London Design Festival 2019: design in London

London Design Festival 2019 is back in September 14-22. Here the highlights selected by and

A Fountain for London, by Michael Anastassiades, LDF 2018

Events and highlights from London Design Festival 2019

Usually, the Milan Design Week and the Salone del Mobile tend to be seen as the centre of the world; and it is certainly true that they are the most important and visited design events in the world. However, there are many other events related to the world of design, and some of these are of considerable size.

Tea for Time, Landmark Project by Scholten & Baijings, LDF 2018

The London Design Festival, or LDF, is one of those events. Now in its 17th year, in 2018 it attracted over 580,000 visitors. LDF is a showcase for a wide range of events throughout London, as well as other exhibitions. In brief, we are talking of four different small “Fairs” and about a dozen ‘Design Districts’, as well as the architecture projects ‘Landmark Projects‘, scattered throughout the city of London, plus the exhibitions at the V&A Museum. In 2019, it runs from 14 to 22 September.

Please Feed The Lions, by Es Devlin, Landmark Project, LDF 2018

London Design Festival: Landmark Projects

Let’s start from the beginning, and see how LDF interacts with the territory: the Landmark Projects have been introduced since 2007. Every year they involve internationally renowned architects, designers, artists or emerging talents in exhibitions around London, inspired by specific materials or themes, or even by the place where they are located, such as the Victoria& Albert Museum, Southbank Centre, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tate Modern and Trafalgar Square. For 2019, the Landmark Projects program includes installations by Sam Jacob, at the main entrance of the V&A Museum, and Paul Cocksedge, at Finsbury Avenue Square.

Sam Jacob, Sea Things, LDF 2019

Sea Things, by Sam Jacob

Sam Jacob‘s installation, Sea Things, is located at the V&A Museum entrance, on Cromwell Road. A large suspended mirror cube reflects endless particles, to make visitors aware of the problem of plastic in the oceans, and to remind them of the disproportionate use of disposable plastics.

Sam Jacob, Sea Things, LDF 2019

Please Be Seated, by Paul Cocksedge

A giant continuous wooden ribbon stands as a piece of street furniture, inviting the public to interact, sit down, walk around and pass underneath. Finsbury Avenue Square is thus completely redesigned, even if temporarily.

Please be Seated, by Paul Cocksedge, Finsbury Square, LDF 2019

LDF 2019: V&A Projects (Victoria & Albert Museum Projects)

Since 2009, the V&A Museum has been the hub of the activities of the London Design Festival, with many exhibitions and special events, attracting an increasing number of visitors over the years, up to more than 161,000 in the 2018 edition.

MultiPly, by Waugh Thistleton Architects, Landmark Project, LDF 2019

The most important events in 2019 will be the installation Bamboo Ring, by Kengo Kuma, Non-Pavilion, by Studio MICAT, There Project and Proud Studio, and the aforementioned Sea Things, by Sam Jacob.

Bamboo Ring, by Kengo Kuma

The John Madejski Garden (Cromwell Road entrance) hosts the Bamboo Ring: Weaving into Lightness, an installation designed by architect Kengo Kuma, author, among others, of the recent V&A Dundee and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium. Curated by Clare Farrow, the structure consists of a ‘cocoon’ made of bamboo and carbon fiber. Flexibility of bamboo and resistance of carbon fibers create interwoven wires, shaping a light, rigid, and at the same time elastic structure. The main sponsor is Oppo, a Chinese phone manufacturer.

Bamboo Ring, by Kengo Kuma, V&A Museum, LDF 2019

Non-Pavilion, by Studio MICAT, There Studio e Proud Studio

The Sackler Courtyard hosts Non-Pavilion, an interactive installation addressing the problem of the infinite growth of the earth’s population, which sooner or later will have to face the problem of limited resources. How can design help to find new solutions for sustainable development? [Roberta Mutti]

Non-Pavilion, V&A Museum, LDF 2019

Events and highlights from London Design Festival 2019

Related Articles


Agape: 50 years of excellence

“In realtà, volevamo fare dell’altro” (“Actually, we wanted to do something else”) is the title of the exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of Agape, a company founded on the banks of the Mincio River in 1973.

Read more »