It’s a London thing

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London Design Festival: Seven scaled-up Monopoly-style houses, designed by Michael Sodeau and painted green or red, temporarily installed in Granary Square, were quirky architectural additions.

London Design Festival: Seven scaled-up Monopoly-style houses, designed by Michael Sodeau and painted green or red, temporarily installed in Granary Square, were quirky architectural additions.

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London Design Festival: French designer Mathieu Lehanneur’s ‘Liquid Marble’, a slab of black stone carved to resemble an ocean’s soothing movement, was sited in an ornate room.

London Design Festival: French designer Mathieu Lehanneur’s ‘Liquid Marble’, a slab of black stone carved to resemble an ocean’s soothing movement, was sited in an ornate room.

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London Design Festival: ‘Foil’ – British designer Benjamin Hubert’s atmospheric installation tapestries.

London Design Festival: ‘Foil’ – British designer Benjamin Hubert’s atmospheric installation tapestries.

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London Design Festival: Alison Brooks Architects designed an arc-like pavilion structure called ‘Smile’ that appears to defy gravity as its cantilevered arms curve up 3m off the ground at each end.

London Design Festival: Alison Brooks Architects designed an arc-like pavilion structure called ‘Smile’ that appears to defy gravity as its cantilevered arms curve up 3m off the ground at each end.

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London Design Festival: Satellite Architects designed a striking 70m wide by 7m high GRID façade.

London Design Festival: Satellite Architects designed a striking 70m wide by 7m high GRID façade.

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London Design Festival: ‘Green Room’ by British design studio Glithero was sited in a six-storeyed stairwell, altering viewers’ perceptions of what a mechanical clock can be like.

London Design Festival: ‘Green Room’ by British design studio Glithero was sited in a six-storeyed stairwell, altering viewers’ perceptions of what a mechanical clock can be like.

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London Design Biennale: Sumant Jayakrishan’s ‘Chakaraview’ installation within the Indian pavilion integrated sound and experimental film to evoke the nation’s design creativity vividly.

London Design Biennale: Sumant Jayakrishan’s ‘Chakaraview’ installation within the Indian pavilion integrated sound and experimental film to evoke the nation’s design creativity vividly.

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London Design Biennale: The Lebanese pavilion by Annabel Karim Kassar outside the terrace of Somerset House.

London Design Biennale: The Lebanese pavilion by Annabel Karim Kassar outside the terrace of Somerset House.

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London Design Biennale: Spanish pavilion ‘VRPolis, Diving into the Future’ asks what a smart city could be capable of 100 years from now by harnessing new technologies.

London Design Biennale: Spanish pavilion ‘VRPolis, Diving into the Future’ asks what a smart city could be capable of 100 years from now by harnessing new technologies.

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London Design Biennale: Sumant Jayakrishan’s ‘Chakaraview’ installation within the Indian pavilion integrated sound and experimental film to evoke the nation’s design creativity vividly.

London Design Biennale: Sumant Jayakrishan’s ‘Chakaraview’ installation within the Indian pavilion integrated sound and experimental film to evoke the nation’s design creativity vividly.

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London Design Biennale: For the South African installation, Porky Hefer designed a series of hanging nests in the form of animals, into which visitors can climb.

London Design Biennale: For the South African installation, Porky Hefer designed a series of hanging nests in the form of animals, into which visitors can climb.

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London Design Biennale: Referencing utopian city planning, Albania’s installation, above, by Helidon Xhixha, is an arrangement of columns and benches which aim to facilitate democratic discussion.

London Design Biennale: Referencing utopian city planning, Albania’s installation, above, by Helidon Xhixha, is an arrangement of columns and benches which aim to facilitate democratic discussion.

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Design Junction: Örsjö ‘Hobo’ pendant lights in brass and handblown glass by Swedish designer Gustaf Nordenskiöld.

Design Junction: Örsjö ‘Hobo’ pendant lights in brass and handblown glass by Swedish designer Gustaf Nordenskiöld.

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Design Junction: Native Union’s cable range.

Design Junction: Native Union’s cable range.

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Design Junction: Dark-green slimline leather briefcase by British designers Holdall & Co.

Design Junction: Dark-green slimline leather briefcase by British designers Holdall & Co.

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Design Junction: Örsjö ‘Pebble’ pendant lighting designed by Joel Karlsson.

Design Junction: Örsjö ‘Pebble’ pendant lighting designed by Joel Karlsson.

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Design Junction: Innermost ‘Glaze’ pendant by Corinna Warm.

Design Junction: Innermost ‘Glaze’ pendant by Corinna Warm.

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Design Junction: Collection of ‘Flutes’ pendants by Brokis.

Design Junction: Collection of ‘Flutes’ pendants by Brokis.

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Design Junction: String’s 6d storage system.

Design Junction: String’s 6d storage system.

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Design Junction: ‘Sled’ sideboards and drawer units by Very Good & Proper.

Design Junction: ‘Sled’ sideboards and drawer units by Very Good & Proper.

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Design Junction: Case Furniture’s ‘Vitrina Small Sideboard’.

Design Junction: Case Furniture’s ‘Vitrina Small Sideboard’.

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Design Junction: Gymnast-inspired coat or towel hooks in mint, coral or grey, by Hay at Lost and Found. The Hay Copenhague table and chairs are designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

Design Junction: Gymnast-inspired coat or towel hooks in mint, coral or grey, by Hay at Lost and Found. The Hay Copenhague table and chairs are designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec.

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Design Junction: Sebastian Jørgensen’s minimalist ‘Scoreboard’ features coat hangers, loop shelves and shoe racks, constructed by We Do Wood from sustainable moso bamboo.

Design Junction: Sebastian Jørgensen’s minimalist ‘Scoreboard’ features coat hangers, loop shelves and shoe racks, constructed by We Do Wood from sustainable moso bamboo.

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Design Junction: Archer & Co’s ‘Jumbo Buttoned Back’ sofa is a great slouch couch with organic sculpted curves.

Design Junction: Archer & Co’s ‘Jumbo Buttoned Back’ sofa is a great slouch couch with organic sculpted curves.

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Design Junction: British lighting company Tala launches its newest range of sustainable LED filament bulbs in an 8m-high installation.

Design Junction: British lighting company Tala launches its newest range of sustainable LED filament bulbs in an 8m-high installation.

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Design Junction: Designed by Andrew Morten, the tripod base of British company Circa Products’ newly-launched ‘Dizzy’ chair and stool evokes the industrial chic of Jean Prouvé.

Design Junction: Designed by Andrew Morten, the tripod base of British company Circa Products’ newly-launched ‘Dizzy’ chair and stool evokes the industrial chic of Jean Prouvé.

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Since the 1960s, London has consistently maintained a reputation for producing exciting, cutting-edge design – and designers. Two recent events have further cemented the British capital as a breeding ground for fresh talent and ideas.

Now in its 14th year, the London Design Festival was held from 16–24 September, hosting hundreds of events to “celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the international creative community”.

The festival programme includes over 400 events and exhibitions staged by hundreds of partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world, such as the London Design Fair and Focus/16, Decorex and 100% Design.

Also, the inaugural London Design Biennale was held at Somerset House on The Strand over a three-week period, modelled on Venice’s architecture and art biennales. In the slideshow above, we highlight some of the key projects, themes, ideas and trends which will no doubt filter through into everyday design.

However, in 2016 the spotlight was on Design Junction, following its move to five new sites within the regenerated King’s Cross Creative Quarter; this proved a resounding success, attracting around 27,000 visitors.

See the slideshow above for images from London Design Festival and London Design Biennale, and for some of our favourite furniture and lighting from the Design Junction event.

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL

London Design Festival: Satellite Architects designed a striking 70m wide by 7m high GRID façade.

To make sense of the burgeoning number of city-wide events, the London Design Festival designated seven design areas to the myriad events: Brixton Design Trial; Brompton, Islington and Queen’s Park Design Districts; Chelsea and Clerkenwell Design Quarters; and Shoreditch Design Triangle.

The festival also commissioned architects and designers to build ‘landmark projects’ in public spaces and its central hub, the Victoria and Albert Museum, housed temporary design installations and hosted events, talks and workshops. 

LONDON DESIGN BIENNALE

London Design Biennale: Sumant Jayakrishan’s ‘Chakaraview’ installation within the Indian pavilion integrated sound and experimental film to evoke the nation’s design creativity vividly.

Nations from six continents presented newly-commissioned works that explored the theme ‘Utopia by Design’. Modelled on Venice’s architecture and art biennales, individual countries’ responses to the biennale’s theme were diverse, to say the least, and celebrated the 500th anniversary of the publication of Sir Thomas More’s classic, Utopia (1516).

Most persuasive were those installations that considered everyday communal life as a utopian ideal. Of these, the liveliest was the Lebanese pavilion, a bustling Beirut street frontage recreated on the Thames riverfront, while Albania was the winner of the Public Medal – the national entry that received the most votes from visitors in the first few weeks of the Biennale. 

DESIGN JUNCTION

Design Junction: Sebastian Jørgensen’s minimalist ‘Scoreboard’ features coat hangers, loop shelves and shoe racks, constructed by We Do Wood from sustainable moso bamboo.

Design Junction presented contemporary design against industrial backdrops, with more than 200 contemporary brands showcasing their new collections. In the slideshow above, we highlight a selection of some of our favourite furniture and lighting from the event.

London-based designers Nipa Doshi and her husband, Jonathan Levien, presented some of the hottest carpets, including their ‘Stripe’ pattern in black and steel grey for Swiss firm Bolon By You. Swedish company Lammhults’ high-backed curved ‘Portus’ sofa is ideal for carving out private space, when reading in a shared room. 


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