The commuter guide to the London Design Festival
London is fizzing this week with installations, pop-ups, talks and a whole raft of immersive experiences. Get in!
I dipped into the London Design Festival on Tuesday and it’s fantastic fun. It finishes Sun 24 Sept, so if you’re in London this week for work, here are a few highlights that might be easy to pop to if you commute. The festival is in its 15th year, and it just gets better and better. The main hub for the festival is the V&A, and on Friday it’s open until 10pm.
Victoria: V&A, South Kensington
If you work in or near Victoria, it’s easy to hop on the Circle Line to go to the V&A at South Ken. This is the main hub for the Design Festival and there were lots of young people wearing red polo shirts who were Design Festival guides. It was on the second day of the festival and not all of them knew where the various installations were, but we found them eventually. Ross Lovegrove’s Transmission is inspired by the folds of a dress worn by one of the women in the tapestries. I loved this. You’re invited to touch it and it’s a tactile delight. It’s not as scary as it looks.
The Reflection Room is great fun. It’s by Flynn Talbot, an Australian lighting artist and designer who lives in London. There’s a moment when you’re in complete darkness, before you fumble your way through a curtain into the wood panelled Prince Consort Gallery, now transformed into a tunnel of LED delight. I loved this!
Kings Cross: Design Junction, Granary Square
Granary Square is one of my favourite London haunts and Design Junction, in its second year, starts today. It’s ticketed but it’s on all weekend and you can still get a ticket, although be warned, last year 25,000 people descended. When I was there, they were hurrying to finish everything, but the Campari aperitivo boat was already afloat, the Turkish Ceramics installation was almost complete, and the Bloomon flower tunnel was not quite ready. But it’s open today! Expect to be inspired.
Liverpool Street: Exchange Square
I didn’t manage to get to this inflatable sculpture by Camille Walala but it’s tipped to be the most Instagrammed festival exhibit. It’s in Exchange Square, Broadgate, near Liverpool Street. And of course if you work in this area, the Truman Brewery is a great place to head to during the festival, with the London Design Fair starts today and is on until Sunday. There’s more stuff going on than any of us could possibly hope to digest but it’s worth a try. Good luck!