The London Design Festival, with hundreds of design events taking place across the UK capital, is on from 17 to 25 September 2016.

Supported by British Land, the festival is one of the most important events in the global design calendar, promoting London as the design capital of the world and the gateway to the international creative community. With forums, local festivals and installations, there’s something for every breed of designer and creative. For the first year, this includes the London Design Biennale (check out our run-down of the biennale here).

“If you believe in design you know it can make the world a better place and I say the more international design dialogue the better!” – Sir John Sorrell, Chairman, London Design Festival

London Design Festival: best bits

As well as a programme of activities at the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum, here are our top picks for the festival:

Bert & May in collaboration with Darkroom

Showcasing an installation of bold, geometric new tiles and fabric design, this collaboration between Bert & May and independent design label, Darkroom, establishes Bert & May as a bespoke lifestyle brand. The Bert & May barge, found on the canal at the back of Bert & May’s Vyner Street space, is being completely revamped to feature the new collection. (Read our interview with Bert & May founder, Lee Thornley, in Carl Goes London).
Website: Bert & May with Darkroom

Bert & May and Darkroom

Photo: Bert & May and Darkroom


An installation exploring ‘third places’ and the blurred boundaries between home and work, a number of spaces will be presented across the city for people to relax, meet and be productive. It’s part of MINI’s vision of ‘spaces between spaces’ conceived with multiple purposes in mind for city-dwellers.

The Smile

This urban installation comes in the form of an upside down arc, made of American tulipwood. A collaboration between Alison Brooks Architects, the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Arup, Merk and the London Design Festival, The Smile is a structure that can be inhabited and explored. It’s described as something between a landscape, an adventure playground, a bridge and a diving board.
Website: The Smile

City Nomads

Londoners love the idea of urban nomadism, but this exhibition looks at the city of Almaty in Kazakhstan and the relationship between the city and its nomadic past. Convening a new wave of talent from the creative community in Almaty, City Nomads presents work from photographers, illustrators, graphic designers, fashion designers, industrial designers, musicians, filmmakers and architects.
Website: City Nomads

City Nomads and British Council

Photo: City Nomads and British Council

Glastonbury: Land and Legend

This immersive film and sound installation looks at the Glastonbury Festival through time, space and people. It showcases footage captured at the festival in the idyllic Somerset countryside in 2014.
Website: Glastonbury, Land and Legend

Unidentified Acts of Design

This display looks at instances of design intelligence in Shenzhen and the Pearl River Delta that originated outside of design studios. The project is part of a collaboration between the V&A and China Merchants Group to open a museum of design (Design Society) in Shenzhen, China in 2017.
Website: Unidentified Acts of Design

A Rockett St George Tropical Paradise

This installation at The Hoxton, Shoreditch (featured in Carl Goes London) involves the Rockett St George online interiors emporium redesigning the courtyard at the hotel. The pop-up is inspired by balmy Indian Summer evenings, using a collection of the design firm’s latest pieces.
Website: A Rockett St George Tropical Paradise

Arches Brixton Creatives (ABC)

Found in central Brixton railway arches, ABC is hosting open studios with an occasional bar, performances and workshops. A collaboration between the Bureau of Silly Ideas, Club Silly and Valentia Studios, discover artists, eccentric vehicles, framers, radio-controlled street furniture, sculptors and upholsterers.
Website: Arches Brixton Creatives

Website: London Design Festival 

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