Interview with Deborah Spencer

This September designjunction will move to a new and permanent home: King’s Cross. What are the benefits to visitors and exhibitors? And how is the new space organised?
This year, the show is going to be bigger and better at our new location in King’s Cross. We are taking over an entire site, with public outdoor spaces presenting more than 200 leading contemporary design brands. King’s Cross is undergoing one of the largest urban regeneration projects in the UK and is now one of the hippest and most connected areas in London.
King’s Cross is being transformed into a really exciting destination, with brand new homes, a vibrant shopping quarter, inspiring work spaces, galleries, eateries, a world-class university and excellent transport links to Europe. For the London Design Festival, designjunction will occupy four locations at King’s Cross turning the site into a mini design city with different social quarters for eating and drinking, entertainment, exhibitions, business and pleasure.
For our exhibitors, there are so many new businesses opportunities. King’s Cross stands at the heart of the design and architectural community, with more than 1,000 practices within a three-mile radius and a thriving business and local community. The architects working to regenerate and revitalise King’s Cross are some of the most impressive and forward-thinking practices in London including: David Chipperfield, Wilkinson Eyre, Dan Pearson Studio, Thomas Heatherwick and Duggan Morris. It’s a really exciting time to move to King’s Cross.

What about the exhibitors? In this fair usually we can find some of special and independent…
There is a really interesting mix of furniture and accessories brands this year at Cubitt House (the trade area) from Scandinavian brands such as Design House Stockholm, Icons of Denmark, String to some of Britain’s best-loved brands Isokon, Modus, Bethan Gray and Deadgood.
There are independent designers, including Christopher Jenner, who will be presenting a two-year collaboration with Sheffield-based heritage silverware brand Elkington & Co. On the ground floor, you will find the best in contemporary lighting from Rubn, Brokis, DCW and Vita Copenhagen. In the Crossing at Central Saint Martins, UAL, new British lighting brand Tala is definitely one to watch.
At the show, they will be building an eight-meter high installation that will allow visitors to fully interact with the bulbs beneath a glistening forest canopy.
There will also be impressive installations from Transport for London, Kirkby and Blackbody lighting too. Inside the Canopy (retail destination), visitors can experience some of the best shopping from fashion and jewellery to glassware, ceramics and books.

King’s cross will be the hub for creativity. Can you tell us the best temporary exhibitions?
designjunction will be at the heart of the activity taking place across the campus. It will run alongside a brand new initiative called the King’s Cross Creative Quarter (KXCQ), a partnership with the Knowledge Quarter and King’s Cross Development. KXCQ brings together some of the best local restaurants, hotels, high-street retailers, architectural landmarks, renowned cultural institutions and temporary exhibitions for a four-day event. Some of the highlights include: Indian Design Platform organised by Create Culture who will be presenting a new exhibition called “Transformation”, at the Guardian building.
The show takes inspiration from the culture of reuse that exists to the extreme in India, exploring the ways in which designers have reinterpreted discarded materials as design objects.
For a more personal, interactive experience, visitors can take part in a series of short courses run by Central Saint Martins, UAL during the show. Alternatively, visitors can sign up for free design clinics with architects and designers hosted by online platform, Houzz. Those with young children can try the family workshops at House of Illustration on Saturday 24 September.

Which are the main features which distinguish designjuction of London from the edition based in New York?
Over the past few years we have taken satellite editions of the show to key design cities globally. We have an international audience, so it’s important to take the exhibition to other territories. It also gives our British brands the opportunity to target new markets. However, these shows are just a flavour of what we do in London. Typically, we showcase just 30 brands.
London on the other hand, is our flagship edition in terms of scale and content. We take over larger, more central venues allowing us to showcase more than 200 brands alongside large-scale installations, pop-up shops, feature area…. After all it is our home territory…