The Colour Palace at Dulwich Picture Gallery. Image by Adam Scott
London Design Festival returns to the capital for its 17th year this September 2019 with an inspiring program of events and installations across the city. This year also marks 11 years with the V&A as a collaborating partner and the official Festival hub. During the Festival, the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance will once again play host to a series of specially commissioned projects by internationally renowned designers.
Dan Tobin Smith / Void
Do Ho Suh / Robin Hood Gardens
Initially established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans, London Design Festival is an annual citywide celebration that brings together a global community of designers, artists, architects and the creative industries with a vision to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world. Since its inception, London Design Festival has grown to encompass a broad range of activities, and attracts visitors from around the world: the 2018 Festival welcomed a record-breaking 588,000 direct visitors from over 75 countries generating almost 1 million visits.
London Design Festival Director, Ben Evans says, “London has the biggest creative economy in the world, and design is a key part of it. London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London’s design excellence in a period when showcasing creativity is even more important.”
Jedd Novatt / Chaos Construction
Juliet Quintero / Terence Woodgate
For the nine days of the Festival, the unique collaboration with the V&A will once again see iconic spaces within the Museum transformed by a curated collection of displays and installations. The Museum will also play host to London Design Festival’s thought leadership program, Global Design Forum, which celebrates design with an inspirational lineup of talks, debates, daily tours and workshops. In 2018, London Design Festival and Global Design Forum helped drive 170,000 visitors to the Museum during the Festival’s tenure.
Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A says: “The V&A is once again proud to be the Festival hub for this year’s London Design Festival, bringing to life an ambitious program of events and installations which celebrate London’s role as the design capital of the world. The Festival is a wonderful opportunity for leading figures from the international creative community to engage with the V&A’s world-class collections of art, design and performance.”
The Festival receives support from the Mayor’s Office and is delighted to continue its long standing partnership with British Land as Headline Partner.
Liz West / Iri-Descent
Lucy Hardcastle / Kalostasis
Lunar House, Bohinc Studio. Saturn Pouffe and Saturn Chair. Photo Philippe Fragniere
“Each year the London Design Festival hosts a truly inspiring program of events, bringing together designers from across the world and demonstrating our position as an international creative powerhouse. The creative industries are responsible for one in six jobs in London and the Festival sends a clear message that London is open to great ideas, creativity and innovation.” –Justine Simons / Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries.
British designer Paul Cocksedge is transforming Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate with Landmark Project, Please Be Seated. Located in the heart of Broadgate – a diverse hub connecting innovation and finance – the project will be the most ambitious of British Land’s commissions to date.
The large-scale installation, fuses innovation and technology, and responds to the changing rhythm of the community: its design features curves for people to sit on and walk under, further enhancing London’s largest pedestrianized neighborhood. Made from scaffolding planks, Paul Cocksedge is collaborating with Essex-based flooring company, White&White, to re-imagine and re-use the building wood.
Martino Gamper / Idiosincratico
Tana West / (UN)WOVEN
“Every single aspect of the installation is tailored to its environment as well as the function it serves. The curves raise up to create backrests and places to sit, as well as space for people to walk under, or pause and find some shade. It walks the line between a craft object and a design solution. It occupies the square without blocking it,” says Cocksedge.
As part of the Festival, Broadgate will also collaborate with Shoreditch Design Triangle to host an exhibition and talks as well as a special Design Night in Finsbury Avenue Square.
Camille Walala returns to London Design Festival in a characteristically colorful manner. The French-born designer has been commissioned by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland to energize and enliven South Molton Street, in the heart of London’s West End, with a bold and beautiful family of street furniture. Combining head-turning color and geometric shapes in monumental proportions, the 11 unique benches of Walala Lounge will give visitors something unexpected to look at – and to sit on.
Rachel Ara, This Much I’m Worth (The Self Evaluating Artwork), 2017
Affinty in Autonomy by Sony Design
Matthew McCormick / Avalanche
Fully pedestrianized and lined with a variety of British and international boutiques and cafés, South Molton will be transformed into a place to pause. Walala’s vision is to transform the street into an open-air urban living room – a place for people to come together, chat and relax – and to disrupt the hectic pace and mundane with a burst of color and irrepressible joy into the retail heart of central London. The Walala Lounge will comprise an unpredictable array of cuboids, cylinders and arches made from brushed steel and Tricoya® MDF, while a number of the designs incorporate planters and rug-like bases to enhance their engaging, home-like appeal.
As 3D sculptural objects, the benches mark Walala’s continuing evolution from two to three dimensions – a process which began in 2017 when she created Landmark Project Villa Walala for the Festival in Exchange Square, Broadgate – her playful castle installation constructed from soft vinyl building blocks.