Woohoo, it’s my favourite week of the year – London Design Festival! London really pulls out all of the stops to celebrate design; I’m talking installations, experiences and events. For 2018 there are now more Design Districts than ever before, which is great news because it means every part of London can join in the design fun!
On Friday I was so happy to attend the LDF press tour for a first look at what 2018 has lined up – it was an early morning but worth it so I could share it with you guys, of course. So get your calendars at the ready because you’re going to need to pencil in some of the coolest & must-see things for London Design Festival 2018:
Dazzle by Pentagram x 1418 at the V&A Museum
Prepare to be dazzled…
My favourite installation at the V&A this year has to be the Dazzle room by Pentagram and 14-18 NOW. You guys know I’m ALL about colour, but this one is an exception to my ‘rules’. It’s a monochrome explosion of patterned typography overlays in the style of the Dazzle camouflage used on battle ships in the First World War. When I visited on the tour, Dominic Lippa of Pentagram told us a bit about the project but if I’m honest I was a bit distracted lining up a shot for Instagram ha! I’m hoping to go back on a quiet day and experience the full force of the Dazzle without a big crowd of people.
Whilst you’re at the V&A you should also pop to see ‘MultiPly’ by Waugh Thistleton Architects, ‘Memory & Light’ by Arvo Part and Arup in the Norfolk House Music Room, ‘The Onion Farm’ by Henrik Vibskov and ‘The Art of Music in the Digital Age’ by Beatie Wolfe.
London Design Biennale at Somerset House
The Biennale is back, and it’s better than ever!
40 countries, cities and territories from around the world come together to inspire, challenge and entertain us in the name of design. The theme for 2018 is emotional states, so get ready to feel! My favourites include (from top to bottom) a Kiss in Budapest (Budapest), Flynn Talbot’s rainbow light ring (Australia), amazing colours and tapestries (Guatemala), an immersive Indigo experience (India), scratch and sniff wallpaper!!!!!!! (Hong Kong) and a personal branding workshop complete with t-shirt printing (Puerto Rico).
You can spend hours just wandering Somerset House, talking to the exhibitors and delving into the reactions from every country. The LDB 2018 runs alongside LDF 2018 until 23rd September 2018 so there’s still time to grab a ticket.
Natasha Nuttall x West Elm at Westfield, White City
Yep, that’s me! I’m making my LDF debut as an artist in residence at West Elm in White City. I’m pretty excited about being in store for 2 days (Thursday 20th and Friday 21st Sept) and creating a piece of art – pop by between 1pm and 5pm to see me in action! And the best bit? You can win what I’m making! Stay tuned on the West Elm UK Instagram for more information.
View this post on Instagram
Self confessed triangle enthusiast @natasha_nuttall will be in residence at our Westfield Shepherd’s Bush store on the 20th + 21st to celebrate LDF 2018! Based in London, she finds inspiration in the city’s architecture, textures and language. With a love for street art and a fascination for the way that people interact with art in public spaces, Natasha photographs London’s ever changing murals and paints her own too. ‘I feel very at home in my paint splattered overalls with a roller in my hand. It’s nice to step away from the screen and get my hands messy!’ Head in store to see Natasha doing just that and for the chance to WIN the exclusive piece she creates! Full details in our LDF highlight! #LDF18 #muralart #liveart
Bankside Flags at Borough Market
Flying the flag for design in Bankside, 45 designers and artists have injected some colour in Jubilee Place at Borough Market. With flags by Supermundane, Morag Myerscough and Alan Kitching, it’s a feast for the eyes! Bankside has a special place in my heart as I worked in the area for the first 3 years of living in London, and so I’m happy to see creativity shining through. The flags will be auctioned online after LDF so best save your pennies in preparation!
Bankside’s overall theme for 2018 is typography, so you’ll be pleased to hear that there’s Type Tasting experiences with Sarah Hyndman, sign painting masterclasses with Better Letters as well as all of the usual ghost signs in and around Borough Market.
I think it was a one off (sadly), but I was lucky to take part in a pattern making workshop with Morag Myerscough last weekend. We started with a walk down Borough High Street, looking to the area’s architectural shapes for inspiration before turning our sketches into patterns:
Photo by Bankside Design – Morag Myerscough with Emma Jane Palin & I.
Rumour has it that the streets of Southwark will (hopefully soon) be given a little colour injection, so watch this space (or should I say, the roads) for more information on that!
Alphabet by Kellenberger-White at Broadgate
Broadgate has definitely been put on the map in recent years with an injection of creativity, cool installations and collaborations. I’m sure you’ll remember 2017’s Villa Walala by Camille Walala and earlier this year Supermundane worked his magic on the area.
For 2018 Kellenberger White are giving us a spelling lesson, with their alphabet inspired chairs. I stayed in the area for a bit (whilst my phone charged! ha) and watched some kids have a great time moving the chairs around to spell their names. Overall it’s a really fun idea, but I just WISH the chairs were double the size – that would’ve been a 10/10 for me!
Lois O’Hara at W.A. Green
I’ve been following Lois’ painting adventures on Instagram for a while now and after the success of her recent project, the UK’s 1st and only art Basketball court, I was excited to hear that her paintbrushes were coming to London. Most importantly, Lois is working with W.A Green; one of Shoreditch’s most colourful gems, it’s an interior dream and once you step in that shop you can’t leave empty handed! Bring Lois and W.A. Green together and it’s a dream team that can’t be contained… so it’s a good job that the streets of Shoreditch have welcomed some O’Hara magic onto their planters too!
Photos by W.A. Green via Instagram
Pinterest x The Conran Shop
I’ll be honest, Chelsea isn’t one of my usual haunts, but I always head to The Conran Shop Flagship during LDF because they always do something cool. This year they’ve teamed up with Pinterest to create something, well, you guessed it – Pinterest worthy! I haven’t seen it in the flesh yet but I can’t wait to get snap happy – just look at those 1600 life size pins!
Photo by The Conran Shop
design junction at the Barge House, OXO Tower
design junction doesn’t open until Thursday, but I already know that it’s going to be a highlight – it is EVERY YEAR!
For 2018 they have relocated to the OXO tower which is a cool venue and gives the opportunity for some different installations overlooking The Thames; I’m excited to see the rainbow vibes of ‘Gateway to Inclusion’ by Lisa White and François Dumas and ‘Head Above Water’ by Steuart Padwick. In terms of what to see indoors; you should have a cocktail at the beautiful Glenlivet bar by Bethan Gray, Katie Leamon for stationery, Dead Good for furniture, Moxon for home accessories, and MT Masking Tape because they usually do something Insta-worthy with their tapes.
Things that look worth a gamble
I thought I’d include a few other bits which look like they could be worth a visit, but I’m not 100% sure… so feedback is welcome!
– Architecture Illustrated by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios x Jelly (near Goodge Street)
– Arches by Town & Concrete at Ligne Rose Westend
– Colour Transfer by Liz West (Westway Viaduct near Paddington)
– The Paddington Central flip book garden by Studio Apetit (near Paddington)
Hope your calendar is looking as exciting as mine now? Let me know if you make it to any of my recommendations and/or find any of your own! Enjoy all of the London Design Festival fun and fingers crossed I’ll bump into you at some point… at West Elm! *hint hint*