© Victoria & Albert Museum
© Alex Chinneck
© Anna Lomax
8 September 2015
by João Guarantani
We are looking forward to this year's London Design Festival, which starts on Saturday 19 September. This year, the Festival will see a brand new Design District, Bankside, an area dedicated to making along the Maker Mile in East London, as well as a new major hub at Somerset House.
Here is a selection of some of our favourites from the festival:
- Habitat Inside Out: Furniture from the Crafts Council Collection: Crafts Council has teamed up with Habitat to launch Inside Out, an exhibition presenting key furniture pieces from the Crafts Council Collection. With works dating from the 1970s onwards, the Collection is a rich archive of making in the UK that embraces all the main craft disciplines.
- Maker Mile: A thriving hub of art, design, technology and maker spaces in Hackney. Highlights: Mon 21 'Open Mile' a night of workshops and making demos; Tue 22 'Recode the City' a festival of flash talks showcasing ideas and new hardwares for the urban realm curated by Thomas Ermacora.
- Pieces: What is the potential of fragmentary information, and how does our imagination clarify the incomplete? This exhibition explores these ideas, taking Sir John Soane’s Museum’s eclectic and diverse collection of antiquities as a point of departure. With contributions from Paul Elliman, Gemma Holts, Sam Jacob, Peter Marigold and Study O Portable. The exhibition has been curated by Workshop for Potential Design.
- PATTERNITY: Festival of Pattern: Cult pattern pioneers PATTERNITY proudly host a cross-disciplinary pattern festival, featuring patterned projects, installations, workshops, industry talks and collaboration launches. A retrospective of PATTERNITY’s products will be showcased at the pop-up shop, including the new PATTERNITY book.
- MADE NORTH: 50th Anniversary of the British Road Sign: In 1965 the British Road Sign appeared on our streets, designed by Jock Kinneir and Margaret Calvert. To celebrate the 50th Anniversary, MADE NORTH has brought together leading designers to create 50 signs installed across London, including the Design Museum, to poetically disrupt the everyday.
- Ten Designers in the West Wing: The exhibition will present the work of an impressive list of well-established names, exhibiting in collaboration with their best clients. The participating designers, all of whom have been invited by the Festival, will create a bespoke environment in which to display their work within the recently renovated rooms in the building’s West Wing. Participating designers include Alex Rasmussen, Arik Levy, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Faye Toogood, Luca Nichetto, Jasper Morrison, nendo, Patternity, Ross Lovegrove and Tino Schaedler. Monocle Radio will have a temporary studio in the West Wing for the duration of the Festival.
- A Bullet from a Shooting Star by Alex Chinneck: This year, in collaboration with Knight Dragon, the Hong Kong based property developer, the Festival has commissioned a major project in the Greenwich Peninsula where Knight Dragon is currently developing a new district for London with 15,000 new homes.
- Design Uncovered: London Transport Museum Depot Open Weekend: Uncover the stories behind London’s transport design classics at the Museum's Depot open weekend during the London Design Festival. Learn about the development of the Johnston font - London Transport’s iconic typeface, discover the design history of the Underground’s seat fabric or join a tour.
- House of Illustration: Ladybird by Design: In celebration of 100 years of Ladybird, Ladybird by Design explores the evocative illustration and compelling design that made the books such a hit across generations of readers. Ladybird by Design features iconic images from popular Ladybird series including People At Work, Shopping With Mother, and Key Words, as well as rare photographs and correspondence.
- Anna Lomax - Luxury Goods: Anna Lomax’s exhibition Luxury Goods is created out of a love for a genuine fake and the idea of what the notion of luxury can mean. The work is focused around a series of ideas inspired by Anna's collections celebrating the pound shop, things out of reach and the place she loves the most – London.
- New Narratives: Sustain Show & Awards 2015: The annual SustainRCA Show & Awards is a barometer of how some of the greatest creative minds at the RCA are tackling some of biggest social and environmental issues, from energy and housing to the rights of nature and the circular economy.
- V&A Digital Design Weekend: The V&A Digital Design Weekend brings together artists, designers, engineers and scientists, celebrating the intersections of art, design and technology. The family friendly programme includes installations, workshops and performances, exploring civic design, sustainability and collaborative making.
- Faye Toogood: The Drawing Room: The genteel traditions of the English drawing room have been redrafted by designer Faye Toogood. Visitors to the building are invited to relax in an environment that evokes a derelict country house - although in this case the surrounds have been literally drawn in.
- Gallery FUMI - Max Lamb: My Grandfather's Tree: The Embankment Gallery at Somerset House will be the backdrop to a major installation by British designer Max Lamb. The tree in question is an old ash that had started to rot on the land of the designer’s grandfather’s farm in Yorkshire. To avoid the danger it posed to his nearby cottage, the tree was reluctantly felled. The result is sections of the tree divided into 130 logs laid out in order of diameter, with the 187 annual growth rings clearly visible. With his intention that his grandfather’s tree should survive beyond its rooted life.
- The Ogham Wall: London Design Festival have joined forces with Irish Design 2015 to commission a major installation for the V&A’s Tapestry Gallery, as part of a year-long programme celebrating Ireland’s creative talent.
It's also worth checking out the picks from a selection of figures from the heart of the design community who have chosen their top LDF events and exhibitions, including design writer and curator Henrietta Thompson; designer Dominic Wilcox; and Munira Mirza, Deputy Mayor of London for Education and Culture. Discover their recommendations on the London Design Festival website.