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London Design Festival 2014: six things you won’t want to miss

Posted at 2:15 pm, September 12, 2014 in Arts & Entertainment

The city is about to look even more stylish than usual because the London Design Festival is taking over. Natasha Polyviou picks out highlights from the dozens of dazzling events set to pop up around town.



If you only have time for one stop during the festival, DesignJunction at The Sorting Office in Holborn covers a lot of bases: more than 180 international brands will take over its four floors, selling everything from Alessi tableware to Magma books. Transport for London will be flogging enamel bus-stop flags and Underground inspired lighting, and running a restaurant decked out in vintage TfL fabrics,so you can recreate the experience of a kebab guzzled on a night bus in a civilised setting (and with better food). Time Out readers can purchase two-for-one tickets via www.thedesignjunction.co.uk with the code TIMEOUT241. Sep 18  Sep 21. £10, £8 adv.

a place called home


Since 2007, the festival has commissioned a series of Landmark Projects – grand designs that pop up in public places. This year, four designers build their interpretations of ‘A Place Called Home’ in Trafalgar Square. Jasper Morrison presents an ordered interior in his pigeon-fancier’s house: ‘Because who else would choose to live in the middle of Trafalgar Square?’ Raw Edges get creative with very little space: their home requires the occupier to turn a handle to transform the living room into a bedroom, a kitchen and then a bathroom. Pretty nifty. Sat Sep 13  Sep 21. Free

The first law of kipple


Minimalists, look away now. Artist Dan Tobin Smith has filled his Haggerston studio with a rainbow of rubbish: useless stuff sent in by the public that he has arranged by colour. One contributor had collected every ticket from every public transport journey they took between 1955 and 1988. And you thought you were a hoarder. Funthyme Supperclub is running two events there (£75). The menu is the antithesis of the jumble below the tables, its elements stated succinctly as ‘Lobster, parsley, rose veal #1, rose veal #2, banana.’ How’s that for a palate-cleanser? Sat Sep 13  Sep 21. Free



A good place to get to grips with the festival is the V&A, which will act as a central hub hosting talks, events and exhibitions. Barber & Osgerby have suspended giant moving mirrors on the Raphael gallery ceiling that will mess with your perception. During the V&A’s Digital Weekend (September 20 and 21) you can discover how a team of chemists and fashion designers have created a colour-changing ink; or get your body 3D scanned in the ‘Open Source Body’ installation. Typography geeks should visit over the Graphics Weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14) when Penguin’s art director Jim Stoddard discusses the publisher’s book covers from the last decade. You can also play an online game that reveals your personality through your taste in fonts. We always knew those fans of Comic Sans were a bit suspect. Sat Sep 13  Sep 21. Various prices.

Keith Varney - Helix porcelain sculpture.2


Technically not organised by the LDF crew but arranged to coincide with the festival, six key hubs will be set up across London: Chelsea Design Quarter, Clerkenwell Design Quarter, Shoreditch Design Triangle, and Brompton, Islington and Queens Park Design Districts. In these areas you can expect latenight shopping events at design destinations such as Skandium and The Conran Shop as well as exhibitions in galleries including the Geffrye Museum, which hosts ‘Ceramics in the City’. The launch evening features ceramicists demonstrating their craft while the weekend includes children’s workshops to get little hands involved. Sep 18  Sep 21. Free.

Unit D


Inspired by the mingei Japanese folk arts movement that championed functional and affordable handicrafts in the 1920s and ’30s, this shop in Whitechapel will sell affordable homeware from a rangeof local artists and makers. To prove how useful the pieces are, they will be utilised in a series of temporary restaurant evenings including organiser Saskia Pomeroy’s ramen night and an outlandish theatrical Brick Lane Banquet hosted by artist Rebecca Davies and Ottolenghi sous chef Rosie Healey. Sat Sep 13  Sep 21.

London Design Festival runs Sat Sep 13 until 21. 

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