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Top Picks: London Design Festival 2017

British Craft Pavilion © Forest and Found

© Forest and Found

British Craft Pavilion
SPACE 10 Pop-up © SPACE 10

© SPACE 10

SPACE 10 Pop-up
Creative Unions poster © Creative Unions

© Creative Unions

Creative Unions poster



25 August 2017
by João Guarantani

The London Design Festival returns this September, and the Architecture Design Fashion team have listed a few of the events, installations and exhibitions we're looking forward to seeing. 

The international design community comes to London between 16 and 24 September as the city is taken over by installations, exhibitions and events celebrating London as a world capital of design.

It can be an overwhelming experience attempting to pick what to see from the incredible wealth of projects and events on offer, so we have created a handy list of highlights below:

British Craft Pavilion

London Design Fair - 21-24 September

Dedicated to craft during the London Design Festival, the British Craft Pavilion returns to the London Design Fair for the second edition. The pavilion will double in size and will play host to over 40 selected makers, across the full spectrum of craft disciplines and specialisms, curated by Hole & Corner. Confirmed participants include; Ariane Prin, Reiko Kaneko, Temper Studio, Forest + Found, Tom’s Studio, Stoff Studios and Kana London.

A SPACE10 Pop-up

31 New Inn Yard, Shoreditch - 18-23 September

People are on the move like never before. In recent decades we've witnessed rapid urbanisation—a trend that is set to continue in the years ahead. By 2050, the proportion of people living in cities will have risen to 70 percent. And as our urban environments grow bigger and more crowded, we need to create meaningful spaces for everyday living that are both sustainable and affordable. But how do we best design our spaces of tomorrow? And what defines space in a broader context? SPACE10 will host a pop-up in Shoreditch to explore the consequences of urbanisation and the spaces we inhabit. 

Creative Unions 

Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins - 16-21 September

At the heart of the King’s Cross design district, visit Creative Unions to see how – from a board game to solve conflict or a sustainable solution for the housing crisis to fashion that’s part-propaganda – the next generation of designers are responding to current contexts with urgency and ingenuity.

Design Frontiers 

Somerset House - 18-24 September

This September will see the launch of Design Frontiers: a free, group exhibition of over 30 leading international designers at Somerset House in London. Design Frontiers will illuminate the thinking and working practices of these celebrated designers, whose work is redefining the frontiers of their disciplines: from automotive to fashion, product design to graphics, digital to performance.

Villa Walala by Camille Walala

Exchange Square, Broadgate - 16-24 Semptmber

Accompanied by squeezy stress balls and other surprises, the Villa is intended to inject a little joy into what may otherwise have been just another day at the office. Camille Walala - a ‘purveyor of positivity’ - transforms materials and spaces through her characteristic use of exuberant geometries and bold colours to inspire and stimulate her audience. Having established herself in East London, Camille Walala has created numerous installations, objects, and experiences from small to the total across the city and beyond. Camille presented at our 10x10 event at Somerset House back in 2015.

Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot  

V&A - 16-24 September

The vaulted space is lit at each end to highlight and define the dramatic 35m length of the gallery, its ceiling structure and visitors to the installation. It is illuminated with Talbot’s signature of complementary blue and orange lighting, and large black refective Barrisol panels are used to expand the width of the space, offering a fragmented view of shifting colours, faceted refections and light.

Indian Design Platform: Bold - Graphic Design from India 

Rich Mix - 7-30 September

Bold is the first exhibition to showcase the work of the current wave of Indian graphic designers. A visual feast of posters, zines, typography, films and digital works. "Bold"- Graphic Design from India will reveal the vibrancy and diversity of work underway in India's visual communications scene.

Contemporary Korean Ceramics 

V&A - 18-24 September

Some are inspired by historical ceramics, new technologies or alternative materials, others use ceramics as a medium to engage with contemporary issues ranging from pop-culture to the destruction of Korea’s architectural heritage. One of the pieces on display – an unfired clay house by Kim Juree – will be slowly dissolved in water into a puddle of mud. Kim uses ceramics as a way of commenting on the constant cycle of urban development in modern Seoul and the disappearance of its architectural legacy.

Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?

Wellcome Collection - 7 September 2017-14 January 2018

'Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?' considers the persuasive strategies employed in shaping public perceptions around smoking, featuring luxuriant advertising campaigns from the 1980s alongside objects showing the impact of plain packaging and anti-smoking imagery found in formats as small as postage stamps. It will also reveal the imaginative educational approaches taken to instruct us about our bodies, from 16th century anatomical pop-up books to 21st century apps, through to comic books advocating safe sex.

For more expert tips - head to the Insiders Guide for LDF picks by designer Benjamin Hubert, architect Alison Brooks and British-Dutch duo Glithero.