Hot on the heels of London Fashion Week is the London Design Festival, a showcase of the best and the most recent product designs in London, the UK and abroad. There are a huge number of events across the city, with three main shows – 100 Percent Design at Earl’s Court, Tent London and Superbrands London at Truman’s Brewery in the heart of the creative centre of Spitalfields and Design Junction at the Old Sorting Office in New Oxford Street, all set in atmospheric buildings awaiting redevelopment.
“Design and creativity are embedded within our city’s DNA and critical to the future prosperity of London, as well as the whole country. In bringing together top design talent from across the world, the London Design Festival provides a snapshot of where we are now, but also importantly, it offers an insight into where we are going.” Boris Johnson Mayor of London
Creative design is estimated to be worth £19 billion a year to our economy. The London Design Festival increases in size and spread year by year and continues to raises its international credentials. It is almost impossible to summarise the sheer breadth and virtuosity of work on display. This year, one of the best displays at 100 Percent Design demonstrates how Chinese designers create beautiful new contemporary furniture which builds on the heritage of the past. At Tent London and Superbrands London, there are a number of international zones – Denmark and Norway (“100% Norway”) showing the Scandinavian flair we would expect including a fascinating exhibit about how prisoners in Norway are being rehabilitated through training in design skills, something which also happens on the other side of the world in Mexico, while at “Tokyo Imagine” the Japanese integrate innovative technology and zen practices into design and the Irish also develop contemporary design using traditional crafts such as basket weaving. Most beautiful of all are the stunning displays of work from Korean where old traditions continue into the modern world, giving a timeless quality to contemporary design.
In the same vein, is a display of graphic design from Poland with a range of contrasts – some restrained reflecting the communist era, some more adventurous and political.
The London Design Festival is a celebration of imaginative and creative design in London, the UK and across the globe and reinforces the position of London as an international centre, also showing the great work coming out of countries such as Korea, China and Japan in addition to nearer friends such as Norway, Denmark and Ireland. With such a range of talent, there is no excuse for the poor design we all too often experience in our working, social and living environment.