What to catch at the last weekend of the London Design Festival
- Arusa Qureshi
- 22 September 2017
Elias and Yousef Anastas: While We Wait / credit: Edmund Sumner
Visit a colourful pop-up bouncy castle, take a stroll through Brixton or see works by some top designers and makers
The annual London Design Festival officially kicked off last weekend, with hundreds of events taking place in locations all around the city. From bold and awe-inspiring installations to huge fairs and trade shows, there's much to explore if you're into your design, craft and textiles. With only a weekend left to peruse the many works of art on display, we've rounded up some of the top things to see and do before the festival comes to a close.
Known as London's cultural district, Bankside has a number of interesting events, exhibitions and installations popping up again this year as part of London Design Festival. Many will be linked to the theme of typography, with a focus on fonts and types running throughout. Highlights include San Francisco's Letterform Archive, who will be exhibiting in the UK for the first time, showcasing work by W.A. Dwiggins, Emigre Inc, Eric Gill, Philip Grushkin and others. There's also the Better Letters Glowing Alphabet Peep Show, a glow in the dark installation at the Hilton Bankside, which features 27 original signwritten works and Colourful Crossing, a temporary installation by Thierry Noir, the first artist to paint the Berlin Wall, which transforms a pedestrian crossing on Southwark Street.
Various locations, Bankside, until 24 Sep, free.
London Design Fair
It may be more of an industry event, but the London Design Fair is still well worth a look around, with a huge number of international exhibitions, pavilions, designers and brands in one location. With exhibitors from over 28 countries, it's your chance to spot the latest trends in furniture, textiles and more from all around the world. This year's guest country is the USA so don't miss Sight Unseen's pavilion, which includes the work of USA based designers and studios. Scottish designers from a variety of disciplines are also heading down to London to exhibit in the Scottish Craft & Design Pavilion. Check out glass designer Carrie Fertig's collection of chandeliers, based on the theme of icicles, Shaun Fraser's bronze and glass bowls cast in Caithness and Lynne MacLachlan's collection of wall tiles 3D printed in nylon and hand dyed.
Old Truman Brewery, until 24 Sep, £15 (£6).
Leading product design agency Vitamin London are hosting a unique event as part of LDF, which investigates the blurring lines between virtual and reality. Over sixteen artists will be showing works through a series of immersive exhibitions exploring concepts like a cyborg future, which aim to shock and intrigue viewers. Installations include Mandy Hreus' Lightmusic, an exhibition which explores the visible and invisible electromagnetic spectrum through light, sound and heart rate of the visitor and Lesley-Ann Daley's Anthropomorphic Sensory Augmentation, which takes a look our obsession with fitness using sensors and monitors.
Oxo Tower, Barge House Street, until 24 Sep, free.
LDF at the V&A
Every year, the V&A plays host to a number of interesting and specially commissioned installations and exhibitions, created by an international lineup of designers. Sitting in locations around the gallery this year, you'll find Flynn Talbot's Reflection Room, an immersive coloured light experience that makes use of the Prince Consort Gallery, Ross Lovegrove's Transmission, a 21.3 meters long fluid sculpture of folded material and While We Wait, an installation by Bethlehem-based architects Elias and Yousef Anastas.
V&A, Cromwell Road, until 24 Sep, free.
Over 30 leading international designers have taken over Somerset House for Design Frontiers, a new group exhibition that brings together some of the best examples of design from the world over. The exhibition is all about celebrating works that are pushing boundaries in a range of disciplines from product design to fashion, with featured designers including Arik Levy, Benjamin Hubert, Kvadrat and Dominic Lippa.
Somerset House, until 24 Sep, free but booking essential
Textile designer Camille Walala has transformed Broadgate with her colourful and playful giant inflatable sculpture. With a huge bouncy castle at its centre covered with vibrant patterns, the work is inspired by the bold shapes and colours of the Memphis Group. You'll find Villa Walala all over Instagram if you search but the installation is also intended to give city workers a place to de-stress and chill out, like some kind of artsy zen playground.
Exchange Square, until 24 Sep, free.
Brixton Design Trail
Returning for its second year, the Brixton Design Trail is an excellent addition to the LDF programme and one well worth taking advantage of. This year's theme is 'Love is Power', with many of the installations, workshops and more organised with the aim of celebrating difference and community. Brooklyn Playing Fields, for example, is a free outdoor installation by Studio HE which focuses on the benefits of play and public spaces within our cities. Untranslation by Sam Furness and Toni Hollis honours the many languages spoken in Brixton through an installation of flags, while Revolution of Kindness shows bold messages on the high street, inspired by inspirational quotes from the community.
Various locations, Brixton, until 24 Sep, free.
Set in Stone at the Design Museum
A project that has been two years in the making, Set in Stone is an exhibition in which designers and architects from around the world have been invited to respond to the possibilities, qualities and technical means of Portuguese marble and limestone. The work of nine of these designers has been included in the exhibition, displayed both inside and outside the Design Museum's new Kensington site. Wandering around the museum, you'll see works by Elemental, Eduardo Souto de Moura, Jasper Morrison, Michael Anastassiades, Jorge Silva, Paulo David, Peter Saville, Sagmeister & Walsh and Miguel Vieira Baptista.
Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High St, until 24 Sep, free.
London Design Festival
Annual festival that showcases the best in craft and design in locations around London. Highlights for 2017 include Camille Walala's Villa Walala and Flynn Talbot's Reflection Room at the V&A.