London Design Festival 2012 preview

Friday, 25 May 2012

Nendo's Mimicry Chairs will be installed across the V&A museum to interact with their surroundings

For its 10th anniversary, the London Design Festival will open up unseen areas of the V&A, present the future of luxury at a Georgian townhouse, and install an immersive soundscape in Trafalgar Square. WGSN-homebuildlife previews some of the highlights to look forward to at this year's edition, which runs 14 - 23 September 2012.

Oki Sato of Nendo will install close to 300 white metal chairs in the V&A, which once again acts as the hub for the festival. Different configurations of the chair will respond to the environment they are placed in: frameworks of chairs will provide seating in the museum's tapestry gallery while versions without legs will convert staircases into seating, and a gallery of landscape paintings will host a corresponding landscape of chairs.

BE OPEN Sound Portal by Arup and Sound and Music

Arup are working with Sound and Music and BE OPEN to drop a big black rubber box into Trafalger Square. The BE OPEN Sound Portal will provide an immersive sound experience to visitors, who will enjoy a series of three-dimensional soundscapes including five new works commissioned from artists such as Ivan Pavlov.

Prism by Keiichi Matsuda
Concept designer Keiichi Matsuda has created an interactive, constantly changing sculpture that will stream visualisations of London's unseen data flows across its faceted surface in real-time. The piece, called Prism, will take up residence in the cupola at the top of the V&A, and will be available to experience around the world too, through a dedicated website and app.

Installation by Rolf Sachs

London-based designer Rolf Sachs (who we interviewed here) will install a tank of liquid at the base of the V&A's Henry Cole Grand Staircase, marking the first time this space is to be made open to the public. Drops of ink will fall from the very top of the huge staircase into this tank, propelled from customised IV drip bags and fountain pens, to land with a spectacular explosion of colour.

Other new additions to the programme will include Townhouse, an event curated by Jane Withers and held in a Georgian house in Belgrave Square, which aims to present inspiring contemporary design in an equally inspiring 19th century setting.

And last but not least, LDF's new deputy director Max Fraser is launching the Global Design Forum - a one-day conference that hopes to transform the passive conference model into a dynamic two-way exchange of ideas and vision.