London Design Festival 2021: previews

Back in London, from 18 to 26 September: the most important event for creativity and design. Here are some previews

From 18 to 26 September, the London Design Festival is back, during the most eagerly awaited week for the world of creativity and design. Now at its 19th iteration, the festival launched in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans will transform the districts and cultural institutions of the capital, once again this year, with a series of installations en plein air, exhibitions and special events.

At the dawn of a new English era of post-Covid aperture, the festival sets out to attract not only a local audience but also an international throng, as indicated by its chairman Sir John Sorrell: “We hope that this year’s festival will not only be seen by those in London but audiences all around the world, and that we’re able to demonstrate that design will be at the heart of the future.”

Architecture+Reality (A+R) by Sou Fujimoto produced by Tin Drum

Among the landmark projects, Architecture + Reality (A+R) at the Victoria & Albert Museum, an installation curated by Tin Drum, a mixed-reality studio, with the Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto: a succession of natural and architectural elements that will evolve on the basis of the movements of the audience in the space, creating an almost living design that indicates the interrelationships of all things, reflecting on the role of design in the society, and also on climate change.

Yinka Ilori

One of the leading players already announced is the designer of the moment Yinka Ilori, a British creative talent of Nigerian origin, previously selected as the emerging talent of LDF 2020, who will present a project inside the series of events Let’s Do London initiated by the mayor Sadiq Khan, to transform the city into an open-air art gallery. A truly novel feature for LDF will be the Designposts, the signs in sustainable American red oak that will identify each district, created by ten emerging talents in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) and Benchmark.

Speaking of districts, along with the already renowned Brompton, Clerkenwell, Islington, King’s Cross and Mayfair Design Districts, as well as the Shoreditch Design Triangle, there will be the William Morris Design Line which made its debut last year, and the new Design District at Greenwich Peninsula, Park Royal Design District and Southwark South Design District.

I designer di Designposts. Da sinistra, Aude Saint Joanis, Sean Sutcliffe (Benchmark), Kate Woodcock-Fowles, Jason Brooker, Megan Makinson, Darta Shokrzadeh, Faye Greenwood, Daegyu Kim, Alba Elezi, Carrie Coningsby, Peter Marigold e David Venables (AHEC) nel laboratorio di Benchmark a Kintbury. Credit foto: Thom Atkinson.

One of the hubs of the festival is the Victoria & Albert Museum, which will host installations and performances by international designers, who with an eye on the upcoming international climate summit COP26 in the UK in November, will focus on sustainability and environmental safeguards. 

Finally, the new developments include the debut of Design London, from 22 to 28 September at Magazine London in North Greenwich, a trade show with a selection of brands in the fields of furniture, lighting and contract applications, as well as collaborations with outstanding and emerging designers.