The Ultimate Guide to London Design Festival 2018

The London Design Festival is the annual celebration of new launches, eye-catching installations, and discovery trails. This annual celebration of all things design is back, and it’s bigger than ever. So trend book brings to you the Ultimate Guide to London Design Festival 2018.

1. Designjunction

This event moves to a new venue this year on London’s South Bank and highlights include candy-like Dipping lamps by Spanish lighting supremo Marset and Czech designer Lucie Koldova’s curvaceous Chips lounge chair for a TON.

Design Junction will also host various pop-up shops, including an immersive scent lab by The Experimental Perfume Club. From 20-23 September.

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2. Focus/18

Fabric, furniture, and wallpaper get down to the Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour to catch the first glimpse of launches from over 600 high-end brands, as well as a programme of talks, tours, and workshops.
Exuberant colour is a major trend at Focus/18this year. Pierre Frey’s bold, multicolored Double Jeux embossed vinyl wallpapers (including the multicolored Plein Été, below) sum up the mood, while Jean Monro’s Lustmore fabric, a design of foxgloves on linen, sees the brand experiment with vibrant shades. From 16-21 September.

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3. Decorex

From 16-19 September, Decorex at Syon Park hosts a wealth of design launches, with over 400 stands of new furniture, craft, and textiles. Focusing on craft talent, the Future Heritage exhibition presents work by glassblower Jochen Holz, who uses ancient techniques to create abstract neon lighting and colorful vessels. Also on show will be a delicate ceramic sculpture by Kaori Tatebayashi (below), based on flowers in Syon Park’s grounds. And you can see brands like Luxxu and Maison Valentina at  Covet House at Stand H47.

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4. London Design Fair

Held at the Old Truman Brewery in Shoreditch, the London Design Fair has exhibitors from 36 countries and 13 national pavilions. Look out for Korea, Japan, and Finland, as well as designs from Chinese designer Mario Tsai (below). Among the home-grown launches, you’ll see pottery by Bikis Ceramics and Christabel Balfour’s rugs at the British Craft Pavilion.

Among the home-grown launches, there’s 1970s-style pottery from Bikis Ceramics and Christabel Balfour’s architecture-inspired rugs at the British Craft Pavilion. From 20-23 September.

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5. 100% Design

100% Design with an emerging talent is the theme with two new exhibitions, 100% Futures and 100% Forward. The first celebrates London studios, while the latter highlights the work of eight new designers, including Daniel Schofield. From 19-22 September. You also can find the brand Delightful at the Stand L340 as well as Essential Home. 

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6. Brixton Design Trail

Head to SW9 to see Paste, RCA graduate Christopher Riggio’s ceramic installation at recently redeveloped local landmark The Department Store (below).

Another highlight will be The Eco Cube by Up circle Studio on Atlantic Road – a pavilion showcasing a variety of locally made, sustainable crafts. From 15-23 September.

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7. Cdq

A diverse group of showrooms is taking part in this year’s design trail: head to Tom Faulkner for new handmade furniture and a collaboration with bespoke materials expert Rupert Bevan; Roca London Gallery for an exhibition on smart cities and new London architecture; and Go Modern for the latest European design by Bonaldo, Mogg and Saba Italia.

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8. London Design Biennale

The second edition of this event at Somerset House has a new design from six continents. The theme is Emotional States, so expect a variety of work that explores how design affects our state of mind. Among the nations and regions contributing are Colombia, Latvia, and Hong Kong. Froom 4-23 September.

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9. Marylebone Design District

A new addition for this year’s festival, the Marylebone area boasts big stores such as Selfridges alongside independent boutiques like David Mellor and Another Country. All three will be taking part, as well as many other retailers staging a mix of workshops, demonstrations, and launches. From 19-23 September.

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10. Brompton Design District

Brompton design district This area is a hub of big-name brands showing new collections – B&B Italia, Kartell, and Cassina to name but three. Don’t miss a show by London-based Mexican designer Fernando Laposse (below) at 199 Brompton Road, showing his sustainable Totomoxtle veneer made from Mexican corn.

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11. Bankside Design District

There are plenty of reasons to head to Bankside this year, including typography studio Type Tasting’s workshops exploring the story of fonts, civilization, and gin; sign-writing workshops courtesy of Better Letters’ pop-up graphics school; and a talk at the Globe theatre on its new visual identity.

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12. Pimplico Road Design District

Don’t miss the talk between interior designer Tom Bartlett and fabric doyenne Bernie de Le Cuona, whose new showroom is on Pimlico Road, 20 September, at 10 am.

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13. Vanderhurd X Adam Bray

Rug designer Christine Van Der Hurd has teamed up with interior decorator Adam Bray to put a new spin on the traditional Moroccan rug. Featuring a bright border framing a swathe of natural wool or hemp, the rug is aimed at cool, urban interiors and will launch at Van Der Hurd’s Portobello Road studio.

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14. The Eco Townhouse at Skadium

The ethical design is the theme at the Nordic design store, with products that exhibit high levels of ‘ethical commitment’. Two brands take the lead in designing the exhibition: Skagerak and Danish storage specialist Montana, which has enlisted architect Helena Laursen to decorate two floors in its signature bold color palette.

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15. Obervatory at Lee Broom

The designer will transform his Shoreditch showroom for the UK launch of his stellar-inspired Observatory collection, which plays with spherical forms and light reflections. The range includes the Eclipse design with its mirrored disc forms and Lens Flair, which incorporates prismatic lens glass for diffused illumination.

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16.  Donna Wilson Pop-up Shop

The Scottish designer is celebrating 15 years in business with a raft of events near her Shoreditch studio. On Charlotte Road, there’s a pop-up shop with pieces from the AW18 collection and there will be 15 events in total, including workshops and talks. There’s a pop-up shop on Charlotte Road featuring pieces from the new AW18 collection, including Wilson’s famous knitted creatures, blankets, cushions, and ceramics. There will be workshops, talks, and collaborations with designer friends. From 17-22 September.

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17. Original BTC X Superfront Collab

We love a collab and LDF often comes up trumps. One of this years best is from Original BTC Lighting and Superfront, a Swedish brand is known for creating rather lovely mix-and-match handles and legs which all work cleverly with Ikea cabinetry. Lighting and handles are often hard to visualize in out of context but these two brands show how together they can create something that blends Chelsea Harbour chic, Shoreditch style, and Stockholm ingenuity.

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18. Heal’s

The London store celebrates women designers, architects and cultural figures during LDF with a series of window displays featuring designs by notable figures – from Jessie Burton, Jacqueline Rabun, Marina Diamandis and Annie Sloan to Melissa Hemsley.

Plus, visitors will be able to see the new AW18 collection, which includes midcentury-inspired cushions and throws by British designer Eleanor Pritchard.

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19. V&A Installations

Unmissable events abound at this LDF hub. The MultiPly pavilion in the Sackler Courtyard is a collaboration between Waugh Thistleton Architects, the American Hardwood Export Council and ARUP that explores the global housing crisis.

Memory & Light (below) is a sound installation by Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, which will take over the Norfolk House Music Room. Set up by curator Jane Withers and publisher Charles Asprey, The London Fountain Company aims to revive the tradition of drinking fountains and reduce plastic bottle usage. It has enlisted designer Michael Anastassiades to create a prototype (below) for the V&A’s John Madejski garden. From 15-23 September.

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20. De Sede At Harrots

To celebrate the opening of its shop-in-shop at Harrods, Swiss heritage brand de Sede is presenting a new range of furniture, rugs and indoor-outdoor designs. The most spectacular is surely the DS-1000 daybed in quilted brown leather and gold metal – an exclusive finish for Harrods.

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