London Design Festival 2022: design highlights from across the city

London Design Festival 2022 brought us a life-sized media platform, public seating by Sabine Marcelis, and exhibitions across the city’s districts

Colourful installation by Sony
(Image credit: press)

London Design Festival 2022 featured a rich programme of installations, exhibitions and events throughout the city. 

‘We consciously founded the London Design Festival to be public spirited,’ says London Design Festival chairman Sir John Sorrell. ‘Over the last 20 years, the Festival has had incredible depth of penetration and success in bringing people together and distilling new ideas.’

London Design Festival 2022 Landmark Projects

Marble seats by Sabine Marcelis near Centrepoint

Swivel by Sabine Marcelis

(Image credit: Ed Reeve)

Every year, the London Design Festival Landmark Projects let the public discover design through the city’s key locations. This year, Sabine Marcelis took over St Giles Square with an interactive installation featuring swivelling seats in contrasting stones and marbles. With the brutalist architecture of Centrepoint as the backdrop, Marcelis’ pieces invite people to stop and play, using the public space in new ways, and will remain in situ until November. 

‘This project, as with most of my work, is a celebration of materials. I wanted to respond to the space by injecting a bit of colour and fun into this urban environment. Being an interactive piece, it welcomes audiences to decide how they would like to experience the space. It could encourage strangers to interact with each other, for friends to sit together or even allow people to create a moment of pause for themselves,’ says Marcelis. 

Colourful installation by Sony

Into Sight by Sony Design

(Image credit: Ed Reeve)

Across town, at Cromwell Place was Into Sight, a ‘life-sized media platform’ presented by Sony Design inviting visitors through a journey across visual and audio. 

Special commissions and V&A Festival Hub

Henge inspired installation by the River Thames


(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Over the past few years, the festival’s reach has expanded across the city: at Canary Wharf, architects Stanton Williams and engineering firm Webb Yates presented Henge, a Neolithic-inspired stone structure designed as a circular meeting place (Wren Landing, Canary Wharf). 

At the V&A, the festival’s traditional hub, DesignSingapore Council and National Design Centre (Singapore) presented a new edition of ‘R for Repair’, co-curated by Hans Tan and Jane Withers and featuring designers from the UK and Singapore offering imaginative takes on fixing broken objects.

Plasticity by Niccolo Casas

(Image credit: press)

At the same location, Bocci’s creative director Omer Arbel showed his Material Experiments in the John Madejski Garden, featuring live-glassblowing throughout the week, creating a series of sculptures made of glass and molten copper. 

Says LDF director Ben Evans: ‘The design and creative sector in London and the UK has enjoyed a golden period this century. On our 20th anniversary, we want to take stock and move forward to ensure the festival continues to support the design community, commissions and showcases new ideas, and reflects on the key issues, from technology to sustainability to wellbeing, so that the next 20 years are as fruitful as the past 20.’ 

Design Fairs

Design London returned to North Greenwich with an expanded exhibition space, with brands including Eilersen, L Ercolani, Artemide, Zeitraum and Ton. The fair includes a talk series sponsored by Kohler. 

Over in Southbank, the Material Matters fair made its debut, taking over the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower. A concept developed from Grant Gibson’s popular design podcast of the same name, the new fair included a celebration of Layer’s cutting-edge projects (now also the subject of a new Phaidon monograph), and a site-specific installation by gallery Ruup & Form.

London Design Districts


SAS suite reconstruction by Arne Jacobsen at Fritz Hansen

(Image credit: Mark Cocksedge)

Clerkenwell is home to a cluster of showrooms representing several international brands in the city. Carl Hansen & Søn presented an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects. Authors of some of Copenhagen’s most iconic buildings, the architects have also created furniture, including the ‘Vega’ chair and ‘Foyer Series’, now reissued by the Danish company. 

Fritz Hansen has staged an installation replicating Arne Jacobsen’s iconic SAS hotel interiors, featuring new reissues from the brand and original pieces. 

VitrA has created an immersive experience in collaboration with art and design duo Carnovsky, who transformed a space in the VitrA showroom into a colourful, multilayered illustration to be discovered. 

Also in the area are Knoll, Arper and Moroso, the latter hosting the London launch of the Hidden Sound speaker alongside the nature-inspired furniture by Front, while Fredericia unveiled the ‘Plan’ collection by Barber Osgerby.

Silver furniture by MDF Italia at Aram Gallery

(Image credit: Jonas Marguet)

Architecture practice Holloway Li has partnered with Turkish manufacturer Uma to launch a series of modular seats in candy hues, showcased in its Rosebery Avenue showroom. 

At Viaduct, an exhibition celebrated ten years of Muller Van Severen, also presenting he Belgian designers’ new launches for Hay and CC-Tapis. 

Nearby, furniture store Aram hosted a celebration of MDF Italia’s 30th anniversary, presenting ‘The Principle of Lightness’ collection. 


Martino Gamper & Friends exhibition

Martino Gamper & Friends

(Image credit: press)

Across the South Kensington district, exhibitions explored the theme of ‘Make Yourself at Home’ (curated by Jane Withers Studio), with designers, creatives and makers exploring design for the domestic realm. 

‘Two Kettles, No Sofa’ at Seeds Gallery

‘Two Kettles, No Sofa’ at Seeds Gallery

(Image credit: press)

Cromwell Place acted as the district’s hub, with a diverse range of displays that include ‘No Ordinary Home’, an exhibition of ‘objects to hold a plant’ by Martino Gamper & Friends (such friends including Attua Aparicio, Max Frommeld, Jochen Holz, Max Lamb and Bethan Laura Wood among others), and ‘Two Kettles, No Sofa’ at Seeds Gallery, an exploration of moving in together by creative couple, designer James Shaw and writer Lou Stoppard.

Yellow three-seater sofa by Cozmo

(Image credit: Tom Mannion)

Modular sofa brand Cozmo presented a special edition of its sofa by Raw-Edges, featuring a removable cover made of digitally printed textile by Kornit, and 1882 Ltd presents ‘Disco Gourds’, a collection of ceramic objects by Bethan Laura Wood. Also on Cromwell Place was the collaboration between Spanish cement terrazzo producer Huguet Mallorca and Pentagram, with seven objects designed by the creative firm’s partners and curated by Astrid Stavro. 

The Conran Shop windows

‘Meet Me in the Metaverse’ at The Conran Shop

(Image credit: press)

Elsewhere, The Conran Shop (81 Fulham Road) presented ‘Meet Me in the Metaverse’, exploring future classics and how they will exist in the new virtual landscapes. 

The district is also home to some of London’s furniture showrooms, with several Italian brands grouped in the area. These include Molteni, presenting a reissue of Ignazio Gardella’s Blevio Table, B&B Italia with a display of Mario Bellini’s Le Bambole, and new products including Foster & Partners’ Cordoba chair and a special edition of Barber Osgerby Tobi-Ishi table. Also in the area is Cassina, Kartell, Meridiani, Poliform, Boffi and De Padova, Tai Ping and Poltrona Frau, the latter unveiling a collaboration with yacht design experts Winch Design.


blue alcove with sofa at Sketch London

Bethan Gray at Sketch

(Image credit: press)

The cluster of design galleries in Mayfair includes Gallery Fumi (Hay Hill), presenting ‘Haptic Nature’ by New York- and Athens-based duo Voukenas Petrides. Atelier Achille Salvagni (1A Grafton St) debuted ‘The Wonder Room’, a collaboration with Toyine Sellers featuring a ten-piece collection of furniture designed by Salvagni and upholstered in textiles by Sellers, as well as a cabinet of curiosities including objects collected by the two creatives. 

At The New Craftsmen (34 North Row), 15 artisans present pieces created as a result of a mudlarking trip to the banks of the River Thames, offering a new interpretation of the history of objects and craftsmanship. 

Curio installation at LDF

(Image credit: press)

A new online destination for collectible design, Curio made its debut during London Design Festival 2022 with an exhibition at the Nehru Centre (8 South Audley Street), titled ‘Hand in Hand – Making in the Modern Age’, with a display of new works across different disciplines. 

Furniture by Max Clendinning

Furniture by Max Clendinning

(Image credit: press)

After undergoing a makeover earlier in the year, Mayfair institution Sketch (9 Conduit St) offered a display of newly commissioned, site-specific installations by Bethan Gray, Moritz Waldemeyer and Tannaz Oroumchi, accompanied by specially-crafted cocktails. 

Gallerist Sadie Coles (8 Bury Street) hosted ‘Interior Eulogies’, an exhibition curated by Simon Andrews featuring works by architect and designer Max Clendinning.


London Design Festival 2022 will be from 17-25 September 2022

Rosa Bertoli was born in Udine, Italy, and now lives in London. Since 2014, she has been the Design Editor of Wallpaper*, where she oversees design content for the print and online editions, as well as special editorial projects. Through her role at Wallpaper*, she has written extensively about all areas of design. Rosa has been speaker and moderator for various design talks and conferences including London Craft Week, Maison & Objet, The Italian Cultural Institute (London), Clippings, Zaha Hadid Design, Kartell and Frieze Art Fair. Rosa has been on judging panels for the Chart Architecture Award, the Dutch Design Awards and the DesignGuild Marks. She has written for numerous English and Italian language publications, and worked as a content and communication consultant for fashion and design brands.