Welcome to the London Design Festival guide, here to help you navigate the design capital of the world. For nine days in September, London provides the stage for thousands of exclusive designers and artists, corporations, associations and societies to come together to display their latest works. London Design Festival is an annual event, held to honor and promote London as the gateway to the international creative community. The Festival returns to venues and institutions across the city from 15-23 September 2018.
Throughout the Festival, we invite you to take a closer look at their diverse output, from the understated to the flamboyant, the commercial to the conceptual, and the practical to the improbable. This London guide was created to help you navigate the incredibly diverse list of events, exhibitions, and installations, taking place across the capital. Enjoy exploring this year’s edition with our city guide dedicated to the celebration of design.
Syon Park | 16 – 19 of September 2018
Decorex International is one of the city’s main events during the London Design Festival, where the world-renown interior designer, furniture makers, and product designers working in the residential and commercial markets exhibit their work. Aimed at professionals in the field of interior design, architecture, this 4-day event is packed with a solid selection of talks and workshops, as well as an extensive exhibitors list which has been carefully picked for the target audience.
In this year’s edition, the Decorex team introduced a strict application process, slightly reducing the overall size of the event, raising the standards for visitors. The iconic champagne bar has also been redesigned by Lambart & Browne, recognized for numerous hospitality projects in London, under the theme “Bon viveur”, taking the form of tent structure on a raised platform adorned with luxury furniture pieces, and elegant lighting features.
Additionally, this year’s lecture series sees a very interesting mix of notable industry personalities. We leave the reader with the following recommendation:
- Catch Tricia Guild O.B.E (founder of Designers Guild) “A life in design” talk on 18th September at 13h. Tricia and Ben Spriggs, Executive Editor or Elle Decoration, discuss Designers Guild, Tricia’s love for patterns and colors, as well as her work with Maggie’s charity project.
- Don’t miss a formidable panel with Matteo Bianchi, Katharine Pooley, Staffan Tollgard, Jo Hamilton and Letitia Fitzgibbon – “From project to product: an interior designers take on product design”, on the 17th September, at 15h, where the group will discuss the growing trend of interior designers experimenting with a product,
- Be sure to visit stand H42 to meet Rugs’ Society and Boca do Lobo, the rug and furniture maker duo that break the boundaries of design and conventional aesthetics, in their fields of specialty.
Olympia London | 19 – 22 of September
100% Design, known for being the largest event during the London Design Festival, is the host to award-winning architects, designers and makers and a curated selection of world leading brands. As the meeting place for business and design in London, the event includes installations, talks, and workshops for a diverse audience.
This year’s edition launches 100% Build London, a new showcase dedicated to procurement and resourcing for the construction and architectural industries. Other highlights for this year include the participation of interior architecture magnates YOO, who will co-host a talk and design showcase throughout the week.
With many industry heavyweights participating in this year’s talks and showcases, we recommend visitors pen the following events into their agendas:
- Hear Max Fraser in Conversation with Thomas Heatherwick, discussing the vision for Olympia London on the 19th of September at 11h. The talk will also include YOO’s Chairman John Hitchcox, and Heatherwick Studio’s Eliot Postma.
- Wallpaper magazine’s Digital Editor, Bethan Ryder, meets upcoming design star Ini Archibong, also on the 19th of September at 14h. They will explore the creative’s portfolio of work, emphasizing his interest in craftsmanship and enthusiasm over materials such as glass, marble, and leather.
- Two of architecture and design’s largest names – Dezeen and Yoo, host a live session on the 20th of September at 11h. Marcus Fairs, editor in chief of Dezeen will talk with YOO Creative Directors Kelly Hoppen MBE and Marcel Wanders, together with YOO Chairman John Hitchcox.
- Moreover, YOO will also be hosting a special showcase entitled “Creating communities and enhancing environments through design” where they will cover their approach to design and creating spaces, over the past 20 tears
- Visit lighting design and mid-century-modern inspired design specialists, Delightfull at stand L340, and learn how the combine past heritage and forward-looking creativity to create solutions for the emerging needs of the future.
Design Centre Chelsea Harbour | 16 – 21 of September
Focus/18 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour is universally recognized as a primary destination for creative excellence, bringing together thousands of tastemakers from the worlds of interior design, architecture, and style.
- Interior designer Alexandra Champalimaud presents her latest outdoor collection for Holland & Sherry.
- Carley Bean, head of design at Cole & Son, showcases the new Botanical collection with ‘live’ painting and a gin tasting.
LONDON DESIGN BIENNALE
Somerset House Strand | 4 – 23 September
The 2018 London Design Biennale will be devoted to the theme, Emotional States. National entries will explore how design affects every aspect of our lives – the way we live and how we live – but it can also influence our very being, our emotions, and experiences.
- British yacht maker, Princess Yachts, presents a new dazzle for their latest and most provocative project: The R-35. This one-of-a-kind luxury yacht sees its dazzle designed by Katie Sheppard, a BA student from the Plymouth College or Art, as well as partnerships with BAR Technologies (the creators of British America’s Cup challengers), and the world renown design studio Pininfarina.
- The installation by Biome Collective for Scotland, will investigate whether video games can help to start young people talk about their mental health. Shpeel, invites individuals to share their emotions via gaming techniques and 360-degree sound and animation. The technology then produces an avatar that imitates these feelings, giving people an alternative communicative therapy to words.