On September 14th, the London Design Festival kicked off their annual celebration and promotion of London's design community. In its 17th year, the city is transformed into a hub for projects, festival commissions, talks, installations, and events for visitors to explore.
With the citywide celebration coming to a close on September 22nd, here's a look at a few festival highlights. View images and project descriptions provided by the event coordinators below:
Life Labyrinth by PATTERNITY
Supported by Victoria and Victoria Westminster Business Improvement District
"Based on a giant three-dimensional spiralling labyrinth formation, Life Labyrinth is a pattern-based journey that takes visitors on a personal meditative walking experience that is proven to have both psychological and physical health benefits. Surrounded with plants and graphic shapes, the space is a destination for quiet contemplation, creative inspiration and reconnection to self, amidst the hustle and bustle of London life."
Walala Lounge by Camille Walala
Supported by Grosvenor Britian and Ireland and City of London
"Camille Walala returns to London Design Festival in a characteristically colorful manner. The French-born designer has been commissioned by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to energize and enliven South Molton Street, in the heart of London’s West End, with a bold and beautiful family of street furniture. Combining head-turning color and geometric shapes in monumental proportions, the result is Walala Lounge, a set of 10 sculptural benches, accompanied by planters – some freestanding and some integrated into the structure of the benches – and a series of oversized flags that will be strung, bunting-style, from shopfront to shopfront, converting the area into an immersive corridor of color."
Robin Hood Gardens panoramic film by Do Ho Suh
Supported by VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE FUND in memory of Dr. Martin Roth, Victoria Miro and Lehmann Maupin the Porter Gallery, and V&A Museum
"On the eve of destruction, the V&A salvaged a three-storey section of each facade and the interior fittings of two flats, as an internationally recognized example of Brutalism. The museum also commissioned South Korean artist Do Ho Suh, whose practice centers on the idea of home as both a physical structure and lived experience, to create a work in response to the architecture and interiors while the second of the two blocks, also due to be demolished, was still occupied. Suh’s panoramic film is a meditation on home, memory and displacement within a physical structure that is on the verge of demolition, less than 50 years after the architects’ utopian vision was realized. Suh is interested in the “intangible quality” of Robin Hood Gardens as much as its architectural shell: the “energy, history, life and memory that has accumulated there”.
Affinity in Autonomy by Sony Design
Supported by Sony Design
"Translating innovation into perceptual experiences is the theme for the creation of this interactive robotic pendulum: Affinity in Autonomy. Affinity in Autonomy represents thoughts on the future of AI and Robotics: envisioning a world in which intelligence, technology and creative design are more integrated. Sony Design believe that the relationship between humans and technology will evolve, through deeper understanding of Artificial Intelligence and its ability to display feelings. "
Legacy by Various Contributors
Supported by the American Hardwood Export Council.
"Sir John Sorrell, Chairman of London Design Festival, invited leaders of London’s cultural institutions to collaborate with some of the world’s most prolific designers to create a ‘Legacy’ piece of design – an object of personal or professional relevance to them that they would like to pass on to a family member or the institution they currently lead. Each of the pieces – 10 in total – are beautifully crafted in American red oak, an exciting and sustainable hardwood species that grows abundantly in American forests, and will be fabricated at Benchmark Furniture in Berkshire."
Idiosincratico by Martino Gamber
Suppored by Coal Drops Yard
"Presenting three significant projects, Idiosincratico gives insight into Gamper’s creative process – exploring his distinctive and playful approach to dissembling and reinventing familiar domestic objects. At the heart of each of Gamper’s projects is the notion of thinking through making and examining how process informs the physical outcome. "
Void by Dan Tobin Smith + The Experience Machine
Suppored by GEMFIELDS
"Presenting three significant projects, Idiosincratico gives insight into Gamper’s creative process – exploring his distinctive and playful approach to dissembling and reinventing familiar domestic objects. At the heart of each of Gamper’s projects is the notion of thinking through making and examining how process informs the physical outcome."
BAMBOO (竹) RING: WEAVING INTO LIGHTNESS by Kengo Kuma, John Madeksji Gardne, V&A Museum
In Partnership with OPPO
"Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, is an experiment in the concept of weaving, as explored by Kengo Kuma. Japanese architect Kuma (founder of Kengo Kuma & Associates)has most recently designed the V&A Dundee,his first building in the UK, as well as the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics along with Taisei Corporation and Azusa Sekkei. Inspired by the John Madejski Garden andcurated by Clare Farrow, the doughnut-shapedstructure – like a nest or cocoon – has been created by weaving rings of bamboo and carbon fibre together. For Kuma, working withEjiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, theinstallation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is lifted into the air."
Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge
Supported by British Land
"British designer Paul Cocksedge is transforming Finsbury Avenue Square with Please Be Seated. Located in the heart of Broadgate,
the Landmark Project will be the most ambitious of British Land’s commissions to date.
The large-scale installation, fuses innovation and technology, and responds to the changing rhythm of the community: its design
features curves for people to sit on and walk under, further enhancing London's largest pedestrianised neighbourhood. The work is
made from scaffolding planks, and Cocksedge has collaborated with high-end interiors company, White&White, to re-imagine and
re-use the building wood. "
Sea Things by Sam Jacobs
Supported by SAP
"Sam Jacob is designing a new installation within the grand entrance to the V&A which highlights the need to rethink the global plastics system; to consider its full lifetime journey; and to design future-use into every product. The concept, inspired by a pattern by Charles and Ray Eames in the V&A’s Textiles and Fashion collection, will take the form of a large scale two-way mirrored cube suspended above visitors with an animated motion graphic, created alongside Rory Cahill, internally reflected to an infinity that seems both as wide as the ocean and as large as the challenges we face. Visitors entering the impactful space will feel transported and entirely absorbed by the installation, which is both a digital and physical manifestation of the global single-use plastics crisis."
To view more highlights from the festival click here.
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