How to get the most out of London Design Festival

Storey
How to get the most out of London Design Festival

We’re halfway through the London Design Festival and with such an array of events, you may be finding it difficult to decide how to spend the rest of the week. Here’s our guide to getting the most out of the Festival.

This year, some of the breath-taking public installations include previous British Land collaborator Camille Walala’s colourful streetscape on South Molton Street, and designer Paul Cocksedge’s ‘Please Be Seated’ piece – transforming Finsbury Avenue Square with curved arches and seats.

Pick a route

To soak up as much as possible of what the festival has to offer, we recommend you visit one of the Festival’s design districts. With highlights including the works of globally recognised design practices such as Snøhetta and Jason Bruges Studio, the Paddington Design Route is a great place to start. Emerging talent such as Adam Nathaniel Furman and Tangent Studio form part of the route, and the newly opened Storey Club in Paddington Central will act as the route’s central hub.

Other design districts include Kings Cross, Shoreditch and Clerkenwell, and more. You can find more information on the design routes on the LDF website.

Visit one of the landmark commissions

Landmark projects are major installations which commission designers, artists and architects. Over the years, projects have appeared in iconic London hotspots such as the V&A, St Paul's Cathedral, Tate Modern and Trafalgar Square.

Be sure to check out the British Land commissioned landmark feature from internationally acclaimed designer, Paul Cocksedge, in Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate. ‘Please Be Seated’ combines innovation and technology and responds to the changing rhythm of the community, using scaffolding planks which have been curved to encourage interaction, with visitors being able sit on, walk or pause under the structure.

 ‘Please Be Seated’ combines innovation and technology and responds to the changing rhythm of the community

And if you’re looking for advice on other great things to do across the week from an industry expert, Paul had this to say: “I already know what I’ll be going to see: starting at the V&A with Kengo Kuma’s installation. The museum is always a highlight of the Festival, not just because of its interesting pieces by great designers, but because it’s a chance to go on a treasure hunt around the V&A and get lost in its magic.

“After that, I’ll head over to King’s Cross to see Martino Gamper’s Disco Carbonara. I bump into him in east London quite often, because both our studios are there, so I’m excited to see what he’s been up to. I’m interested in his use of recycled products, particularly as it’s something my studio has been exploring.”

Check out one of the free, hosted events at the V&A

It’s only fitting that the world’s leading art, design and performance museum is at the centre of London’s foremost contemporary design festival. During London Design Festival, the V&A will host more than a dozen installations and over 80 events, attracting an audience of 175,000. This year will see the Festival and V&A celebrate eleven years together as the official London Design Festival hub.

Ben Evans CBE, Director of London Design Festival, said: “At the V&A our installation programme is as diverse as ever with projects about ocean plastic, AI, bamboo, geometry in glass, and bespoke commissioning. All are stories of design and show the way that design thinking is going today.”

Exhibitions to view at the V&A this year include Bamboo Ring by Kengo Kama, Avalanche by Matthew McCormick, Sacred Geometry by Rony Plesl, and Affinity in Autonomy by Sony Design. To close the Festival, the V&A are hosting the Exhibition Road Day of Design, a street celebration that will look at the role that design thinking can play in combating climate change.

Festival-goers can also attend a stimulating series of talks, workshops, debates and tours that reflect the most innovative thinking in modern-day design. Keynote speakers include luminaries such as Kengo Kuma, Astrid Stavro, Yves Behar, Claire Bergkamp, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Deborah Riley, and Fabio Novembre.

“This year I’m excited about feasting my eyes and my brain.”  

Ross Atkin, 2019 medal winner

Design is at the heart of everything Storey does – from developing its buildings to connecting them with the communities in which they reside. As such, we’re supporting the London Design Festival Emerging Talent Design Medal for the third year in a row, which recognises an impact made on the design scene within five or so years of graduation. Ross Atkin, the 2019 winner of the medal, focuses on two areas: helping disabled people to live more independently, and introducing design and engineering to children.

We caught up with Ross to chat London Design Festival, and he said: “It’s wonderful to see how the LDF has spread to every corner of the city, and to see events run by global fashion and furniture brands juxtaposed with work from fresh graduates, new businesses, and even events questioning the very fundamentals of the design industry.

“This year I’m excited about feasting my eyes and my brain.”

We hope you enjoy everything London Design Festival has to offer – Storey certainly will!

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