I am so excited about London Design Festival – actual, real events taking place across the capital later this month. Here are all the details of where to go and what to see.
From 18 to 26 September, London Design Festival 2021 (LDF) will celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world. There are three major exhibitions to explore: Focus, Design London and Planted as swell as six design districts from Clerkenwell to Mayfair. Add to that showroom openings and pop up galleries and your diary will be filled for the full seven days.
You can find more details on the London Design Festival website. But, for now, here is my summary of what’s worth seeing. Remember, you will need to register in advance for the main shows, I’ve included all the links below.
Focus 20 – 24 September
At last, in-person events will be back at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour for Focus/21. As well as existing showrooms launching their A/W collections, there are new showrooms to explore, these include EccoTrading the UK brand renowned for its wood finishes, hand cast bronze and leather; Australia’s ABI Interiors, which sells brassware for the kitchen and bathroom; and Italian furniture, upholstery and lighting brand Visionnaire.
The Design Avenue will play host to a raft of house guests including Casa Botelho, Tania Johnson and Rapture & Wright and there is a curated programme that will feature talks, workshops, meet the designer sessions and demonstrations.
On Monday 20 I’m hosting a session in conjunction with the BIID called Scaling with Confidence. So, if you are an interior designer looking to grow your business I hope to see you there.
Register for Focus here
Design London 22 – 25 September
Situated alongside a dynamic new Design District on Greenwich Peninsula, the inaugural Design London will focus on contemporary design from around the world. Exhibitors include Penta, Artemide, Thonet and Haberdashery. The striking venue will also showcase lighting installations and a specially built Danish Pavilion.
There is also an exciting programme of talks and panel discussions including conversations with Yinka Ilori, Henry Holland and (not to be missed) my chat with design duo Eley Kishimoto on Friday 24. You can find the full programme of events here
To register for Design London click here
Planted 23 – 26 September
Planted is a new design show aimed at reconnecting people and spaces with nature. Located at Kings Cross, Planted will present a line-up of brands who place nature and sustainability at the core of their business.
Planted will occupy a number of spaces throughout Coal Drops Yard, Granary Square and Lewis Cubitt Square and promises to be the first zero waste design show.
Exploring a sustainable vision of the future, Planted works only with brands who place nature and sustainability at their core, such as Another Country, Benchmark, Naturalmat, Very Good & Proper and Nikari .
Register to attend on the Planted website.
As well as the key exhibitions there are also smaller events throughout London Design Festival 2021 that are worth a visit, including The Makers Market, 20 – 24 September. This pop up is at The Royal Exchange, celebrating the building’s 450th anniversary. The Makers Market is a platform for design led brands and makers to exhibit and sell handcrafted products. Brands taking part include Blackpop, Rekha Maker and Samantha Sweet
Or head over to Dray Walk Gallery in the Truman Brewery for Tactile Baltics 18 September to 3 October. This show offers an insight into an eclectic mix of designs from the three Baltic countries Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Baltic design has a tactile quality rooted in traditional craft.
Around the edges
Make sure you are wearing comfy shoes, because in addition to the main London Design Festival 2021 shows – Focus, Design London and Planted, many design showrooms are throwing open their doors and launching new products during LDF.
Isokon Plus is launching its first collaboration with British designer Jasper Morrison during LDF, the Iso Lounge is a striking cantilevered chair manufactured form engineered plywood. The chair will be showcased at 14 Cavendish Square
British lighting brand Bert Frank will unveil Vima at its Clerkenwell showroom which, for one week only, will be transformed into a gallery style display. The lighting collection takes design cues from the bold geometric shapes found in Art Deco architecture
Sticking with lighting, British Lighting studio J. Adams & Co will debut its first London showroom during LDF. Opening in Clerkenwell, collections on display will include the best selling Flume and the recently launched Nova.
East London rug company FLOOR_STORY has collaborated with Henry Holland on a series of rugs integrating bold patterns and classic rave iconography – including smiley faces and psychedelic-style patterns. Feel the vibe at the Floor Story showroom in Hackney