The Design London event is still young — just a couple of years old — but nicely organized on the strength of internationality. Part of the London Design Festival, it was launched in 2021 and now returns with twice the space again from September 21 to 24. In addition to the Magazine London event center on the Greenwich Peninsula, the brand-new design district on the Thames, now the temporary Showground space makes room for both well-established brands and emerging talents from around the world, including international pavilions.
The melting pot essence of contract furniture
Contract furniture is still the clear focus for visitors to Design London. This year some of the most interesting European and international brands will be on show. The Danish company Hay is showing for the first time with an extension of its outdoor range Palissade by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. Thors Design, also from Denmark, will celebrate its 20th anniversary here with tailor-made creations in recycled wood, the Gaia and Globe tables. From the same part of the world – the Netherlands – we have Jess, showing with contemporary Infinity sofa designed by Gijs Papavoine, and Bert Plantagie, known for its timeless, modern design, presenting a series of handmade chairs including the Avia armchair by Frans Schrofer, inspired by the aviation world. The Swedish brand Lintex unveils innovation in the office with its partitions, writing boards, and sound-absorbing noticeboards.
British designer Christian Watson is playing “at home” here, returning to Design London with his inaugural launch of Abinger, a limited edition collection of handmade chairs, combining elegant metal frames with materials such as burnt cork, bouclé and wool. Italian design finds its voice in Urbantime and its Octopus and Amalfi collections designed by Basaglia + Rota Nodari, as well as The Italian Concept network of brands, which came together for the event, and Lealpell, a Giussano-based leather manufacturer that has been working with leading furniture manufacturers around the world for over four decades.
Masaya comes from Thailand and is specialized in brass casting and handmade furniture; from Poland is Creadoor, which combines the traditional art of making wooden doors and furniture with modern techniques and 3D graphics; and from Miami, there’s Tuuci with its Ocean Master MAX outdoor parasols.
Lighting in the spotlight
Fabbian, which has 60 years of experience in the design of innovative lighting fixtures for both residential and contract furnishing, has chosen to launch a broad range of designs here. The selection includes the Acustica lampshade by Gio Minelli and Marco Fossati, the Akoya wall and suspension lamps by Filippo Protasoni, and the XY&Z lighting system by Studio Gensler. Other top names include Artemide, Penta Light, Ago Lighting, Spark and Bell, Centrsvet, and Hamilton.
The full spectrum
Design London is oriented to the entire interior design experience from surfaces and cladding to windows and elevators. One of the best-known companies, Parador, is presenting its latest floor designs, including Floor Fields Design Edition by Alfredo Häberli and Open Frameworks Design Edition by Hadi Teherani. The U.S.-based Aristech Surfaces is bringing some of its finest new products, including the 100% AVONITE® acrylic solid surface sheet material and its Studio Collection® architectural resin. Art’e Style, among the leading Italian experts in paints and varnishes, is presenting Minimal, a decorative wall covering with a microcement effect.
The Swedish brand Aritco, an award-winning elevator company, is back, launching Geometric Design Wall, co-created by designer Alexander Lervik and graphic artist Evelina Kroon, available in just 50 units worldwide.
Another birthday is being celebrated at Design London: Vitrocsa, a Swiss manufacturer, will be blowing out 30 candles and presenting its window system that merges with the surrounding environment and adapts to each building’s architecture.
Events and meetings
Among Design London’s parallel events is a program of conferences curated by Katie Richardson, and a showcase from Kingston University’s graduate, Rory Mullins – the recent winner of the Design London Award at design graduate show, New Designers in London.