In the United Kingdom the creative industries are a powerful force, growing 1.5 times faster than the economy as a whole, with an increase in employment five times faster over the last decade, and an annual contribution to Gross Value Added (GVA) of 108 billion pounds: in this context, the London Design Festival continues to play a fundamental role in the promotion of the sector, making London one of the leading world capitals of design.
In the program of the 21st edition, scheduled for 16-24 September, we find events of great impact, including exhibitions, fairs, creative districts and what is now the traditional Global Design Forum at the Victoria & Albert Museum, where leaders in the sector discuss the most urgent themes.
This year the festival has as many as 13 districts: from the “historic” Bankside Design District, Brompton Design District, Greenwich Peninsula, Islington Design District, Kings Cross Design District, Mayfair Design District, Park Royal Design District, Shoreditch Design Triangle and Southwark Design District, to the additions of the Dalston to Stokey Design District, Battersea Design District, Chelsea Design District and Fitzrovia Design District. New developments include the Launch Pad, which aims to spread the word about emerging designers, young graduates, non-profit organizations and small companies.
The Landmark Projects offer two installations paying homage to the great architectural works of the English legend Sir Christopher Wren, for the 300th anniversary of his death. In an ideal continuum, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Wren’s gigantic masterpiece, hosts Aura by the Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena, an installation that transforms the sounds of the cathedral into a pulsating line of light.
At the church of St. Stephen Walbrook, Halo is a luminous installation created by Studio Waldemeyer: a conical pendulum that traces a celestial pathway around the altar designed by the sculptor Henry Moore, imitating the movements of the planets.
Don’t miss Spirit of Place by Simone Brewster at the Strand, an installation formed by five large sculptures with a height of 2.5 meters, representing the Amorim cork oak forest at Herdade de Rio Frio, in Portugal, whose particular characteristics ensure its survival.
Other appointments: the interactive space on emotions of the Mandala Lab of the Rubin Museum at Canary Wharf, and the installation by Andu Masebo at the V&A Museum, where a wrecked Alfa Romeo Cloverleaf is transformed into a series of domestic objects. There are also many encounters organized by companies in their showrooms, such as the event of Moroso in which Patricia Urquiola converses with Patrizia Moroso (on the 20th), and the exhibition Hypermobile by Tom Dixon.
Finally, among the design fairs, another important aspect of the Festival, the Truman Brewery at Shoreditch again hosts the London Design Fair from 21 to 24 September, while after last year’s success the Material Matters Fair is held from 20 to 23 September at the Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, in the Bankside Design District.
The free digital guide of the Festival offers comments by experts, videos, behind the scenes coverage and maps of the exhibitions, produced by Bloomberg Connects.