Interior lovers rejoice! It’s September which means it’s time, once again, for London Design Festival. The capital is about to become a hub of design, trends and new launches and if you’re feeling a little perplexed about the amount of places to visit (and there’s a lot). don’t fret – here’s our guide on where to go, what to do and what to see for LDF ’17, September 16-24.
THE DESIGN DESTINATIONS
First off, the designs show are a great place to see everything in one go. Full of new and established brands as well as seminars and workshops, each destination hosts a particular feel and spans from one end of the design spectrum to the other. Decorex, for example, situated in Syon Park (a bit of a pain to get to – it involves a shuttle bus, ugh), is packed full of coveted and luxury design. Alternatively, East London’s Truman Brewery is home to the London Design Fair where you can expect to see independent designers, as well as established brands from an array of countries, all under one roof. 100% Design at Olympia will showcase Elements, an installation brought to you by Max Fraser and Focus/17 at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour is a good for seminars and workshops.
In all honesty, the design shows are getting a little tiresome, with the same things being displayed year on year. They’re also a killer on your feet. However, if you are looking to explore one then we’d recommend London Design Fair or DesignJunction at King’s Cross. Both offer a really good insight into what’s hot and forward thinking right now.
THE DESIGN DISTRICTS
We get more and more against the design districts each year. First of all, this isn’t the Hunger Games, so a new name for them would be super. Secondly, there’s just TOO many. There are seven districts in total which spread across the whole of London, from Brompton to Bankside and all the way to Brixton. Essentially they’re for showrooms and shops in those areas to open their doors and entice design lovers in. This is great for smaller, independent businesses who use LDF as a platform to raise awareness of their products, but basically it’s just an excuse to do some window shopping.
If you do want to explore the design districts then head to trendy Shoreditch where Lee Broom will be re-imagining his iconic pieces in black to celebrate a decade of design in a showcase called On Reflection. Whilst East, head to the Warehouse Home Apartment. Curated by the team the team behind Warehouse Home magazine, the apartment will be open over the duration of LDF and will showcase trends and designs from an array of interior brands. Make sure you also stop off at Darkroom who are opening the Green House pop-up cafe.
Over at Chelsea Design Quarter, The Rug Company will be celebrating 20 years with new designs by Alexander McQueen Studio and Vivienne Westwood. Clerkenwell and Islington are great for discovering quirky designers, we’d recommend a trip to Smug and Aria, and Brompton is saying hello to Skandium’s new townhouse. If that wasn’t enough, London Design Festival has added two new arrivals this year (because that’s what we need…), Pimlico and Mayfair. So if you’re residents of those areas (you lucky devils) then great design is just a stones throw away.
THE INSTALLATIONS & EXHIBITIONS
Over LDF, London will play host to numerous installations and exhibitions. Last year, there was a Memphis patterned zebra crossing by Camille Walala (we believe Eley Kishimoto is doing something of the same ilk in Brixton for 2017) as well as a large wooden see-saw type structure called Smile at Chelsea College of Art & Design. This year, expect to see plenty more.
You’ve seen her on the pavement, you’ve seen her on a barge (and if you haven’t, where have you been?), Camille Walala strikes again. This time the connoisseur of bold patterns has created Villa Walala. In partnership with British Land, the idea behind this playful structure is to relief stress and relax those working in the surrounding offices.
Sandwiched in between the London Biennale, Somerset House is launching Design Frontiers. This free exhibition will showcase 30 international designers, all of which are redefining the frontiers of their disciplines. Design Frontiers runs from 18-24 September.
However, it’s the V&A which is a solid 10/10 every year and continues to amaze with innovative installations and exciting design pieces which are certain to enthral.
Click here to discover what
the V&A had to offer for 2016.
Head down over LDF and expect to see Transmission by Ross Lovegrove in the tapestry room, a 21.3 meter long fluid sculpture of folded material. Exhale Bionic Chandelier by Julian Melchiorri is the first ever living and breathing chandelier utilising novel bionic-leaf technologies. Housed in the Prince Consort Gallery, Reflection Room by designer Flynn Talbot is an immersive coloured light experience and one that you can expect to see on everyone’s Insta stories – ours included!
Finally, Bethlehem-based architects Elias and Yousef Anastas have created a poltically fueled structure called While We Wait. The immersive stone installation has been created using modern day techniques and hand-finished by artisans, and is about the cultural claim over nature in Palestine.
In summery, there’s so much to see and do over LDF and it’s exciting to see London transform into a playground of design. Here are our top tips on getting out and about:
- First and foremost, grab one of the official LDF red guide books. It has a list of everything that’s happening as well as a map so you can get a plan set in stone
- Sack off the design shows & districts and immerse yourself in the exhibitions and installations. They’re so much more enriching (and make for great Insta moments!)
- Make sure you’ve got your phone & camera and that they’re fully charged and at the ready
- Comfy shoes are your best friend
- If you can, go out and about during a weekday when places are the quietest
- Get involved in the conversation on social media; join the conversation with @L_D_F for Twitter, share your snaps using @l_d_f_official for Instagram and use the hashtag #LDF17 across all
- Finally, go and talk to people. The interior and design community is abundant with incredibly exciting, interesting and fresh talent – you never know who you’re going to meet!
David & Mark x
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