8 Remarkable Things To See At London Design Festival

Georgie Hoole Georgie Hoole - EXECUTIVE EDITOR

8 Remarkable Things To See At London Design Festival

London Design Festival is back for another year and it’s packed with some really exciting exhibitions and events. Last year we saw Covent Garden piazza invaded with balloons and a telegraph pylon that had “fallen from the sky”, so our expectations are sky-high for this years event. It’s looking fairly promising however, as the 2016 line-up consists of lots of immersive and multi-sensory installations, including a giant smile and a tree of champagne glasses (we have a giant smile just thinking about champagne). There’s so much going on that we couldn’t possibly mention it all, but here are a few highlights…


1. Smile at Chelsea Art School

[London Design Festival]
Boasting a ‘complete sensory experience of colour, texture, scent and sound’, this unique installation is a 34 metre long wooden tunnel in the shape of a smile (hence the name). Each end has a viewing platform and light will spill into each side and wash across the floor of the curve.

16 September – 12 October. Chelsea College of Art and Design, 16 John Islip Street, SW1P 4JU. 


2. Green Room at The V&A

[London Design Festival]
Set in a six storey stairwell at the V&A, Green Room is a curtain of coloured cords that rotate to form a mesmerising wave of colour.

17th – 25th September. V&A, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL.


3. Foil at The V&A

[The Spaces]
‘Foil’ by Benjamin Hubert is a 20 metre ribbon made up of 50,000 mirrored panels. It moves in a slow wave motion, which causes it to cast extraordinary reflections on surrounding exhibits.

17th – 25th September. Tapestry Gallery, V&A, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL.


4. Forests

[London Design Festival]
Asif Khan’s ‘Forests’ installation is part of a project run by MINI LIVING that explores “architectural solutions to urban living challenges”. The series of ‘forest’ environments uses plants to explore the relationship between public and private spaces in the city, and they can be found around Shoreditch. Each miniature forest will be populated by plants which visitors will be able to take home during the Festival.

17th – 25th September. Vince Court, N1 6EA; Charles Square Gardens, N1 6HS; Corner of Pitfield Street and Charles Square, EC1V 9EY. 


5. Utopia

[London Design Biennale]
The first London Design Biennale has opened at Somerset House, and it includes art pieces from over 30 countries, all of which are exploring the theme of Utopia. Austria’s contribution, for example, is a kinetic light sculpture which supposedly represents the fragile balance of utopia. As visitors move around the space, the sculpture moves and you’ll feel disorientated.

7 – 27th September. Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA.


6. Designed in SW1

[Grosvenor London]
‘Designed in SW1’ is returning to Belgravia this year after the soaring success of last year’s event. As part of the festival, the designers and craftspeople of Pimlico Road and Elizabeth Street will be hosting a series of talks, walks, exhibitions and workshops. Its purpose is to celebrate all things craft and design, and showcase the extraordinary talent of SW1. Events will include a celebration of chairs (yes, you’ve read that correctly) at Rose Uniacke, as well as a panel discussion all about the evolution of the kitchen (again, yes, that’s right) with LINLEY, Lionel Real de Azúa from Red Deer Architects and David Dewing, Director of the Geffrye Museum. For the full line up of events, have a look here.

17th – 25th September. Pimlico Road and Elizabeth Street. 


7. L’Eden

L’Eden is a wonderful contrast to urban living. As you walk in there will be a beautiful installation created by Parisian designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance, which involves champagne glasses hanging from the ceiling. Visitors will be able to pick a glass directly from the piece and fill it with Perrier-Jouët champagne, before heading downstairs to explore the world’s first bio-responsive garden. Designed by Bombas and Parr, the plants in this basement garden will follow your movements and form a generative soundscape in response to you. Champagne and moving plants? What more could you ask for?

23rd – 25th September. 147 Wardour Street, W1F 8WD.

8. Beloved
[World Architecture]

Based on the famous Turkish novel, Madonna in a Fur Coat, this installation plans to bring the story to life through an evocative piece featured in the V&A museum. Titled Beloved, this multi-sensory creation comprises of a 13-metre-long mirrored black box that visitors are able to peer into. Through the cracks in the box, you’ll be able to watch scenes from the novel in the form of digital projections, physical objects, words, light and sound.

17th – 25th September. V&A, Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL.

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