London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world.
The 19th edition of the London Design Festival triumphantly returned to the capital for nine days this month featuring 200 events and a mix of design-related talks, workshops, trade shows and installations.
From large-scale outdoor installations to design-led talks and hands-on workshops, London Design Festival is a city-wide celebration of the best in contemporary design and we take a moment to look back at some of the standout exhibits on show along with some still available to explore in person and online…
Design London | Design District at Greenwich Peninsula
Making its debut during London Design Festival 2021, Design London showcased a curated selection of cutting-edge furniture, lighting and contract interiors brands as well as collaborations with renowned and emerging designers.
After months of extensive planning, Design London welcomed the architecture and design community to London’s new favourite neighbourhood, North Greenwich. As the largest destination for contemporary design at this year’s London Design Festival, the show featured a highly curated selection of cutting-edge furniture, lighting and contract interiors brands, countless collaborations and a comprehensive talks programme on the Greenwich Peninsula.
Across the four days of Design London explored everything from sought-after brands, to topical discussions in a kaleidoscopic auditorium and exclusive parties. The striking venue also showcased an array of captivating lighting installations plus a specially built Danish Pavilion and an unmissable design film premiere.
On show until 03 October, Tactile Baltics invites people to discover the Baltics and the region’s deep-rooted connection to nature. With a focus on tactility, visitors can feel the environment around them as they trace a path through the exhibition.
This showcase of creativity from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia presents 18 contemporary design projects by established and up-and-coming names. As a region with a deep cultural connection to nature and craft, the exhibition in Dray Walk Gallery, Shoreditch highlights the sensory aspect of Baltic design via furniture, jewellery, textiles and lighting.
Look out for Vita Vaitiekūnaitė’s ‘Waves’ collection, made using a unique Lithuanian technique where hot ceramics are soaked in bread leaven, and rugs by Agnė Kučerenkaitė that repurpose industrial and food waste.
Design For Our Times: Material Innovation
Presented by Design Exhibition Scotland (DES), Design for our Times focused on material innovation in design. Exploring fresh ideas from a range of designers, their vital aim was to share their insights, vision and inspiration and, of course, prompt us all to rethink our daily lives and the materials we use.
Pioneering circular projects that respond to our contemporary challenges were highlighted, including: building bricks by K-Briq made of 90% construction waste; furniture made of ‘spent grain’ leftover from whisky and gin distilling by Draff Studio; tree shelters made of mycelium by recent design graduate Catriona Brown; and furniture by Chalk Plaster that harnesses gypsum extracted from unwanted plasterboard. Four ingenious projects that explore new ways of working.
To further explore DES’s work, take a look online as they examine concepts including design innovation, art & architecture and design classics alongside material innovation and product design.
Landmark Project: Medusa | Brompton
Medusa by Architect Sou Fujimoto and production studio and technology developer Tin Drum was a mixed reality project examining structure, nature and visualisation at the V&A Museum.
Tin Drum produces Mixed Reality content, a similar experience to what Augmented Reality delivers, but through an emerging class of see-through display devices, blending a uniquely dimensional form with the real world.
Tin Drum introduced a new way to experience Fujimoto’s iconic interchange of nature and architecture by invoking a collective human experience. Inspired in part by the aurora borealis and underwater bioluminescence, Medusa’s structure changed and evolved based on the movement of its admirers, elevating audiences to become part of a mixed experience.
“This is the first time I am designing architecture with non-physical materials – it’s using light and pure expanse of the space. It’s an architecture experience but completely new and different” – Sou Fujimoto
Now in its third year, this King’s Cross-based design show, Planted, was dedicated to ‘reconnecting people and spaces to nature’.
For 2021, the offering was more ambitious than ever with three sections; ‘Natural Living,’ ‘Botanical Market’ and ‘Sustainable Design’, including ‘Green Grads’, a showcase of over 30 design graduates focusing on issues of sustainability. It was also the world’s first zero-waste design event, meaning every element of the build and show will be recycled or reused.
For a taste of their sustainable vision of the future, their online Journal entries cover everything from repurposing our waste and becoming a biophilic city to a new take on ‘Where The Wild Things Are’…