The London Design Festival celebrates London as the design capital of the world. Founded in 2003, the Festival hosts some of the country’s top creatives, retailers and educators, featuring exhibitions, product launches and seminars to explore the latest trends and insights shaping the industry. With more than 400 events across London, there is enough going on that a week isn’t enough to see them all, but here are a few of the installations we are most excited about:
London Design Festival at the V&A
16th – 24nd September
V&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
The V&A Museum is hosting this year’s Global Design Forum, featuring talks with exciting titles like ‘How to use graphic design to save the world’ – a talk on the 16th of September by Michael Bierut – and speakers such as Paul Priestman and Camille Walala. A full list of talks is available on their website. The Museum is also home this week to a number of installations from designers around the world. We are especially looking forward to Flynn Talbot’s Reflection Room, an immersive light experience that was conceived based on the architecture of the V&A’s Prince Consort Gallery. It’s such great inspiration for us to explore how an installation can affect a space, and how a space can be influenced by architecture.
Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C 4AA
Designjunction is a curated show of innovative interior design. The two-day event features more than 200 leading brands and retailers across the industry, with talks, workshops, interactive sculptures and pop-up shops. We will be heading to ‘Gateways’ in Granary Square – a fully immersive exhibition of bold tiled gates by Adam Nathaniel Furman and Turkishceramics that explore the history of ceramics in Turkey, and ‘Beautiful Life’, a pastel canopy of flowers in Granary Square from flower delivery service Bloomon. At The Crossing, you can find winners of The Rado Star Prize UK, a competition for young designers with the theme ‘Design meets Time’. The winning concepts span all areas of design, from interior, industry and technology, and focus on the design’s longevity and sustainability. We will, of course be stopping off for refreshments at the Campari Barge!
18th – 24th September
Somerset House, The Strand, WC2R 1LA
Design Frontiers will take over Somerset House for the week, with works from more than 30 of leading international designers who are changing the face of their fields. We are looking forward to a behind-the-scenes view of the work from Paul Priestman – who is creating a new kind of train for London Underground trains – and futuristic car designs from Jaguar’s Ian Callum (both great examples of the Cities of Tomorrow theme we explored on our blog last month, which will, in turn, influence retail design). Reflecting a recent focus on sustainability, we are also excited to see designs made from recycled materials, and even mycelium fungus from designers Sebastian Cox and Ninela Ivanova. Launching at the Design Frontiers exhibition is new menswear brand, Jijibaba, created by Jaser Morrison and Jaime Hayon, focusing on timeless, functional designs.
London Design Fair
Old Truman Brewery, 26 Hanbury Street, E1 6QR
The London Design Fair is a four-day trade show with 500 exhibitors from 28 countries. The industry event features established brands, independent designers and international guest pavilions – this year’s guest country is America, and their pavilion will focus on a ‘resurgent US design scene’, with the theme ‘Assembly’. The British Craft Pavilion will see the launch of “Zero Waste Calligraphy” pens by Tom’s Studio, and we are looking forward to learning more about the metamorphosing Material of the Year, Jesmonite, which can mimic almost any texture.
Exchange Square London EC2A 2BQ
We can’t wait to explore textile designer Camille Walala’s take on a bouncy castle (alongside her installation in Greenwich). Created through collaboration with Go Visual, Villa Walala is inspired by the ‘breakout space’ feel of Exchange Square, and offers city workers a cathartic space to unwind on their lunch breaks. The inflatable castle is decorated in the designer’s signature ‘Tribal Pop’ aesthetic, while the building-block style promotes childlike play. For further relaxation, the castle is filled with stress balls and other surprises.
Letterform Archive: Graphic Design Process
20th – 24th September
Devonshire House, 68 Union St, SE1 1TD
The first UK exhibition from the San Francisco collective, the Letterform Archive ’s Graphic Design Process: Analog Artifacts of Experimentation, Development, & Production explores the work and the strategy behind final designs. Focusing on typography and lettering, the collection features type foundry Emigre Inc, London Underground designer Edward Johnson, and typographer and industrial designer Piet Swart.
London Design Festival at Selfridges
16th – 24th September 17
400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB
Just around the corner from our London office, and home to some of the most exciting new brands, we couldn’t miss out Selfridges! Their events for the London Design Festival include an exclusive range of home design products, new stores (like the Muji concept store and the UK’s first HAY kitchen store) and talks, as well as an event on the 20th of September for technology lovers to experience the season’s best new releases.