Last year the festival attracted around 588,000 visitors from 75 different countries, marking London out as buzzing design capital.
The festival has a strong social purpose this year and is putting special emphasis on sustainability. Christopher Turner, head of design and architecture at the V&A, asserts that the 17th edition aims to ‘explore socially responsible design’ through works which showcase recyclable materials and respond to pressing environmental issues.
Landmark projects and festival commissions
Each year the festival commissions leading designers, artists and architects to create major installations which take residence across the city's public spaces. Last year's edition saw Es Devlin’s Please Feed the Lions prowling around Trafalgar Square in which passersby could ‘feed’ a giant red lion poetry which was then projected onto Nelson’s Column in the evening.
Life Labyrinth, PATTERNITY
The busy workers of Westminster are sure to welcome a new project which espouses wellness and design. Life Labyrinth is a giant geometric maze which has been designed to inspire positive thoughts. PATTERNITY, a London-based design studio who researches the effects of pattern on ways of living, has created a piece which aims to recenter the senses of visitors as they find their way to the installation's centre.
Please Be Seated, Paul Cocksedge
For this year's Landmark Project, British designer Paul Cocksedge brings an undulating structure to Broadgate’s Finsbury Avenue Square. A creative, curvaceous take on outdoor public seating, Londoners and tourists will be able to take a pause within the grooves of this installation which is made out of recycled flooring planks.
Void, Dan Tobin Smith + The Experience Machine
Dan Tobin Smith has spent a decade experimenting with installation art and still life photography. He has created a multi-sensory spatial installation for Islington's Collins Theatre where he has magnified the minuscule geological formations found within gemstones to create an galaxy-like space that
Walala Lounge, Camille Walala
Chroma queen Camille Walala is known for her idiosyncratic bold patterns and colours in her graphic, interior and textile designs. The French designer returns to the festival this year with 11 geometric benches that will turn Mayfair's South Molton Street into an Instagrammable outdoor living-room.
It’s fitting that one of the world’s foremost art and design museums should team up with London’s leading contemporary design festival. During the week, the V&A will fill its galleries with five special LDF projects.
Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness, Kengo Kuma
Japanese architect Kengo Kuma will bring a large-scale bamboo installation to the John Madejski Garden at the V&A. The large nest-like structure explores the technique of weaving and celebrates the versatile and sustainable properties of bamboo.
Affinity in Autonomy, Sony Design
Sony Design is the Japanese tech company’s creative studio. Their experimental projects continuously interrogate the relationship between technology and the human experience, often producing futuristic creations which have become the centrepieces of design events around the world. This year, they present a work which espouses design, AI and robotics as visitors will be invited to interact with an autonomous robot pendulum.
Sacred Geometry, Rony Plesl
Czech sculptor Rony Plesl makes geometric glass products which every design devotee covets for their homes. He has created a new glass installation which luminously reflects the universal language of nature and geometry. Fluorescent glass ‘branches’ will sit at the foot at an altar in the museum’s Medieval and Renaissance gallery creating a visual link that bridges the old and new and encapsulates the V&A’s ethos which cherishes both ancient treasures and cutting-edge design.
Falling Sky, Matthew McCormick
Canadian light designer Matthew McCormick has created an ethereal installation composed of aluminium frost-like formations designed to be suspended over viewers’ heads. Seemingly frozen in time, these fragments seek to invite visitors to momentarily contemplate the effects of climate change.
From pearls to plywood, the V&A are known for their exploration into the faculties of different materials. This time American red oak will take centre stage. 10 artistic chiefs from London’s leading cultural institutions, including Tate director Maria Balshaw and head of the BFI Amanda Nevill, will be paired with a designer to create a piece using the sustainable wood species.
Day of Design
LDF will culminate in a street festival on Exhibition Road on 22 September created in
Royal College of Art students will take to the streets and make furniture out of packaging waste in a live demonstration. The festival will also include special food stalls which will serve up both tasty meals and food for thought as the stalls also showcase the role that design can play in combating food waste. This is a central topic in the V&A’s current FOOD: Bigger Than The Plate exhibition, so the street festival highlights the museum's ongoing commitment to addressing the question of sustainable food cycles.
If you're at a crossroads with your interior design choices, then get yourself to designjunction, the massive international show where design meets art and innovation. This vibrant event attracted 27,000 visitors last year making it one of the most popular events of London Design Festival and its back for its ninth edition this September. Taking place in King's Cross Design District, designjunction will showcase more than 200 international brands, over 70 pop-ups, immersive installations and a impressive programme of talks with some of the most exciting voices in the industry.
|What||London Design Festival 2019|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
14 Sep 19 – 22 Sep 19, TIMES VARY
|Price||£prices vary across locations|
|Website||Click here for more information|