LDF 2016 – All The Fun Of The Fair

September means just one thing on the design calendar – the annual London Design Festival. Here's our handy guide for making the most of #LDF16…


Each year the London Design Festival gets bigger, with a multitude of showrooms, installations, launches and talks all vying for your attention. Running over nine days until 25 September, 2016's edition features seven official Design Districts popping up around the capital, five major Design Destinations, inspiring new multicultural showcase the London Design Biennale, specially commissioned Landmark Projects, a happening hub at the V&A museum, and hundreds of events citywide, fanning out from Central London. Here's how to access all areas...

North London sees the birth of the King's Cross Creative Quarter with the arrival of designjunction, one of the festival’s most popular shows. This year designjunction is split into four distinct areas. The Crossing, in Central Saint Martins, will house interactive installations and flash factory demonstrations; The Canopy is a dedicated shopping zone for 70 luxury retail brands; contemporary lighting show lightjunction will strut its stuff alongside 100 leading design brands in Cubitt House; and Granary Square will be home to eight pop-up Monopoly houses exhibiting immersive design experiences.

ABOVE: Online interiors emporium Rockett St George brings a taste of the tropics to The Hoxton hotel in the Shoreditch Design Triangle

ABOVE: North London's Granary Square gets new housing courtesy of designjunction

South London enters the fray with edgy independent design show Designersblock taking over the Oxo Tower on the South Bank again and another new Design District, the Brixton Design Trail, making its mark with 'Rebel Rebel', a themed set of events inspired by the late David Bowie. Stellar design duo Eley Kishimoto will dress the sails of London’s only inner-city windmill in their iconic ‘Flash’ pattern, you can buy directly from designer-makers at the Crafty Fox Market, and type fiends can fill their boots at Dalton Maag’s experimental typography workshop.

ABOVE: The world's most fashionable windmill by Eley Kishimoto, Brixton Windmill is part of the Brixton Design Trail

In East London, the Shoreditch Design Triangle's cluster of streets hosts large established brands such as Lee Broom, SCP East and Kvadrat, and smaller independents like Charlene Mullen and Factorylux showcasing their latest collections. The East End’s premier design shows Tent London and Super Brands have rather confusingly gathered under new moniker the London Design Fair to show a clutch of cutting-edge international designers, luxury labels and young designer-makers. Look out for Magnus Long’s yin-yang ‘Antumbra’ table lamp for Pietre di Monitillo, a bewitching mix of touch-dimmable black and white illuminated marble.

ABOVE: Hand held in black and white... Magnus Long's dimmable marble 'Antumbra' lamp, part of East London's London Design Fair

In West LondonBrompton Design District, South Kensington, is where you’ll see new collections from Italian design houses Cassina, Poltrona Frau, B&B Italia and Boffi, and the V&A is the place to spy intriguing installations by some of the world’s most innovative designers. Influential major trade showcase 100% Design returns to Olympia, having set up home there last year. Divided into five sections – Interiors, Emerging Brands, Kitchens and Bathrooms, Design and Build, and Workplace – it’s the festival’s largest show, with a public day on Saturday 24 September.

ABOVE: Kevin Stamper's pixellated 'Morning Storm' cabinet will be on display within Luxury Made, a new decorative exhibition in the Interiors section at 100% Design

If you’re short on time here are five Fizztastic installations to see during London Design Festival 2016…

‘Glaciarium’ by Fredrikson Stallard for Swarovski  
A glittering collection of chandeliers and accessories by design’s edgiest duo
Fredrikson Stallard, 10 Warner Street, Holborn, EC1

Jaime Hayon for BD Barcelona retrospective
Retrospective celebrating Jaime Hayon’s 10-year collaboration with Spanish brand BD Barcelona
BD Barcelona, 12-14 Berry Street, Clerkenwell, EC1

‘Opticality’ by Lee Broom
Lee Broom’s 'Optical' lighting is displayed in an immersive installation at his showroom
Lee Broom, 95 Rivington St, Shoreditch, EC2


London Design Biennale
Inspiring installations, artworks and prototypes from 37 countries around the world
Somerset House, Strand, WC2

'Visioni' by Patricia Urquiola for cc-tapis
Patricia Urquiola's graphic rugs debuted at the Milan Furniture Fair and now hit London
Ebony and Co, 15 Saville Row, Mayfair, W1

The citywide London Design Festival runs from 17-25 September 2016; see events for individual dates and opening hours.