London Design Festival 2019
London Design Festival (14-22 September) moves into its 17th year, continuing to expand with two new districts and a blockbuster inaugural charting of Italian made design. Meanwhile, innovative forms of reuse, the future of living and digital design get in focus. Spanning the capital from White City to Kings Cross, exhibitions enter curious locations and installations address bolder questions. During the week, team Wallpaper* swarms the museums, galleries, routes and heritage homes to bring you the live highlights as they happen…
BAO BAO VOICE by BAO BAO ISSEY MIYAKE
Showcasing for the first time during the festival, the Japanese brand creates a multisensory exhibition that is inspired by the geometric structures of its iconic BAO BAO bags. Texture, sound and video will produce a whimsical environment, bolstered by a kaleidoscopic rainbow of 100 bags inside Protein Studios.
17-23 September; 31 New Inn Yard, London, EC2A 3EY
Custom Exercise at Ace Hotel
Reusing, repurposing and reinterpreting is on the agenda for this year’s design showcase at Ace Hotel. Libby Sellers was called upon to assign four global designers to realise products for the rootop and lobby of the hotel. Fabien Cappello will form water jugs and cutlery holders for the lobby, while on the rooftop, guests can discover room dividers by BCXSY, rugs by Raw Edges and GAN (detail pictured), and door stops presented by Diego Faivre.
17-22 September; 100 Shoreditch High St, Hackney, E1 6JQ
Snøhetta Book Pavilion in Paddington Central
Last year, the Norwegian architects were invited by British Land to create a book pavilion in the Paddington Central design route. This year, publisher Phaidon has been invited to curate an edit of titles to be featured in the rotating outdoor library. Joining these will be a selection of Wallpaper* issues for visitors to browse while wondering the West London territory.
14 – 22 September; Paddington Central, Kingdom Street, W2 6BD
Void by Dan Tobin Smith
Step into the natural existence of gemstones, including Mozambican rubies and Zambian emeralds, at this immersive installation inside Islington’s Collins Music Hall. Designer and photographer Dan Tobin Smith joins forces with The Experience Machine and Gemfields for this multisensory exploration of nature and design, bought to life via magnified photography and accompanying harmonies by female electronic drone choir NYX.
14-22 September; Collins Music Hall, 11 Islington Green, N1 2XH
PriestmanGoode at Design Museum
‘Get Onboard: Reduce. Reuse. Rethink’ is the theme of PriestmanGoode’s showcase about waste in the travel industry. In our climate of conscious travel, the studio combines its own aviation research with analysis on how creative thinking can tackle pivotal issues and drive change.
12 September 2019 – January 2020; Kensington High St, Kensington, W8 6AG
Kengo Kuma at V&A Museum
Following the epic opening of his first UK commission, V&A Dundee, the Japanese architect returns once again to the spotlight with a woven bamboo and carbon fibre installation inspired by the John Madejski Garden, and curated by Clare Farrow. The doughnut-shaped sculpture was created with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, and will float in the courtyard of the South Kensington Museum.
14-22 September; Cromwell Road, W7 2RL
LG SIGNATURE and Wallpaper*
We’re teaming up with technological powerhouse LG for an exploration of the intersections between art and technology. Inside the East Wing galleries of Somerset House, the showcase will display the LG SIGNATURE collection in an environment realised by the Wallpaper* creative team, elevating everyday items. On 18 September, the exhibition will host a lecture on creative inspiration with Italian architect Massimiliano Fukas.
19-21 September; Somerset House; Strand, WC2R 1LA
‘Please Be Seated’ by Paul Cocksedge and British Land
British designer Paul Cocksedge will turn to contemporary building structures for his architectural project ‘Please Be Seated’. Using scaffolding planks, Cocksedge collaborates with British high-end interiors company White&White to realise a sculptural pavilion inviting visitors to interact with the ‘rhythm of the community’ that circulates in Broadgate.
14 September – 11 October; Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, EC2M 2PA
Irthi at London Design Fair
Sharjah-based initiative Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council – a champion of women’s indigenous craft heritage in countries from Middle East, North Africa and South-East and Central Asia – is to launch its first product line at London Design Fair inside Truman Brewery. As Guest Country Pavilion, installation at the fair aims to be a platform for the talent of female makers in the UAE. Elsewhere at the fair, an exhibition propelling this year’s Material of the Year, Bio Materials, will be tackling issues of how to use these by-products from agriculture. Photography: Moez Achour
19-22 September; Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QR
Gitta Gschwendtner at Fenton House
Inside the 17th century Fenton House, contemporary design and heritage come head to head. The National Trust tapped design studio Gitta Gschwendtner to realise installations around the Hampstead abode. For ‘Please Sit’ Designers Michael Marriott, Nina Tolstrup, Carl Clerkin, Frith Kerr and Maisie Broadhead have been invited to focus on one element of the each of the eclectic rooms and form seating interventions.
12th September – Spring 2020; Fenton House, Hampstead Grove, NW3 6SP
Matter of Stuff at Sketch
At the Mayfair destination, design studio Matter of Stuff is giving the 5,000 cylindrical Burbridge pine dowels that were used for its 2018 installation a new lease of life. Placing them in the hands of PiM.Studio, Brodie Neill (bench pictured), Matteo Fogale, and Studio Furthermore, the exhibition ‘A Second Life’ will see these creatives recycle the product making walls, benches, light sculptures, and screens, all peppered along the atmospheric Sketch corridors.
14 September – November; 9 Conduit Street, W1S 2XG
I-MADE at Saatchi Gallery
An inaugural exhibition of Italian design and manufacturing hits London’s Saatchi Gallery part of the newly coined Chelsea Design District. This mammoth showcase of the refined culture of craft has been curated by Giulio Cappellini and will highlight icons of design from furniture stalwarts like Cappellini, Ceccotti, Driade, Flexform, Living Divani, Molteni & C, Poltrona Frau, Poliform, Technogym and many more. Pictured, Agave chair by Ethimo
19-22 September; Saatchi Gallery, Duke of York’s HQ, SW3 4RY
Hem at Play at Redchurch Rooms
Earlier this year at Salone del Mobile, the Swedish brand launched its first set of accessories curated by Modern Design Review. For its second range, they have enlisted Dutch designer Bertjan Pot for a large decorative accessory, titled The Incredible House of Cards. The playful sculpture will emulate the well-known playing card structure and will be on view in exhibition ‘Hem at Play’ as part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle.
17-22 September; 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP
Welcome Home at Elephant West
White City doesn’t sit on the official LDF trail, but there are reasons to venture west this year. Art cove Elephant West is hosting a month-long exhibition to coincide with the festival that explores the concept of the home in relation to our digital future. The experience is described as a ‘sensory journey of healing spaces of the future.’ Also fuelling the area’s uplift, De La Espada are hosting a residency (10-13 September), inviting guests into the home of the Portuguese brand’s founders via talks and dinners. Pictured, Adrift by David Rickard, part of Welcome Home at Elephant West.
6 September – 6 October; Elephant West, 62 Wood Lane, W12 7RH
Kings Cross Design District
The dynamic regeneration of this north London hub has been rewarded – it is officially a new LDF district. Design Junction returns to the area for the occasion, while Coal Drops Yard will host a landmark installation by Martino Gamper, new ceramics by Granby Workshop, and Bill Amberg’s new selection of digitally printed hides by Calico Wallpaper (pictured), Matthew Day Jackson, Champalimaud and Marcel Wanders. Nearby, Tom Dixon’s Coal Office HQ will present a multisensory lab, titled ‘TouchySmellyFeelyNoisyTasty’ that will include an exclusive collaboration with men’s care brand, Harry’s.
19 – 22 September; Stable Street, Coal Drops Yard, N1C 4DQ
Truly Truly at The Aram Gallery
The Drury lane gallery invites the experiments of Rotterdam-based Studio Truly Truly. Duo Kate and Joel Booy will reveal the non-linear nature of their creative practice through eight products and their processes. Truly Truly has teamed up with photographer Pim Top for the showcase, who has responded to the studio’s inspirations. Downstairs in the Aram Store, celebrations for the centenary of Bauhaus innovation continues with works produced by Tecnolumen on view alongside contemporary pieces by New Tendency, founded by Bauhaus alumni Manuel Goller.
16 September – 19 October 2019; 110 Drury Lane, WC2B 5SG
Masters of Disguise by SEE••DS
Opening as part of the Jane Withers-curated Brompton Design District, and responding to this year’s theme of Nature/Nurture, SEE••DS examines human nature. Designers including Sabine Marcelis, Jochen Holz, Martino Gamper and more have been invited to design masks that address questions of identity, visibility and image. The gallery enlisted Venice- and London-based design studio M–L–XL to curate the show, and the results will be showcased in a performative exhibition, realised using low-impact materials.
14 September – 15 October; 35–36 Thurloe Place, SW7 2HP