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London celebrated the best of design

A citywide event, the London Design Festival (LDF) brought together designers and creative experts from around the world to promote the city’s creativity. From 15th to 23rd of September, more than 400 events and exhibitions took place in more than 300 partner organizations.

Ten design districts participated in the festival this year: Bankside, Brompton, Clerkenwell, Fitzrovia, Marylebone, Mayfair, Pimlico Road, Regent St & St James’s, Shoreditch and West Kensington – offering a program of events, exhibitions, talks and tours.

A jury, formed by established designers, industry commentators and previous winners, chose recipients of The British Land Celebration of Design across four categories: Hussein Chalayan for the Panerai London, Neri Oxman for Design Innovation, Grace Wales Booner for Emerging Talent and Eva Jiřičná for Lifetime Achievement.

The V&A Museum was the official residency and hub of the Festival, with 2018 seeing the celebration of 10 years in partnership together. At the museum, at set of exhibits were specially set up for the LDF, which thousands of visitors throughout the week.

Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov, created the “Onion Farm” at the Tapestries Gallery, a long, narrow room kept dark to preserve the historical pieces. Fabric onions hanging in the dark formed a structure, which combined with the industrial brushes, simulated the natural conditions in which they grow.


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Danish fashion designer @henrikvibskov has created ‘The Onion Farm’ in Room 94 of the @vamuseum’s Tapestry Galleries. In this piece, fabric onions hanging in the dark form a structure, which combined with the industrial brushes, simulate the natural conditions in which they grow, while the brushes, with their large circles of spiny prickly hairs, create a vibrating membrane along the structure. ・・・ Image: @studiostagg ・・・ Supported By: @tatenskunstfond, @denmarkinuk ・・・ Further Support: A.P. Møller Fonden, Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansen Fonden, Becket Fonden, Grosserer L. F. Foghts Fonden, DSV Road, @seamdesign, @tmlighting ・・・ #LDF18 #henrikvibskov #theonionfarm #london #design #festival

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At the same time, the London Fountain Company presented a prototype for a new drinking water fountain designed by Michael Anastassiades to be located in the Brompton Design District and at the V&A. The legacy project aimed to revive the drinking fountain culture that has disappeared from the city’s public spaces.

The Design Festival also featured a set of major installations across town, which involved commissioning the world’s best designers, artists and architects to create something extraordinary, in response to a variety of stimuli.

Please Feed The Lions was an interactive installation in Trafalgar Square by Es Devlin, adding a fifth digital lion to the four ones that have been sitting as silent British icons at the base of Nelson’s Column for the past 150 years.

Waugh Thistleton Architects and Arup also collaborated with the American Hardwood Export Council to create MultiPly, an interactive modular maze-like installation in the V&A. The pavilion confronted two of the age’s biggest challenges – the need for housing and the urgency to fight climate change.

Finally, the LDF also hosted the Global Design Forum, featuring mix of talks, debates, tours and workshops that together reflect the most innovative thinking in the world of design today.

Speakers from all corners of the global design community shared new perspectives on designing for a shifting future, featuring experts such as Pentagram’s Marina Willer, Vrai Pictures’ Jessoca Brillhart and Barber Architects head Peter Barber. They covered issues from design values and housing solutions to the power of disruption.

Conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans in 2003, the concept of the LDF was to create an annual event to promote the city’s creativity, drawing in the country’s thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver a diverse celebration of design.