Now in its sixteenth year, what can we expect from annual capital-sprawling bash the London Design Festival, which is back later this month?
With a pretty inspiring programme of projects concentrated in eleven districts across the city (including new areas Fitzrovia, Marylebone and West Kensington), there are, as usual, demonstrations, launches and workshops kicking off in an interesting array of venues. There are also a handful of neighbourhood-led routes to follow, recognising additional pockets of activity around the city.
King’s Cross itself is hosting six exhibitions. So make a day of it: take a stroll along Regent’s Canal, and swing by the swanky new Tom Dixon Studio (3-10 Bagley Walk), where the much-lauded designer is hosting what he’s calling Electroanalogue – with a bunch of creative mates.
First off is Swedish electronics company Teenage Engineering, launching their OP-Z synthesizer (even dinkier than the OP-1): enter the last arch of the Coal Office and step – or indeed shimmy – into their 70s disco. Elsewhere listen to electronic musician Yuri Suzuki spinning tunes and introducing his latest innovations in sound at The Factory, and check out artisans of leather Bill Amberg Studio, presenting its digitally printed range, a collaboration with Tom Dixon, Faye Toogood and Timorous Beasties, alongside US-based Alexandra Champalimaud and Natasha Baradaran.
Next up wander to Plasticscene (Gasholder 10, Bagley Walk), where you can learn how designers approach issues with the environment, demonstrating how waste can be used to create striking pieces.
A stone’s throw away is Creative Unions, a chance to see how Central Saint Martin’s students – the next generation – are addressing our current socio-political climate through their work. And nearby is Enid Marx at House of Illustration (2 Granary Square): famous for the fabrics she fashioned for London Transport’s tube seats, she also created patterned paper for Curwen Press, book covers for King Penguin and the stamps for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. And she’s put in seven decades of toil, no less.
Lastly, there’s Matter of Stuff (5 Lewis Cubitt Walk), a pop-up gallery designed by Raw Edges in Fenman House (9 Handyside St), which is showing design, research materials, and products from renowned brands, including an eye-catching assortment of furniture.
Phew: you’ll need some refreshment after all that. Our tip? Spiritland, for a cocktail and an astonishingly good sound system.
Main image: Creative Unions – Erin Peace, Your Attention is non-refundable