London Design Festival round up: Design Destinations


When? 20 – 23rd September
Where? South Bank

For 2018, the award-winning Designjunction has moved to the cultural hub of London’s South Bank, and will present more than 200 of international design brands alongside some of the world’s most iconic architectural landmarks. Taking place across three key areas – Doon Street, Riverside Walkway and Oxo Tower Wharf – Designjunction presents a series of installations; product launches; a lively talks programme; and a curated mix of bars and eateries.

Unique to London Design Festival, the show will also have a dedicated retail space where more than 70 boutique pop-up shops will be selling home wares, ceramics, textiles, accessories, prints and jewellery. The Riverside Walkway will be home to a series of outdoor installation projects, including a sustainable vault structure made entirely out of local materials, with the use of drones.

Doon Street will showcase the best in contemporary furniture, as well as accessories and materials from international design brands. The space will be housed inside a two-floor purpose built super-structure – the largest, most ambitious build Designjunction has ever undertaken. Meanwhile, exhibitions and experimental events will be hosted at Oxo Tower Wharf.

Visitors can expect to discover a range of international brands including Petite Friture, New Tendency, Northern, Bethan Gray and Light and Ochre. Highlights from this year’d Designjunction also include the presentation of the second edition of the Rado Star Prize UK, by Rado Switzerland; a live drone demonstration called the ‘Mud Shell Project’; and an innovative restaurant concept curated by Form.


When? 16 – 21st September
Where? Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

Dedicated to inspiring and informing the best in world-class design talent, Focus/18 takes place over six days at the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour; the show will host a range of talks, demonstrations, workshops, discovery tours and meet-the-designer sessions to bring design ideas to life. The curated Conversations in Designs series will see well-known designers sharing their knowledge, including Karen Howes, Adam Bray, Charles Bateson and Allegra Hicks.

Commissioned as part of Focus/18’s theme of ‘colour’, international artist Moritz Waldemeyer will be designing a bespoke installation for the show. The work will aim to transform a 12-metre walkway into an immersive colour experience; Waldemeyer has taken inspiration from coronas and the solar eclipse to create an installation that celebrates indirect illumination.

Focus/18 will also host an interactive Access All Areas programme that will offer more than 100 experimental sessions, including professional development enhancement through how-to Q&As and expert guidance. Visitors to Focus/18 will be able to get behind the scenes to view the latest design partnerships, or meet designers and find out about their latest launches and collections.

A series of workshops will also be taking place during Focus/18 which will highlight the show’s theme of ‘colour’; the workshops will explore the many ways that colour informs our designs. Colour expert Sophie Robinson will be discussing the power of colour psychology and how it can be used to invigorate the design process; for those interested in current styles, Becky Metcalfe will be rounding up this season’s most defining interior trends.

London Design Fair

When? 20 – 23rd September
Where? Old Truman Brewery

Describing itself as a four-day industrial event that is the “most international destination” of London Design Festival, London Design Fair takes place in the creative heart of East London and brings together 550 exhibitors from over 36 countries. Visitors to London Design Fair are sure to find what they are looking for, whether it’s independent designers, established brands, international country pavilions or features and exhibitions.

London Design Fair’s ‘Material of the Year’ returns for 2018, with the focus being on the highly controversial and much discussed material, plastic. However, the show will showcase four designers who are repurposing plastic in imaginative and valuable ways – showing that the material can be a new opportunity if it is reinvented to be sustainable.

This year, London Design Fair will also welcome 13 country pavilions, including Italy, South Korea, Portugal, Sweden and the Netherlands. Called ‘Dutch Stuff’, the Netherlands pavilion is particularly exciting as they debuted at London Design Fair last year; this year the showcase returns with a hand-picked selection of designers and studios from across lighting, textiles, surfaces, furniture and new materials.

For something a little closer to home, the critically acclaimed British Craft Pavilion will also be returning to London Design Fair this year. Handpicked by Hole & Corner, 40 makers from varied craft disciplines will be displaying their work, including founder of London-based Bikis Ceramics, Naomi Bikis, and woven sculpture specialist, Christabel Balfour.

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