LDF 2018 – 11 Fizz Faves for London Design Festival

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Enjoy all the fun of the fair at this week’s London Design Festival, with our 11 must-see installations and showcases around town…

BY SOPHIE DAVIES

This year’s London Design Festival is in full swing, bringing a bewildering array of new design launches and exhibitions to town. We’ve already shared our top tips for the thought-provoking London Design Biennale and festival hub the V&A, but here are 11 citywide FizzPicks for design inspiration, taking in landmark projects, alfresco installations and seductive showrooms.

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ES DEVLIN: ‘PLEASE FEED THE LIONS’
Attracting Insta love in Trafalgar Square – as well as confused looks from tourists – interactive design ‘Please Feed The Lions’ is a collaboration between British artist/stage designer Es Devlin and Google Arts & Culture. A fifth fluorescent red lion has joined the square’s big cat statues, roaring out a crowd-sourced, collective poem. Tap in your word via the on-site screen or online to see it displayed in LEDs in the lion’s mouth. The streaming text is also projection-mapped over Nelson’s Column and the lion at night. Naturally, we fed it the words ‘design’ and ‘fizz’.
Trafalgar Square, London WC2 (18-23 September)

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KELLENBERGER-WHITE: ‘ALPHABET’
Sit on a letter or make words with the 26 vibrant, alphabet chairs at interactive installation ‘Alphabet’ in Broadgate. An experiment in folding metal to create a typographic system, the bespoke seats were designed by London graphic design consultancy Kellenberger-White, known for their playful approach to typefaces. Their inspirations ranged from Bauhaus designers to artist Bruno Munari. Each chair is a different colour, daubed in specialist industrial paint, ranging from orange to cornflower blue.
Finsbury Avenue Square, Broadgate, London EC2 (15-23 September)

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SCHOLTEN & BAIJINGS: ‘TIME FOR TEA’
Take ‘Time For Tea’ at Fortnum & Mason with help from Scholten & Baijings. The Dutch design duo will draw on more than 80 global designs for this installation celebrating the dainty ritual, drawing inspiration from the store’s signature eau de Nil colour and gorgeous green hues. The tabletop setting encompasses a new porcelain tea set produced by 1616/Arita, plus furniture, accessories and limited-edition pieces contrasting tradition with cutting-edge Dutch creativity. Featured products include chairs by HAY, Moroso and Karimoku New Standard, curtains by Maharam, and marble tables and flooring by Luce di Carrara.
First Floor, Fortnum & Mason, 181 Piccadilly, London W1 (15-23 September)

TOM DIXON: ‘ELECTROANALOGUE’
UK designer Tom Dixon hosts ‘Electroanalogue’ at his new HQ and shop The Coal Office in Kings Cross. Expect product launches, live demonstrations and workshops exploring digital innovations and traditional craft, including group show ‘Hyper Real’. Mates on board include Bill Amberg Studio (see below), sound designer Yuri Suzuki, Ege carpets, Kirkby Design, Formica, Spiritland bar and Teenage Engineering showcasing a synthesiser in a Seventies-style disco. The space is part of Coal Drops Yard, a cutting-edge shopping and dining street opening on 26 October with design by Thomas Heatherwick.
The Coal Office, 4-10 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1 (15-23 September)

BILL AMBERG: ‘PRINTED LEATHER LAUNCH’ AT TOM DIXON STUDIO
Luxe leather brand Bill Amberg Studio presents a stunning new collection of digitally printed leathers, including British contributions from Faye Toogood, Timorous Beasties and Tom Dixon, and American-based interior designers Alexandra Champalimaud and Natasha Baradaran. It’s a gamechanger for the industry, with patterns spanning colourful sketches, splattered damasks, lace, circles, foil and rock graphics.
The Coal Office, 4-10 Bagley Walk Arches, Coal Drops Yard, Kings Cross, London N1 (15-23 September)

LEE BROOM: ‘OBSERVATORY’
British boy wonder Lee Broom brings his stellar-inspired lighting collection ‘Observatory’ to his Shoreditch showroom, a hit in Milan and New York. Playing with vertical and horizontal space, sculptural and spherical form, and light reflection and refraction, the third edition of this glamorous yet ultra-contemporary range includes pendant and table lights, making luxe use of LEDs and bespoke bulbs designed in-house.
Lee Broom, 93 Rivington Street, London EC2 (18-23 September)

HOUSE OF GREY
Book online to see House of Grey’s gorgeous North London pop-up exhibition ‘In the Neighbourhood’, a brilliant edit of local and international designers, artists and makers in two residential settings. Curated by Louisa Grey and Morgwyn Rimel, elegant townhouse ‘The Grey House’ creates a calm atmosphere celebrating texture, neutral tones, handmade craft and natural materials. By contrast, loft-style ‘The Blue House’ occupies a converted Methodist congregation hall, with vibrant, bold colours and eclectic contemporary designs. Furniture, textiles, accessories and lighting are on show, flanked by art and plants. Talents include Henry Wilson, Noorstad, Frama, Muller Van Severen for valarie_objects, Dirk Van Der Kooij and Dinosaur Designs.
By appointment only, North London (15-21 September); for availability check here.

THE CONRAN SHOP
The Conran Shop hosts two cracking shows for LDF18. At the Marylebone Store, ‘The Conran Shop x Carl Hansen’ celebrates on-trend indigo, with exclusive editions of the Danish’s firm’s furniture transformed by the deep blue hue. Think Carl Hansen & Søn’s ‘CH4 Wishbone Chair’ by Hans Wegner with an indigo lacquer and Hiut denim seat pad. A stool and chair by Kaare Klint’s also get the denim treatment. At Chelsea’s Michelin House store ‘The Conran Shop x Pinterest’ features a maze of giant red pins, channelling the social media inspo site, while visitors can Pin and save products as they shop using an app and innovative Near Field technology microchips hidden in tags. Pincodes on display reveal the inspiration behind key designs.
The Conran Shop, 55 Marylebone High Street, Marylebone, London W1; Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road, London SW3 (both 15-23 September)

MATTER OF STUFF
Prepare to be transported by London design research gallery Matter of Stuff. In Kings Cross, their pop-up Concept Gallery at Fenman House has been designed by Raw Edges. Hung with wooden dowels suspended by blue string, the space celebrates materials, finishes and texture, including marble and ceramics. It’s the ideal backdrop to Matter of Stuff’s collection of furniture and lighting (by Bohinc Studio and Uufie) plus a curated mix of global brands including CC-Tapis, Made in Ratio and La Chance. Matter of Stuff also explores blown-glass at site-specific exhibition ‘Blown Away’ at Mayfair restaurant/bar Sketch. Don’t miss the new borosilicate glass ‘Bubble’ chandelier by master glassblower Simone Crestani. Magical.
Fenman House, 5 Lewis Cubitt Walk, Kings Cross, London N1; Sketch, 9 Conduit Street, London W1 (15-23 September)

The ARAM GALLERY
Covent Garden’s The Aram Gallery presents ‘Hilos Invisibles’, a collaboration between Montevideo-born designer Matteo Fogale and seven Uruguayan design studios, including furniture, lighting, mirrors and accessories in brass, glass, wood and concrete. Inspired by the work of modernist Uruguayan architect Julio Vilamajó – a design consultant on New York’s UN Headquarters with Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer – the project was born of a 2017 residency and workshop at Montevideo’s Vilamajó House Museum, built by the architect in 1930, and draws on his architectural design details.
110 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London WC2 (17 September-27 October)

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THE NEW CRAFTSMEN
A serene sanctuary, ‘The New Craftsmen x Malgorzata Bany’ offers zen time out from the frenzy of LDF18. Hosted by contemporary British crafts showroom The New Craftsmen in Mayfair, London-based, Slade-trained artist and designer Malgorzata Bany presents her collection of sculptural furniture, objects and table lights, including new additions to the popular range. Materials span Jesmonite, metal and handmade paper, with minimal yet organic forms. Bany also shares her edit of the store’s other makers. And breathe…
34 North Row, Mayfair, London W1 (15 and 17-22 September)

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