September marks the start of London’s most creative season and festivities begin with the London Design Festival. Established in 2003, it has already attained a reputation as one of the largest and most innovative design events in the world. Celebrating and promoting London as the design capital of the world, this year’s Festival will continue in creating a platform for inspirational design initiatives. There will be over 350 events and installations on offer across the city, from a packed programme at the Victoria and Albert museum to a series of installations and exhibitions at Somerset House. It’s set to showcase ideas from more than 250 partners this year, representing the very heart of London’s design community and proving its role as a leading force in the city’s creative economy. Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: ‘This brilliant and buzzing gathering of international talent not only underlines London’s pre-eminent position as the design capital of the world, it is a barometer for what our world could look like in the future.’
A major part of the LDF’s programme is the presentation of Landmark Projects in various locations in London. This year A Bullet from a Shooting Star, a project by conceptual artist Alex Chinneck in collaboration with Knight Dragon, has been developed in the Greenwich Peninsula. Taking the form of a regular electricity pylon it also takes on a spectacular structural form that shows the design as anything but conventional. Referencing the industrial history of the site which once included the largest oil and gas works in Europe and a steelworks, Chinneck will create a lattice of steel, that resembles an upside down pylon, leaning at a precarious angle as though shot into the earth. The 35- meter high structure has been designed to be seen from a distance and contains a combined length of 1005m of steel weighing 15 tons. Alex Chinneck said of the piece: ‘I am honored to work in partnership with the London Design Festival. I have met the invitation and opportunity with a concept that presents a considerable challenge, which we set out to solve through a process of collaborative design and problem solving. The Greenwich Peninsula offers a rare and brilliant platform for cultural ambition and I am absolutely thrilled to join Knight Dragon’s exciting and eclectic list of creative collaborators.’
The Festival will also be continuing its unique collaboration with the world’s leading Museum of art and design. As the central hub of activity, the V&A will house a broad range of commissioned events, installations, talks and workshops. Returning for a fourth year is the Global Design Forum, the Festival’s annual programme of talks and discussions exploring the role of design in a sustainable and prosperous future. Focusing on profiling the industry’s pivotal figures, originators from around the world will be in conversations with leading journalists at the V& A every week-day during the festival. Iconic figures from internationally acclaimed designers Barber & Osgerby, who will be discussing their recent projects under the theme of Luxury (Monday 21st), to Tom Dixon OBE who will be focusing on the topic of Industry, discussing the importance of the changing landscape of industrial manufacture to design (Friday 25th).
Somerset House will also be housing several projects this year, an exciting new location for the Festival. A major centre for arts and culture in the heart of London, it is a welcome addition to the proceedings. In the famous courtyard internationally renowned architect David Adjaye is collaborating with MINI to create an installation that will reflect the vision and imagination that has made him globally recognised. Somerset House will also be hosting the work of ten internationally renowned designers in the elegant West Wing Galleries. Jonathan Reekie, Somerset House Director comments; ‘With strong links to the design community, we are pleased to present a number of projects as part of the London Design Festival, and look forward to working with them over the upcoming year to create new opportunities to bring design in all its manifestations to the heart of London and to a new audience.’ The London Design Festival takes places across the capital from the 19th – 27th September. .