 2011 Sponsor Panel


The group of people who were invited to come along on this extravaganza can be found here, and you can quickly see for yourself that it is a formidable list of popular interior design and lifestyle bloggers … and me. I am the only architect in the group, and the only person not intimately familiar with all the events, the sponsors, the products the ….etc. and etc. and so forth. So why was I selected? …  it was probably because they needed somebody to watch the jackets and purses left at the table. (Ooooouch!). For an architect, I actually know quite a bit about what I am going to be looking at – but that’s comparing me to other architects. I am going to be surrounded by some of the most influential designers this side of the pond, while meeting some of the most influential designers on that side of the pond.

I’m not a wallflower by any means, and if I am ignoring you it’s probably because you are boring or I think I have food in my teeth. However, I will admit that I am slightly nervous to go on this trip and expose just how little I know … then again, I am going to be surrounded with people who can point out the things I should be taking pictures of … and we all can talk about design – something that I am actually pretty good at.


London Eye by photographer Matthew Carbone


While we’re there, I’ll get behind-the-scenes access (the only kind of scenes for me thanks) to Decorex100% DesignTent London with a smattering of small gatherings hosted by British designers and manufacturers. The line up of events includes all sorts of interesting activities – some of the highlights include:

  • Afternoon tea at Victoria & Albert museum with welcome by William Knight, director of the London Design Festival
  • Curated tour of 100% Design by Mix Magazine with focus on color trends for 2012 and beyond
  • Invitation only dinner at Conran Headquarters host by Sir Terence Conran – (FYI, we’re on a first name basis, I call him “Sir” and he calls me “more water please”)
  • Dezeen party hosted by Design Junction
  • A visit to TENT London and a walk over to Origin Contemporary Craft Fair
  • podium discussion: “Across the pond – design trends in US and UK”
  • Design Centre Chelsea Harbour to see some of the design world’s greatest showrooms, including those of Samuel Heath and Victoria + Albert Baths
  • Attend Decorex International

See? Pretty good right? Yes…. very good.


New York Fashion Week -The Winning Brizo Team (l-r: Celine Kwok, Maggie Stack King, Bob Borson and Veronika Miller)

So, I know what your thinking (no I don’t) – how did I met Veronika Miller from Modenus, the brains behind this tour? … Veronika and I met at an event during New York Fashion Week last Fall and we were on the same team during a 3.5 hour design challenge (I was in charge of nothing and idled my time away telling jokes). As it turns out, my jokes must have been really good because our team took home first place!  And I got to know Veronika in the process. You can tell from the picture above that we had confidence in the roles we were playing – leader/inspirational messiah and tall older guy with white hair. Say what you will, it worked all the way to 1st Place.


London Design Festival


I know a few of the players going on this trip and I have been to London three times prior – it’s one of my most favorite cities in the world. I’ll be gone from September 21st through September 27th but I will still try and maintain some presence on the site here. I have no doubt that it will be interesting and that I will have some stories that I can’t share without running them through the fib-a-nator 5000 first.


For more information, please visit BlogTour2011 for details.




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  • lisa league

    Bob, this sounds like great fun – plus I love London, too! Spent a summer there for grad school, ooh I’m envious.

  • You think you are a know-nothing about design but I can one-up that! I have a son who has a BFA (which I paid for mostly) who thinks my taste is art and design is bordering on kitsch and gimmick. to which I very maturely reply phhhhhhhhhhtttttttttttttttttt  Yeah… 

  • More Water Please…. My fave comment of the day….

  • Anonymous

    That’s great Bob.

    Just don’t tell Europeans you’re from Dallas. They’ll want to know if you’ve ever designed anything for the Ewings.


  • Brenda Lynn

    I’m jealous! LOL

  • Pat Leitzen Fye

    Congratulations – what a great honor and cool thing to get to do! And if you’ve not been to London, (or even if you have) you will LOVE it!  

    • Hi Pat,

      I have been to London a few times before but it has been about 10 years since my last visit. I expect the trip will be a little different than the last time I was there. Really looking forward to it!


  • Banksy is the star of public commentary, so you must be the star of public… displays of affection? Rock on, rock star. Have fun – it looks like it will be a great time!

    • I am already planning on what late night photo excursions to go on – getting a new wide angled lens just for this trip!

  • Anonymous

    I am pretty sure you were chosen for two reasons: humor and grey hair. Makes perfect sense to me! 

    • Something tells me that there will be others with grey hair on this trip – you just can’t see them under a carefully applied layer of color!


  • That rocks! You rock! BlogTour will rock with you on it! Hey, can you please bring me some more water. And a small pile of those Euro thingies so I can take notes.

    • Thanks! I know it will be an amazing event! but I probably won’t bring back any water…