Preview: London Design Festival

Dean Nicholas
By Dean Nicholas Last edited 100 months ago
Preview: London Design Festival

LDF.jpg The annual celebration of all things design returns to London on Saturday, 18th September. For eight days the creative classes will be like pups in heat, and the hubs of Shoreditch and beyond will spin into overdrive as hundreds of events clamour for attention.

Unfortunately, as is all too common with events of this size, the website is difficult to use: taking a maximalist approach, the designers have simply thrown everything online, without any kind of recommendations or even a basic planning tool like a calendar. If you're dismayed by the prospect of wading through it, here are our recommendations:

Outrace: We previewed this earlier in the year, but it still seems ridiculously ambitious: a set of industrial robots from the Audi factory will be installed in Trafalgar Square, and the public will be invited to "interact" with them. It'll almost certainly end with the robots developing artificial consciousness and turning on their human overlords.

The Tramshed: Tucked just off Old Street, this former power station has been converted into a showroom for some 25 designers, and also host a series of debates and even a pop-up restaurant. The organisers are positing it as the "premier destination" for LDF.

'Drop' by Paul Cocksedge: This sculpture beside Southbank Centre is conceived as "an outsize coin

which has fallen to Earth from a giant's palm". The coin has been magnetised, and passers-by are encouraged to attach their own pennies to it, with each penny added turned into a charity-bound pound by Barnardo's at the end of the festival.

Hel Yes!: Punny title aside, this is a pop-up restaurant and exhibition inspired by all things Finnish. Housed in a dilapidated warehouse just off the Regent's Canal, it brings together a smörgåsbord (isn't that Swedish? Eds.) of Finn design and cuisine.

Skyroom: A temporary structure on the roof of the Architecture Foundation. There are some talks scheduled, which might be a little dry for the uninitiated, but it'll be worth visiting for the views.

Framed, by Stuart Haygarth: As you'd expect, the V&A is hosting plenty of events, amongst them this installation which uses cut-off pieces of picture frames to redecorate the gallery's main marble staircase.

London Design Festival, 18th - 26th September, various venues. And don't forget the Anti Design Festival, which runs concurrently

Last Updated 14 September 2010