Gearing up for London Design Festival 2017? We preview the buzzy King's Cross Creative Quarter, home to major show designjunction and a host of enticing events
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
Like an excitable octopus, London Design Festival's tentacles wriggle out to all areas of the capital. Running from 16 to 24 September 2017, it's a huge – and hugely inspiring – annual event, but with its growing popularity, comes mushrooming scale. Savvy design hunters need to use their time (and shoe leather) wisely, which is why we recommend a visit to one-stop-style-shop the King's Cross Creative Quarter (KXCQ). This once-industrial north London zone offers not only regenerated canalside architecture, boutiques and restaurants, but also hosts exhibitions and installations for LDF17, including must-see four-day fair designjunction (21-24 September).
designjunction London 2017
A curated edit of established and up-and-coming design talent, designjunction is divided into five distinct show areas in and around Granary Square. Last year's edition attracted more than 27,000 visitors, and 2017 is set to be even bigger, with more than 200 global exhibitors on display and expanded area Cubitt Park joining the party. Expect spectacular lighting, furniture, accessories, technology and futuristic materials, alongside pop-ups, interactive installations and even a chance to do a spot of design shopping at retail zone The Canopy. Fizz-rated brands in the frame include Another Country, Decode, Design House Stockholm, Isokon Plus, and Very Good & Proper.
For inspiration, don't miss #djKX's two-day Talks Programme (21-22 September), launched this year, held at The Office Group in Kings's Cross, designed by Wells Mackereth and Studio Downie Architects (The Stanley Building, 1 Pancras Road). Over 50 speakers at 14 debates and discussions will engage with the pressing issues in design today, under the theme 'Where Design Meets'. Participants include renowned industrial designer Sir Kenneth Grange and trendsetting interior decorators 2 Lovely Gays. Book online; tickets £6 each. You can also enjoy a New London Neighbourhood Tour (23 September, 2-4pm), guided by NLA (New London Architecture), exploring the quarter's fast-moving architectural scene. Book spots for the walk online, £18 each.
TOP: The King's Cross Creative Quarter in North London, including the Victorian Gothic St Pancras Renaissance Hotel, will be a key hub for LDF
ABOVE: 'Renault: Life Designed' presents new concept car TreZor at Granary Square as part of designjunction 2017
BELOW: Exhibition 'Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?' at Wellcome Collection presents Tiger, Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, Barcelona
Wellcome Collection: Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?
The vital role of graphic design in communicating and championing health care, and empowering users, is examined in this exhibition hosted by free science-focussed museum the Wellcome Collection at nearby 183 Euston Road, NW1 (7 September 2017-14 January 2018).
The Food Religion
Studio Appétit and Conran + Partners collaborate on The Food Religion, exploring culinary rituals and the intersection of food, faith, design and architecture. For a feast of ideas, and a monumental shrine to dining, visit German Gymnasium restaurant at 1 King's Boulevard, the venue for this challenging installation/show.
ABOVE: Conran + Partners x Studio Appétit presents 'The Food Religion'
BELOW FROM TOP: Creative cuisine is yours to command at Dishoom restaurant and German Gymnasium, part of the KXCQ foodie scene
Ready to refuel? Alongside pop-up dining experiences at designjunction itself – including street food in Granary Square and an interactive cafe in Cubitt Park – you'll find a posse of design-led restaurants in the burgeoning King's Cross Creative Quarter. Fizz favourites include tiletastic Indian Dishoom, inspired by Bombay's retro Irani cafes and occupying a former railway transit shed, built in 1850; glam grand-scale German Gymnasium, serving Mittel-European treats across two floors with heated terraces; and brunch destinations Caravan, in a Grade 11-listed Victorian grain store, and Australian-born cafe/restaurant Granger & Co. So dig in at King's Cross – where design meets delicious...
designjunction is at 1 Granary Square, King's Cross, London N1 from Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September 2017; see website for varying daily opening hours. To register click via the DesignFizz home page; standard tickets are £12 in advance (free for trade professionals) or £15 on the door.