The London Design Festival will run for nine days, 13–21 September 2014. Now in its twelfth year, the event aims to celebrate and promote the city as the ‘design capital of the world, and as the gateway to the international creative community’. The Festival theme invites you to ‘Lose Yourself’ in an immersive design experience. Activity is spread over a wide area. The hub is the Victoria and Albert Museum, where specially commissioned installations, talks, workshops and events will take place.
To help you find your way around the top textile attractions, COVER points you to four Design Destinations and highlights of six Design Districts across London. All ‘group shows’, they provide platforms for designers and manufacturers to present new products and ideas.
Decorex, Syon Park, 21–24 September
In a new venue for 2014 with historic interiors by Robert Adam and landscaped gardens by Capability Brown, Decorex is celebrating the 300-year anniversary of the dawn of the Georgian era. A contemporary interpretation of this theme is promised, with luxury brands and an entrance display in association with the Sir John Soane Museum. The Georgians’ voracious interest in interiors and lasting design legacy makes the period enduringly relevant to today’s taste.
Designjunction, Old Sorting Office, New Oxford Street, 17–21 September
Designjunction has become established as a leading destination for cutting-edge design, thanks to its annual curated shows in England during the London Design Festival, and Milan during the Salone de Mobile. This year it expands to cover four floors of the industrial 1960s Post Office building. More than 150 brands will be exhibiting, along with a curated selection of twenty-five retailers on the ground floor, and a Flash Factories area, where industrial production techniques such as ceramic tile painting and upholstery processes are to be demonstrated.
100% Design, Earls Court 1&2, 17–20 September
French design legend Philippe Starck is set to open the 20th edition of 100% Design, the biggest design event in the UK. The curatorial theme is ‘Serendipity’. Twenty per cent more overall space is provided for exhibitors in 2014. For one final year the show will be held at the venerable Earls Court Exhibition Centre, before a move to Olympia next year. Director William Knight states: ‘This year’s 100% Design will celebrate its legacy but also look ahead to see where design will take us in the next twenty years.’
Longstanding British furniture retailer Heal’s is showing for the first time. Demonstrating its ongoing commitment to discovering and nurturing young design talent, the company launches its Heal’s Discovers collection here. British craft makers also have a strong presence.
Tent London and Super Brands London, Old Truman Brewery, 18–21 September
Tent London’s forecasts for main trends at its eighth east London edition are: Raw; Bold & Beautiful; Frame; and Retraction. Look out for geometric contributions with the launch of the Fusion Collection by Nendo for Bo Concept, UK made cushions and lampshades by Parris Wakefield and Tori Murphy and vibrant, block-colour rugs by Sonja Winner.
Super Brands shares the old brewery building off Brick Lane, but retains an independent identity with international design brands from twenty-nine countries that want to increase their profile in the UK.
Six official Design Districts can be traversed easily by foot. They host local events and late-night openings.
Craft Central will host Total Fabrication– an exhibition of contemporary design for interiors with a ‘material twist’ in St John’s Square, Clerkenwell. The Crafts Council will present new and commissioned works at the launch of a touring exhibition, Crafting Narrative: Storytelling through Objects and Making, beginning at the PM Gallery and House, Ealing.
Acclaimed British photographer Dan Tobin Smith opens his east London studio, turning his attention to the floor with The First Law of Kipple. The ground-based installation is made up of unwanted clutter donated by members of the public.
Special events mark the launch of new collections. Fashion designer, Jonathan Saunders has collaborated on a fearlessly colourful collection for The Rug Company, and Oriental Birds- a new rug designed for them by Paul Smith will be unveiled at Harrod’s as part of their in-store ‘design trail’.