London Design Festival - The Capital's Design Hotspots

by Jamie Mitchell in News & Noteworthy

It’s often said that London is like several cities in one, and the London Design Festival, which takes place across the capital from 14 to 22 September, makes the most of this with five ‘design districts’ each with its own unique character.

Here’s our pick of some of the best things to see and do in each district.

Brompton Design District – open throughout the festival with late night opening 19 September

Leading design shops, exhibition spaces, museums and institutions on and around Brompton Road make up the Brompton Design District. Highlights from independent local retailers include an exhibition at interior design store Mint, where owner Lina Kanafani will present a selection of works by designers who embrace new concepts and production methods. Meanwhile, fans of Scandinavian design should head to Studio Skandium, where there’s a special display of work by four design studios, Stig Lindberg, Cate & Nelson and Emma Lonsdale.

This year The Conran Shop on Marylebone High Street teams up with Bradford Shellhammer, co-founder of online retailer Fab.com to host the ‘Disrupting Design’ competition, which will see a panel of experts select the best new products to put into production and sell on Fab.com. Leading international brands with showrooms on Brompton Road will also be exhibiting as part of the festival, including big names B&B Italia, Boffi and Cassina.

Also in Brompton, the V&A Museum, which is the ‘hub’ of the festival, features a special exhibition dedicated to Italian homeware brand Alessi along with design exhibitions curated specially for the festival.

Chelsea Design Quarter – open throughout the festival with late night opening 16 September

Making its design festival debut this year is the Chelsea Design Quarter, which brings together some of London’s most renowned design showrooms and established creative communities, all within an easy stroll along the King’s Road, Lots Road and Imperial Wharf.

Highlights include Crossover Creatives at The Rug Company, an exhibition exploring the relationship between catwalk fashion and interior design, and a new collection of home furnishings at Designers Guild inspired by the wonders of the Silk Route.

The Chelsea Design Quarter is also home to interiors show Focus/13 at Chelsea Harbour Design Centre

Fitzrovia Now – open throughout the festival with late night opening Wednesday 18 September

With an excellent selection of design showrooms, shops, restaurants and cafes, Fitzrovia always puts on a great show for LDF. It’s also the place to find one of the festival’s fastest growing design shows, designjunction.

This year, tile, mosaic and stone products specialist Domus celebrates the opening of its new showroom with ‘A Doll’s House’, a fundraising event presenting dolls’ houses created by 20 leading artists and architects including Zaha Hadid and David Adjaye. The houses will be auctioned for the charity KIDS.

Also in Fitzrovia, contemporary furniture brand BoConcept has asked 10 designers, including wallpaper specialists Timourous Beasties and knitwear and furniture designer Melanie Porter to customise its classic Imola chair – the finished chairs will be sold at auction at BoConcept’s Tottenham Court Road store to raise money for the charity Kids Company.

Clerkenwell Design Quarter – open throughout the festival with late night opening Tuesday 17 September

Also new for 2013, Clerkenwell Design Quarter throws open one of London’s most exciting and creative districts to festival visitors.

Highlights include an exhibition at the showroom of furniture retailer Viaduct by Belgian artist-designer duo Muller Van Severen which pushes the boundaries between contemporary design and sculpture.

Celebrating its British roots, furniture brand Modus has commissioned photographer Angela Moore to capture the landscape around its Somerset headquarters. An exhibition of limited edition prints will be on display alongside Modus’s latest furniture ranges.

Also in Clerkenwell, The Design Council, a charity which exists to promote design as a means to improving everyday life, will host ‘Active by Design’, a new initiative being launched to encourage appreciation of design and architecture through urban walking.

Shoreditch Design Triangle – open throughout the festival with late night opening Tuesday 17 September

Encompassing one of London’s trendiest and most creative areas, the Shoreditch Design Triangle promises a huge variety of activity including artisan, rural and high-tech craft, locally made products, human-centred design and an urban garden.

There will also be walking tours that take in local history, design talks, and a range of workshops. Highlights include ‘Bums on Seats’, an exhibition at Ally Capellino’s store, which sees the accessories designer present her take on the tubular stacking chair, with eight variations on the theme. Meanwhile Dutch designer and former head of design products at the Royal College of Art Tord Boontje revisits his 1991 graduation project (when he was a student at the college), exhibiting the resulting new work Magnetic Fields at his shop on Charlotte Street. The Geffrye Museum’s annual celebration of ceramics, ‘Ceramics in the City,’ returns for the festival, presenting the work of some 50 ceramicists from across the UK – a mix of rising talent and established names.

Visit the London Design Festival website for more information on the events and showrooms, taking part in this year’s festival.

Brompton Design District – www.bromptondesigndistrict.com

Chelsea Design Quarter – chelseadesignquarter.co.uk

Fitzrovia Now – fitzrovianow.com

Clerkenwell Design Quarter – www.clerkenwelldesignquarter.com

Soreditch Design Triangle – www.shoreditchdesigntriangle.com


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