With the arrival of Autumn, the London Design Festival rolls into town each year. Furniture design has traditionally been at the centre of the festival but that is just the beginning. Made up of over 400 events and exhibitions within several different design districts across the city from 17th-25th September, there is so much to see and do – in fact, there is too much so it’s good to spend a bit of time planning your visit.
Having been born in London it is all too easy to take living here for granted and even easier to stick to the areas and places that I know and am familiar with. Therefore, I love LDF as an opportunity to explore and see new and exciting things, as well as seeing areas I know well with new eyes. This year I have put together a preview of things I would love to see and do over the next few days and I hope you find it a useful starting point if you want to pop along at any point.
Furniture: Another Country I absolutely love the contemporary design of Another Country’s furniture and accessories but I have never actually visited their shop so I definitely want to take this opportunity to do so. As an added bonus this year they will be showcasing a selection of sofas from Danish manufacturer Søren Lund and lighting from Brooklyn-based Workstead so I’m hoping for lots of interiors inspiration.
Exhibition: Simple Shape One of my favourite possessions is a beautiful ceramic cup designed by Elliott Ceramics sold by Simple Shape. Therefore, I am very excited about a local to me trail through the creative streets and studios of South East London. The trail includes a Simple Shape ceramics exhibition – I can’t wait.
Art work: Brixton street gallery I grew up just down the road from Brixton and I know the street that will be used for this outdoor installation well. There will be wall art, planters and skateboarding furniture (there is a big skatepark – that I was never brave enough to go to as a child – at the top of the street) and it will be great to see a street I’ve walked down a million times completely transformed.
Workshop: London Terrariums I’m a big fan of London Terrariums, having just bought one for a birthday present, and their workshops sound brilliant. Having plants in my home brings the place to life and if you find keeping plants alive tough work a closed terrarium is perfect as they just look after themselves pretty much – give it a try!
Technology: Sony One of the things I wrangle with most about interiors is striking a good balance between function and form and Jules all too often accuses me of not getting that balance right when it comes to technology and electronics (anything with lots of cables and big black screens make me nervous!). Therefore, I’m looking forward to seeing Sony’s installation at design junction at King’s Cross. Sony have created a room where technology blends into the decor; a space that adapts to us, instead of the other way around. I’m desperate to avoid planning a whole room around where the TV can plug in (!) so I can’t wait to see this installation.
Food and drink: Rockett St George There are loads of great places to eat across LDF but the fact that Rockett St George have partnered with The Hoxton, Shoreditch to redesign their courtyard space inspired by balmy Indian Summer evenings really caught my attention. They will unveil ‘A Rockett St George Tropical Paradise’ so you get both food and interiors inspiration for the price of one.
Talk: Houzz Granary Square will be transformed by twelve bespoke red houses (they look a bit like monopoly houses), which will play home to installations. Houzz, the leading platform for home design and renovation (you can see my home featured here), will be hosting a series of totally free design clinics with industry professionals from their custom coloured ‘Houzz green house’ – definitely worth a visit if you need a bit of design advice.
Concept: Bare Minimum You all know by now how much I love a bit of minimalism and trying to live with as little as possible (you’re probably very bored of hearing about my constant decluttering efforts – another one has just begun by the way!). Therefore, I would really enjoy hearing more about this fresh perspective on minimalism in furniture and lighting design. In particular, I want to see the installation illustrating and discussing micro living in just 13 square metres; my first flat was a 30 square metre studio flat so this is right up my street.
Tour: V&A It seems a shame not to pop into the V&A during LDF so I like the idea of joining the free late night tour on 23rd September of the specially-commissioned design installations around the building and enjoying the Festival atmosphere.
Shop: Labour and Wait One of my absolute favourite London shops is this year taking part in LDF – not that I need an excuse to visit – so it would be nice to drop in to see their collaboration with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers to produce a limited edition apron in 12oz denim. No doubt I will leave with a basket full of goodies.
Open studio: Vitra workspace I love a good nose around other people’s workspaces so I’ll take any chance to check out an open studio.
Sculpture: The Smile And last, but not least, architect Alison Brooks’ landmark project for the London Design Festival is definitely worth checking out. A 3 metre upside down arc set in the grounds of the Chelsea College of Arts offers visitors the chance to take in the views of the city from the two viewing platforms at either end of The Smile.
So, I hope to get to some of these installations and events over the next week and I will be back to give you a review of what I saw and did. Hopefully, see some of you there – is there anything you are particularly looking forward to?
*This post was written in collaboration with Sony.