London Design Festival 2016
Not long to go now until London Design Festival, don’t know about you but I’m well excited! Whilst compiling my own festival schedule I thought I’d share a few of the events I’m particularly looking forward to and ask in return for any suggestions you may have? The festival is spread throughout various parts of London with exhibitions, installations, workshops, discussions, pop-ups etc taking place all over the city. The main areas seem to be Bankside, Brixton, Brompton, Chelsea, Clerkenwell, Islington and Shoreditch. Going through the list of what’s on is pretty overwhelming and there doesn’t seem to be enough time to catch everything. However, I would highly recommend using the free app on the LDF website (www.londondesignfestival.com) which rather helpfully compiles your own festival itinerary for you.
Designjunction - Kings Cross
Designjunction is one of the many group shows which always exhibit exciting conceptual installations and showcase a large number of new designers - as well as established brands. This year they have moved to their new 'home' at Kings Cross which will a be a very popular spot if you're looking for contemporary lighting or cutting-edge furniture design.
Timorous Beasties - After Ruskin, Life and Death Wallpaper - Islington
I have loved Timorous Beasties ever since I first laid eyes on their - what seemed controversial at the time - bug cushions many years ago. They have gone from strength to strength and are now leading wallpaper and fabric designers. I’m looking forward to seeing the final patterns in their Ruskin collection presented at their showroom during LDF. Expect a follow up blog post on them in the future!
Below Stairs – Sir John Soane’s Museum – Holborn
If you haven’t visited this museum before then you absolutely must – I would say it is one of the best places to visit in the whole of London - especially if you are ever able to catch their evening openings! As part of LDF four pretty incredible designers (Barber Osgerby, Jasper Morrison, Martino Gamper and Paul Cocksedge) have been asked to present some of their works as part of the Below Stairs exhibition which celebrates some of the kitchen areas of the house being opened to the public for the first time, which is another reason not to miss it.
Rockett St George Tropical Paradise at The Hoxton – Shoreditch
Hitting the ground running with their current pop-up at Liberty, the online retailer Rockett St George (recommended in my previous ‘Cool Instagram’ blog post) are redesigning the courtyard at the Hoxton Hotel and presenting their new collection of homewares inspired by balmy Indian nights. I suspect there will be lots of palms and botanicals!
Victoria & Albert Museum – South Kensington
The V&A, again, another amazing museum to be visited in its own right if you are a visitor to London, is the festival hub and is hosting an abundance of talks, workshops and exhibitions. There will definitely be something happening there for everyone – I’m especially looking forward to some of their Masterclasses – there is a session with Jonathan Barnbrook, the graphic designer responsible for David Bowie's last four album covers, and the iconic designer Patricia Urquiola. They also have a project called FOIL taking place in one of the spookiest rooms in the V&A, the tapestry room - I always get a bit freaked out when I go up there - which is an installation that scatters light across the walls and ceiling by Benjamin Hubert.
SCP/Piet Hein Eek - Shoreditch
The SCP showroom is always worth a visit for some design inspiration but during LDF, as well as launching new designs from their 2016 collection, they are exhibiting the work of Piet Hein Eek, the wonderful Dutch designer, I was lucky enough to catch his exhibition earlier in the year at Rossana Orlandi during Milan Design Week. But that's not all. They are also hosting a selection of traditional and contemporary homewares designed by craftspeople from Oaxaca in Mexico.
London Design Biennale – Somerset House
Another great building to visit and as part of LDF Somerset House is hosting the first London Biennale which will be exhibiting a list of international designers from 35 different countries and their works based around the theme of Utopia
Lee Broom - Opticality - Shoreditch
Really looking forward to seeing the transformation of the Lee Broom showroom during LDF. It's promised to be a surreal experience with an immersive optical illusion for the retail launch of his lighting collection Optical which I caught earlier in the year at Milan which was housed in the back of a delivery van!
Arper Bloggers Lounge – 100% Design – Olympia
If, fellow bloggers, you are in need a temporary workspace whilst out and about to connect to free wifi and with free refreshments on offer then visit the Italian furniture brand Arper’s dedicated bloggers lounge at 100% Design! Furnished with new and iconic pieces, the bloggers lounge will be the perfect place to recharge and connect with the digital world!