THE LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL
During the period between 16 and 24 of September, London provides the stage where professionals from around the world come and display their most recent works. Everyone, from individual artists and designers to companies and organizations, attend to this cultural and commercial festival event.
The London Design Festival was born in 2003 from the idea of both Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans. The concept was to start a periodic event to promote the already existing design activity, attracting the greatest retailers, thinkers and educators to a design celebration impossible to miss.
The festival was launched on 25 March of the same year and it was supported by every specialist London organizations. The mission is always the same even after 15 years from its start: promote London as the design capital of the world.
The Smile , Landmark Project for the London Design Festival 2016 by Alison Brooks Architects, engineered by Arup. Photo © Mba photography 2016
Since the first years of the Festival, one of the most characteristic features of LDF is the Landmark Project. During the years a large scale of supporters and partners commissioned the world’s greatest designers, architects and new talents, to create new and original structures with different materials, themes and locations. The project started in 2007, and the various works have been installed across London.
The programme is wide, with 417 projects and events staged by 301 Partner
organizations and covers 9 districts like Mayfair, Brixton, Chelsea, Islington and Shoreditch, ranging from trade events to international exhibitions, parties, product launches, seminars and talks. Everyone interested in the exhibition and design world can participate considering that most of these events are free of charge, making the festival even more suitable to the great public who will be able to learn, listen, commission and make purchases. The audience is expected to be composed by about half a million people coming from 75 different countries.
As the access to LDF is almost entirely free, the Mayor of London and the Arts Council England grant the funding for the organization of the event through a mix of public and private sources (60%). The second one is raised throughout the year by means of sponsorship of Festival projects and a small scale deliver of LDF products and services.
THE WEST KENSINGTON DESIGN DISTRICT
West Kensington's position as one of the key areas during the London Design Festival is upheld by the festival’s two largest destination: 100% Design (20-23 Sept) and the Design Museum's towering presence in the district.
100% Design, Olympia. Photo © Antonio M. / Studiostand 2017
This time last year the new Design Museum hadn't yet opened to the public, but 10 months on we welcome their debut exhibitions for the festival. The museum hosts various installations: Set in Stone is a selection of works by eight designers invited to explore the potential of marble and limestone and California: Designing Freedom will look at how the Pacific coast came to have such a powerful influence on contemporary design. In conclusion, Breathing Colour, by Hella Jongerius, will investigate the power of colour and the fuzzy boundaries between art and design.
The Interior of the New Design Museum, was developed by a design team led by John Pawson.
Photo © MBA Photography 2017