8 Must-See Highlights This Week At London Design Festival 2019

Today sparks the launch of London Design Festival, now in its 17th year since its inauguration in 2003. One of London’s calendar highlights, the event brings talent from all over the world and continues to showcase a wealth of skill and innovation at the forefront of the industry.

Running until 22nd September, the festival now contains eleven design districts with showrooms, pop-ups and site-specific installations open for all to enjoy. Design, when showcased at forums like this, becomes an industry where discussions around wider global issues can proceed. This year sees a huge array of topics addressed including mental health, wellbeing, environmental pressures and climate change.

These eight selections showcase just a small segment of the depth and variety of work on display during one of London’s busiest weeks of the year.

A Second Life by Matter Of Stuff in collaboration with Sketch

Today In: Lifestyle

Design and manufacturing consultancy, Matter of Stuff, has commissioned one architecture and three design studios in an installation at the renowned Mayfair restaurant, Sketch. The event runs until November and showcases a selection of designs made using one single raw material: wooden dowels salvaged from a gallery installation by Matter of Stuff at last years festival. Drawing attention to the need for a circular design mindset, PiM.studio Architects have created a temporary wall structure in the entrance of the restaurant. Brodie Neill, a designer who often works with waste materials, has created the Latitude Bench from 137 dowels, handcrafted in his East London studio. Designer Matteo Fogale has collaborated with stylist and costume designer, Emma Archer, to create a screen incorporating left-over fabrics from textile house, Kvadrat, while Studio Futhermore have utilised sawdust to create a series of light sculptures.

To celebrate the Festival, Sketch mixologists have created a cocktail named A Second Life, available throughout this coming week.

Sketch, 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG

‘Please Be Seated’ by Paul Cocksedge

Commissioned by Broadgate, British Land’s Landmark project repurposes scaffolding boards which the community can sit on and walk under through the pedestrianised area of Broadgate. Cocksedge has collaborated with Essex-based interiors company, White & White, to create the design which will be in situ till 11th October. Aiming to create a functional design which provokes discussion around the re-use of materials, Cocksedge will join a panel discussion at The Space in Broadgate (an exhibition of his work) at 6.30pm on Tuesday 17th September to give further insight into the project.

Broadgate, EC2M 2PA

The Fleet Fountain by London Fountain Co

As part of last years’ Brompton Design District, designer Michael Anastassiades collaborated with The London Fountain Co in a bid to drive consumers away from single-use plastic by providing a refillable water point within the area. Commissioned by South Kensington Estates, this year celebrates its permanency, opening up a gateway to further fountains in the future with the aim of raising awareness around the issues of plastic consumption. London Fountain Co is an initiative headed up by Charles Asprey and Jane Withers – founder of Jane Withers Studio who have curated the ‘Nature, Nurture’ theme running through this years’ Brompton Design District events.

Thurloe Street, Near South Kensington Underground Station

The ‘Legacy’ Project

The Legacy project, conceived by the AHEC (American Hardwood Export Council) and the Chairman of London Design Festival, Sir John Sorrel, has brought together leaders of London’s cultural institutions and a selection of notable designers to create ten installations, nine of which are on show at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The final piece, the Nest by Juliet Quintero of Dallas-Pierce-Quintero, is situated outside the Natural History Museum. Each design has been produced at Benchmark’s furniture workshops, all crafted using American Red Oak, a fast-growing sustainable hardwood. The designers involved alongside Quintero are Studiomama, Marlène Huissoud, Raw Edges, Tomoko Azumi, Max Lamb, Martino Gamper, Jasper Morrison, Sebastian Cox and Terence Woodgate.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, SW7 2RL

Material Studio at 100% Design

Material Studio, curated by Material Driven, brings together a selection of new and innovative materials from designers and brands across the globe. Addressing issues such as environmental pollution and industrial waste, the library seeks to provide a resource which offers designers and architects a diverse and sustainable choice when working on new concepts and projects. Included in this is a preview of Ultraleather | Volar Bio – the first bio-based collection of performance fabrics by Ultrafabrics. This launch highlights the brand’s dedicated commitment towards a sustainable future. With a goal to include bio-based/recycled ingredients in half of all new products by 2025, the company is remaining transparent with their journey and by 2030 this goal will increase to 100% with existing collections being evaluated along the way.

100% Design, Olympia London, Hammersmith Rd, Hammersmith, London W14 8UX

‘Talk to Me’ by Steuart Padwick at designjunction

In support of the mental health anti-stigma campaign, Time to ChangeBritish designer Steuart Padwick has created a two-piece interactive installation resulting in two giant cuboid wooden figures standing at 5.5 metres tall. With sensors activated by passers-by, these figures will vocalise uplifting messages and words composed by renowned poets, writers, actors and ambassadors including Uncle Errol, Charlotte Newman and Rachel Joyce. This installation is part of designjunction, held in the Kings Cross Design District.

Kings Boulevard, Kings Cross

The Greenhouse by LSA & Friends

In a 50th Anniversary celebration, LSA International are exhibiting as part of designjunction in ‘The Greenhouse’, an immersive experience which showcases their latest 100% recycled glass collection, CANOPY, which they launched in collaboration with the Eden Project. Based in Coal Drops Yard, the Greenhouse will host a variety of events including flower arranging and terrarium workshops.

designjunction, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross

Ad Infinitum by Sella Concept for The Conran Shop

Stellar design duo, Tatjana von Stein and Gayle Noonan, have transformed the windows of the South Kensington design store with four showcase spaces around four Conran-exclusive pieces. Incorporating elements of postmodernism, abstract shapes and reflective surfaces, the exhibition alludes to the timeless aspect of each design. Playing with sound, angles and perspective, viewers are invited to walk amongst the installation to appreciate the immersive experience it offers. The exhibition runs until 30th September and takes inspiration from Mexican architect Luis Barragán’s innovative use of space and colour.


Loknath Das