There’s something going on in every corner of London – wherever you travel across the capital, our essential guide has you covered
Joining in the design week fun for the first time this year, Fitzrovia’s established and new design influencers such as Heal’s, West Elm, Fritz Hansen, Habitat and Arup will all be holding events. Look out for Flint – a new limited edition collection of terrazzo furniture and objects by Joyce Wang Studio (above) and an exhibition celebrating London’s most pioneering females and the spaces in which they create at Heals.
The newly announced design route in Kings Cross draws upon the area’s impressive and rapidly expanding flock of creative businesses. Tom Dixon will host Electroanalogue – a gathering of digital innovations in the brand’s new HQ. Matter of Stuff’s new concept pop-up design gallery designed by Raw Edges will be opening its doors at Fenman House, and Modern Design Review magazine and James Shaw will unveil PlasticScene, an exhibition of work by international designers working with waste plastic at the landmark residence, Gasholders.
Working with the theme of ‘Material Consequences’, the Brompton Design District is centred around a series of projects that focus on how waste can be used as a resource. The projects will be showcased in a block of vacated shops and offices on Brompton Road with exhibitors including Fernando Laposse, who will present the latest developments of his Totomoxtle project – a new veneer material made from Mexican corn.
The triangular network of streets that sit at the centre of Shoreditch will once again be the focus of East London’s Festival activities. Lee Broom will be launching his new black Orion light at his Rivington street showroom; German design brand pulpo and artist and designer Lois O´Hara will set up a dazzling installation at maximalist design destination W.A.Green, Mexican designer Fernando Laposse will take over the Citizen M hotel, and curator Laura Houseley will launch the fourth edition of Ready Made Go – a collection of pieces commissioned specifically for Ace Hotel from emerging and established London-based designers.
New to the Design Festival map this year, the Marylebone Design District boasts some big names in its ranks. The Conran Shop, Another Country, David Mellor and Little Greene will all be holding workshops, demonstrations and exclusive launches, centred around Marylebone’s chosen festival day, Wednesday 19 September. Another Country and Ekkist’s collaborative furniture collection, that focuses on wellbeing promises to be a particular highlight.
Font fans and type geeks should head to the Bankside Design District to partake in events such as a pop-up sign painting school with US legend Mike Meyer in Borough Market that’s being hosted by lettering agency Better Letters. Sarah Hyndman of Type Tasting will present an interactive history of type through the medium of wine and gin, and British artist and designer Morag Myerscough will colourfully transform two pedestrian crossings in the neighbourhood.
For its second official year as part of the Festival circuit, the Pimlico Road Design District will host a series of workshops and talks as well as an art installation, ‘Sustainable Self’, in Orange Square by PDP Architects. Make sure to stop by Promemoria for new lighting, Rose Uniacke for classic sofas and armchairs, Poggenpohl for live cookery demonstrations, and Soane Britain to see craftsmen at work to name just a few.
Over in Victoria, a programme of activities and events hosted by local businesses has been built around the theme of Connections: people and places. During design week visitors can visit an exhibition of plans for the redevelopment of Christchurch Gardens, take a ‘Then & Now’ tour with Landsec – one of the area’s largest landowners – while the Guards Museum will celebrate the area’s military connections with an exhibition that examines how military uniforms are influencing mainstream fashion.
Seeing that it boasts the greatest concentration of architects’ and designers’ offices in the world, it’s no surprise that this district has a busy programme of events during the week. Highlights include Viaduct‘s group show ‘Common Sense’ featuring Ilse Crawford (Studioilse), Farah Ebrahimi (e15), Nani Marquina, Nina Maso (Santa & Cole) and Fien Muller (Muller Van Severen), who will each demonstrate how they strip the process of design back to its primordial roots. Meanwhile Hostmaker – a home rental management company – will install a pop-up ‘Open House’ that will play host to live craft demonstrations from local makers, as well as design-focused workshops and talks.
With a focus on contemporary, collectible lighting and furniture, Mayfair’s well-heeled venues will be showcasing limited edition design during the Festival. Galerie Patrick Seguin will present the work of mid-twentieth century French designer Jean Royère, while at sketch, Matter of Stuff will present an edible design experience with ‘Cocktail Atmospheres’, where new lighting and furniture by a host of international talents will be served up alongside matching cocktails.
Regent Street and St James
Also making its debut for 2018, is the Regents Street and St James design district. The area takes in highlights such as Fortnum & Mason’s Landmark Project, Bottletop, the world’s first 3D printed store, and Showcase, a new store in Regents Street that’s dedicated to discovering the best new design talent. For Showcase’s festival debut, the store will partner with recent Royal College of Art graduates, Renata Brenha and Kathleen Reilly, to create a conceptual window installation.