London Design Festival

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The London Design Festival is a city-wide design event that takes place over nine days every September. Conceived by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans in 2003, the concept was to create an annual event to promote the city’s creativity, drawing in the country's thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver a diverse celebration of design.

The Festival programme is made up of over 400 events and exhibitions staged by over 300 partner organisations across the design spectrum and from around the world. The Festival also commissions its own projects and produces a Guide every year, containing information about activity.

Festival audiences are significant, with an estimated direct audience of over 375,000 people from over 75 countries in 2015.[1]

Over 2000 international design businesses took part in the 2015 London Design Festival including exhibitors at five Design Destinations: 100% Design, Decorex International, designjunction, Focus/15, Tent London & Super Brands London.

In 2015 seven Design Districts participated in the Festival, from Brompton to Bankside, each offering a programme of events, exhibitions, talks and tours. 2015 also saw the Festival inhabit Somerset House for the first time, which hosted several key events and installations.

London Design Festival at the V&A[edit]

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'You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well As By Reflection' at the V&A, 2015.

Since 2009 the Victoria & Albert Museum has acted as the central Hub location for the London Design Festival.

In 2015 the V&A hosted a broad range of commissioned activity spread throughout the Museum. This included 14 specially-commissioned installations, over 50 events, talks and workshops which were attended by 4,900 people and regular daily tours of the Festival installations. During the Festival period, the V&A received 109,997 visitors.[2]

London Design Festival Landmark Projects and Commissioning Programme[edit]

'A Bullet from a Shooting Star' installation at Greenwich Peninsula, 2015.

Since 2007, the London Design Festival has been commissioning leading designers and architects to create installations in London’s public spaces during the Festival. Locations for these installations have included Trafalgar Square, the Southbank Centre, the V&A, Somerset House, Covent Garden, St Paul's Cathedral and Greenwich Peninsula.

2007 - "Urban Nebula", Zaha Hadid; "Prototile", Amanda Levete
2008 - "Sclera", David Adjaye; "Portrait," Fredrickson Stallard
2009 - "Supercell", Marc Newson; "Paper Tower", Shigeru Ban; "Tournament", Jaime Hayón
2010 - "Framed", Stuart Haygarth; "Drop", Paul Cocksedge; "Outrace", Kram/Weisshaar; "Blow & Roll", Oskar Zieta; "Vermiculated Ashlar", Max Lamb
2011 - "Perspectives", John Pawson; "Textile Field", Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec; "Two Lines", "David Chipperfield"; "Timber Wave", AL_A
2012 - "BE OPEN Sound Portal", BE OPEN Foundation; "Bench Years", Various Designers; "Prism", Keiichi Matsuda; "Mimicry Chairs", Nendo 2013 – “Endless Stair”, Alex de Rijke 2014 – “A Place Called Home”, Airbnb; “Double Space for BMW – Precision & Poetry in Motion” Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby 2015 – “A Bullet From A Shooting Star”, Alex Chinneck; “You Know You Cannot See Yourself So Well As By Reflection”, Frida Escobedo; “The Ogham Wall”, Grafton Architects & Graphic Relief; “Mise-En-Abyme”, Laetitia De Allegri & Matteo Fogale; “Curiosity Cloud”, Mischer’Traxler; “Zotem”, Kim Thomé; “Works in Wood”, Robin Day Foundation; “The Cloakroom”, Faye Toogood

The British Land Celebration of Design[edit]

Winners of the British Land Celebration of Design 2015.

Each year a selection committee composed of established designers, industry commentators and previous winners choose recipients of The British Land Celebration of Design Awards across four categories. Winners are chosen from a wide range of design disciplines and awards for their exceptional contribution to their field.

Categories in 2015

  • Panerai London Design Medal
  • PCH Design Innovation Medal
  • Swarovski Emerging Talent Medal
  • Lifetime Achievement Medal

“While there are no shortage of design awards, we wanted to do it differently: not just a big dinner that everyone has to buy tables for,” says Festival Director Ben Evans. “So we took the Nobel Prize route – there’s no shortlist, just a winner. So that means there’s no losers either.”[3]

The Medal is designed each year by jewellery designer Hannah Martin. The 2015 medal featured London bird, the Cockney Sparrow, in flight.

Previous winners include Sir Ken Adam, Peter Saville, Marc Newson, Sir Paul Smith, Dame Zaha Hadid, Thomas Heatherwick, Sir Terence Conran and Ron Arad.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Facts and Figures from the London Design Festival 2015". London Design Festival. London Design Festival. 
  2. ^ Hashish, Amira (September 18, 2015). "London Design Festival 2015: 'It is taking over the Victoria & Albert Museum'". Evening Standard. 
  3. ^ Evans, Ben. "British Land Celebration of Design". 

External links[edit]