London Design Festival 2013

Now in its eleventh year, London Design Festival is in full swing, invoking all that is creative, innovative and beautiful from the capital’s greatest design minds. With over 250 partners and 300 events, London Design Festival 2013 offers something for every design taste – and budget – with another impressive array of pop-up shops, exhibitions to large scale installations and projects.

With less than a week left, we dismantle the well built programme to pick out some of our highlights from this year’s festival.

One of the landmark projects of LDF, Alex de Rijke’s The Endless Stair is currently leading visitors to nowhere outside the Tate Modern. Inspired by MC Escher’s surreal staircase, play on this stunning structure as 187 steps of interlocking wooded staircases excite and disorientate visitors – for free – until 1 October.

Similarly free and exploratory, LDF partners, Victoria & Albert Museum will be a hub of activity, showcasing a selection of special commissions around the museum, including a breathtaking chandelier by Omer Arbel and a real-life dinner party by Scholton & Baijings alongside talks, workshops and events such as their special Digital Design Weekend, celebrating collaborations in digital art, design and science.

Doing as it says on the label, over at the Design Museum, The Future Is Here, explores design practice of the future as the parameters of ‘design’ are warped by the changing relationships between designer, manufacturer and consumer. Southbank Centre, in partnership with Designersblock, are hosting an impressive range of free events including The Fifth Element: The Future of Design, a live exhibition of installations as ‘designitists’ push the boundaries of design bringing together research and science to create their experimental designs and the largest lava lamp in the world, now in the Royal Festival Hall!

With hundreds of venues opening their doors to designers and design lovers, London Design Festival has cleverly split down its programme into Design Districts, stretching from Brompton Road to Chelsea, Clerkenwell to Fitzrovia and of course, the Shoreditch Design Triangle.

Holding up the east’s reputation as London’s freshest design hub, 50 participants will be presenting visual feasts in everything from photography and furniture, upholstery and up-styling and beyond all made in suitable unique and innovative ways. Contemporary design and craft agency, Designer/Makers are popping up shop at 136 Columbia Road (Wednesday to Sunday, 11am – 6pm until 30 September) showcasing the work of 40 designers responding to the theme flora and fauna in the aptly named shop, FLORA + FAUNA.

From fashion and interior design, glass and jewellery to ceramics and metalwork, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the work of independent designers. Discover the creative landscapes of our nation in a multi-disciplinary installation Oh Me Oh My: A Design Landscape of the British Isles at 54 Rivington Street  or celebrate the exciting world of ceramics with the Geffrye Museum in their showcase of UK ceramicists.

Want to know how all these designers ended up out east? Try one of the many tours with Creative Clerkenwell including Shoreditch: Architecture and Artisans exploring the transition from nineteenth century slums to hipster design district.

Bringing London Design Festival to a close this weekend, there’s annual Open House London, letting us all wander around some of London’s greatest architectural feats including Battersea Power Station, the Tate Modern Project and 10 Downing Street.

Access all areas and get exploring – who knows what you might find hidden in an overlooked corner if we just start to look around.

London Design Festival takes place at various venues around London until 22 September.

View the full programme on www.londondesignfestival.com.

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