London Design Festival 2013: a preview

Friday, 24 May 2013

Visualisation of The Endless Staircase, designed by DRMM Architects for LDF 2013

Returning for its eleventh year this autumn, the London Design Festival today announced a snapshot of projects to look out for from 14-22 September 2013. These include an optical illusion of a staircase, to be installed outside St Paul's Cathedral, a "living dining table" by Scholten & Baijings, the launch of a new design brand by HAY and Sebastian Wrong, and an innovative cork installation by FAT Architects.

This year's Landmark Project will be The Endless Staircase (pictured above). Designed by DRMM Architects in collaboration with Arup and The American Hardwood Export Council, the architectural installation is "a staircase that isn't leading anywhere, and that's the experience. It's a place to explore," explained Jonas Lencer of DRMM.

Type Tasting workshop at the V&A for LDF 2012

The Victoria & Albert Museum will once again act as the hub to the Festival, hosting a number of events and workshops over the nine days, such as a Type Tasting workshop (pictured above), Graphics weekend, a Future of Food Design workshop , and Digital Design weekend.

Key installations will include a roomset by Scholten & Baijings called True-to-Life Design, which will be styled to appear recently abandoned by its diners; a cork floor by FAT Architects with Portuguese cork brand Amorim; and a trail called God Is In The Details that will take visitors through a series of interventions made by designers to the V&A's world-leading collection of art and design. Each one will use a Swarovski lens to magnify a detail of the piece.

8-18 The Typographic Circle's Circular Magazine
As well as designing this year's London Design Festival identity, Domenic Lippa of Pentagram will curate an exhibition of issues 8-18 of Circular, a magazine by The Typographic Circle. This will include pieces by graphic designers such as Stefan Sagmeister and Alan Fletcher, founder of Pentagram, among others.

8-18 The Typographic Circle's Circular Magazine

The festival's four Design Districts - Shoreditch, Fitzrovia, Brompton and Clerkenwell - will each host an array of events and showcases. Republic of Fritz Hansen's flagship showroom will be one to home in on, with Chung Tyson Architects and Bartlett School of Architecture students installing an "experimental structure" called Off|Cut in the space. This will be made from ash veneer offcuts taken from the production line of the Series 7 chair, and leather scraps left over from the upholstery process.

For its LDF debut, Danish design brand HAY will be launching its new brand, Wrong for HAY. Directed by Sebastian Wrong, the brand's first collection will comprise furniture, accessories and lighting, created by a stable of designers including Alexander Taylor and Stefan Diez.

Bangka Island, Indonesia

Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth will also be involved throughout the festival, using it as a platform for their Make It Better campaign, which urges designers, manufacturers and consumers to reconsider how their appliances are made.

The campaign highlights the destructive tin mining that takes place in Bangka Island, Indonesia, in order to supply tin to brands such as Apple and Samsung. Andrew Pendleton, head of campaigns at Friends of the Earth, promised "a series of eye-catching activities" during LDF, all designed to make visitors think about how to create or support "things that work properly for people and planet."