One of the world’s biggest, most important, and mind-blowing design festival is nigh! The London Design Festival is a flagship event of all things creative and design-related, and everyone who’s serious about anything in between to make the most out of it! How, though? London is vast, big, and intricate, and there’s bound to be thousands of distractions in the City of the Crown. Worry not, faithful creatives! Interior Design Magazines has got you more than covered with this guide for the best parties, events, museums, and whatever else there might be of relevance during the festival! Hop in, and we’ll drive straight to the point!
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This imperative design festival is both a cultural and a commercial event. The programme ranges from a wide variety of features, installations, and talks, plus it also acts as an opportunity to visit the best landmarks of the city. Now, Design Museum will highlight a few of them, including:
- Design Events and Exhibitions
- Design Districts
- Parties and Gatherings
- Luxury Hotels
Best Design Events to Attend
Decorex is internationally renowned for being one of the best platforms to find the most coveting concepts and products regarding interior design, which are developed by emerging and well-established talents. This year’s edition will take precedence from 16-19 September in Syon Park.
In this event, you can expect to see luxury brands like Covet House (H47), Boca do Lobo and RugSociety (H45), Luxxu and Pullcast (H42), Casamance (C24), Lasvit (H33), Nicholas Haslam (B37), THG Paris (Booth C37) as well as Santorus, a unique brand dedicated to fashion and interior design, especially in cushion, fabrics and wallpapers. The brand will also be present at 100% Design.
Considered one of the best destinations in the beloved London Design Festival, 100% Design is actually the largest and longest-running design trade event for industry professionals in the UK. From 12-19 September, this will become the best place to find the most appealing interior design trends, inspirations as well as emerging talents.
This year, the event has introduced brand-new features, including the affluent area of West Kensington Design District, 100% Features that celebrates forward-thinking design, 100% Forward that honours emerging talents in sectors like lighting, textiles, furniture and product design, 100% Build London, which is a show dedicating for the construction and architectural industry, Design Best Sale Shop, among many other attractive exhibitions. You can expect to hear from some of the world’s best designers and architects in the show’s talks, including Marcel Wanders, Kelly Hoppen, Thomas Heatherwick, Philippe Starck, John Hitchcox, Jade Jagger, Mark Davison and Steve Leung.
100% Design also grants the opportunity for one to meet some of the best luxury design brands in the world, including DelightFulland Essential Home (Booth L421), Antoniolupi (L330), Tuuci (Booth L257), Vincent Sheppard (Booth L360), and countless others.
In 2018, designjunction has found a new location in the cultural hub of the South Bank. The event will take place from 20-23 September and will encompass a combination of global furniture, lighting, accessory, material and technology brands, who have the opportunity to meet, do business and be inspired by one another. The event hosts numerous pop-up shops, installations and interactive features, making Designjunction one of the most exclusive and prestigious events in London and worldwide.
The London Design Fair takes place in the creative heart of East London. The new edition will occur from 20-23 September and will bring together 550 exhibitors from 36 countries. Here one can find the latest trends in furniture, lighting, textiles, materials as well as the most astonishing conceptual installations from the world’s best minds. Within this fair, there’s also plenty of events including Tent London an event dedicated to contemporary art.
Located in the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Focus is recognised as a primary destination for creative excellence. Each year, the event gathers thousands of makers and thinkers from the industries of interior design, architecture and fashion. Colour will be one of the main aesthetics for the upcoming edition.
For its 30th anniversary, the prestigious art fair will celebrate modern British art from the last 100 years. The event will count with the presence of over 50 leading dealers as well as plenty of peculiar exhibitions taking place at the Saatchi Gallery, from 20-23 September.
Over the years, Lapada Art & Antiques Fair has grown quite fast becoming one of the most beloved international showcases when it comes to art and antiques. This year, the event will take place at the Berkley Square, from 14-19 September. Around 100 exhibitors are expected to participate within a wide variety of sectors, from art and antiques to design and decorative arts as well as jewelry, furniture, carpets, ceramics, and many others.
Best Design Districts to Visit
One of the most important components of this marvellous design week is London’s highly curated design districts. Each one features a cluster of events and exhibitions that allow visitors to truly enjoy the extraordinary lifestyle and design essence of London.
Bankside Design District is a celebration of the area’s thriving creative industries with a programme of installations, open studios and interactive workshops. Here, one should definitely check out the Tate Design Week and Bankside secret garden.
The 2018 programme was curated by Jane Withers Studio focusing around the theme of “Material Consequences”. Many enticing design projects will be shown that question the role of design on a local and a global scale. In this district, you can visit the showrooms and design stores of some of the world’s best brands, including Meridiani, Kartell Wander, Citco, Molteni & C, Poltrona Frau, B&B Italia, and countless others.
For its fifth year, the design district will appose the best multi-disciplinary elements of this historical region. Zaha Hadid Design, Vitra, Knoll, TOTO, Viaduct and Moroso are a few of the most renowned manufacturers that will be present.
Quality and craftsmanship are two of the main focus of this exceptional district. It gathers interactive exhibitions from the best galleries. Once known as a more traditional location, The Mayfair Design District now showcases how evolving and opened it has become when it comes to contemporary and collectible design.
Victoria has been one of the most recently transformed and well-connected areas in London. Presenting a vibrant and bustling character, the district gives birth to major investments. Here, creative thinkers and visitors will be able to gather and enjoy “world-class experiences”.
This creative hub is known for being quite diverse and innovative housing plenty of design styles and disciplines. It actually has some of the most long-standing design houses in the world, such as Ligne Roset as well as original start-ups and independents. As a whole, it nurtures the finest things in British design.
The Howard de Walden Estate and the Portman Estate are responsible for the coordination of this design district. Through prime partnerships, they have been able to develop an environment where creativity can shine through. One of the main attractions of the district is the Conran Shop, a prestigious design store dedicated to furniture, lighting and gifts.
Located right next to the Sloane Square, the Pimlico Road Design District is a phenomenal platform for retailers, especially those specialised in interiors and textiles. FBC London, the Magic of Bespoke and Poggenpohl are a few brands you should definitely check out.
This design district was launched just this year and will combine the best of globally recognized names and unique independent boutiques to create a programme of varied design experiences for the London Design Festival. You should certainly keep an eye for Italian Design at Christie’s and Bethan Gray.
Shoreditch Design Triangle
Shoreditch is a true celebration of the best that this area has to offer. It brings together the very best product launches, exhibitions, installations, workshops, talks and tours. London Design Fair takes place in this district. One of the best exhibitions to see this year will be Oneroom by Bethan Laura Room.
This affluent area brings together leading design destinations, cultural institutions and must-events, such as 100% Design, during one of the biggest festivals of the world. Yoo is also one of the brands you should see in this district.
Lastly, you should also visit Magna Lighting pop-up store in order to see a wide range of bespoke luxury lighting designs and, of course, the exclusive Chelsea Design Centre, the world’s premier destination when it comes to interiors.
Best Cocktail Parties, Gatherings and Special Installations from the World’s Best Design Influences
Cocktail Party: 17 September at 17:00 pm / Pop-Up Store: 19 September at 17:00 pm
Covet London has the noble mission of celebrating design with professionals and enthusiasts, offering an intimate and authentic design experience.
Address: 1 Regal House, Lensbury Avenue, Fulham London, United Kingdom
Tom Dixon’s Electroanalogue
Monday 17th September – 8.30am – 11.00am
The proficient designer will host Electronalagoue in the brand’s new HQ and flagship shop in King’s Cross. This gathering will be exploring all realms of digital innovation in a wide variety of installations and interventions. It will count with the collaboration of Bill Amberg Studio, Teenage Engineering, sound artist Yuri Suzuki, sound lab Spiritland and ege carpets.
Address: The Coal Office, 1 Bagley Walk, King’s Cross, London, N1C 4PQ
Tours on 20 and 22 Sept – 2pm-6pm
Zaha Hadid Gallery will be offering two guided tours during London Design Festival allowing visitors to discover the latest in architecture, interior design, furniture and product design.
Address: 101 Goswell Road
15-23 Set | Mon-Sun 10am-6pm, Thu 20 Sept 10am-9pm
For the London Design Festival, Poltrona Frau will explore notions of lightness by showcasing a contemporary collection of furniture, lighting designs and accessories from the world’s most famous designers.
Address: 147-153C Fulham Road
15-23 Set | Sat-Sun 12pm–5 pm, Mon 9.30am–4.30pm, Tue 9am–8pm, Wed-Fri 9:30am–4:30pm
Christie’s will be honoring the Italian identity by showcasing a handful of incredible art and design works from leading names like PierLuigi Giordano, Paolo Buffa and Paolo Venini.
Address: 8 King Street Saint James’s
17-23 Set | Monday-Saturday 10-6pm, Sunday 12-5pm
In celebration of their 90th anniversary, Italian design brand, Cassina partnered up with publisher Rizzoli and editor Felix Burrichter to launch “This Will Be the Space” book which explores the home of the future with surprisingly diverse results.
Address: 238-242 Brompton Road
15 & 17-22 Set | Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm
Poliform will showcase their new collections by well-known designers as well as emerging talents in the industries of furniture and fashion.
Address: 278 Kings Road
15-23 Set | Mon, Tue, Fri, Sat: 10am-6pm, Wed, Thu: 10am-7pm Sun: 12pm-6pm
“Expect the unexpected as The Conran Shop and Pinterest join forces for the first time to allow visitors to harness the full power of Pinterest with real-life inspiration.”
Address: Michelin House 81 Fulham Road
Celebrate 80 years of design by KNOLL
17-21 Set | Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm
Knoll will be celebrating its 80th anniversary at the London Design Festival, showcasing their new 2018 collection as well as its most iconic designs demonstrating how creative their vision is and why they have turned into one of the most celebrated brands in the world.
Address: 91 Goswell Road
15-23 Set | Open daily 10am-6pm
This year, The Design Museum will explore the theme “belonging” through a wide variety of exhibitions, events and installations in an effort to celebrate a sense of belonging and ownership of design for all.
Address: 224-238 Kensington High Street Kensington
Exemplars of Craftsmanship by 18 Davies Street Gallery
15 & 17-22 Set | Mon-Sat, 10am-6:30 pm
Exemplars of Craftsmanship will be an innovative exhibition that will take place at 18 Davies Street Gallery where audacious designers and craftsmen will feature their work and approach to materials.
Address: 18 Davies Street Mayfair
15 & 17-22 Set | Mon 10am-9pm, Tue-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-6pm
The Moooi showroom will display an installation that honors the Dodo Pavone rug and wallcovering from the Extinct Animals collection. The Museum of Extinct Animals celebrates nature’s diversity, offering endless creative inspiration.
Address: 23 Great Titchfield Street
18-21 Set | Mon-Fri 9am-6pm
In a wonderful celebration of a 30 years partnership, Cappellini will showcase a retrospective of Jasper Morrison’s work.
Address: Cappellini UK 150 St John St
Selfridges x London Design Festival
15-23 Set | Mon-Sat 9.30am-10pm, Sun 11.30am-6pm
Selfridges will provide exciting new spaces, exclusive products from Vitra, Nendo and others as well as special design experiences at the beloved London Design Festival.
Address: Selfridges 400 Oxford Street
Best Luxury Hotels to Stay
The Savoy, one of the world’s iconic hotels, originally opened in 1889, has played host to royalty, world leaders and legends of the stage and screen. A landmark hotel brilliantly reinvented for the 21st century where an unashamedly old fashioned glamour sparkles with a new luster.
Address: Strand, London WC2R 0EU
Corinthia is one of the best luxury hotels in central London and is located near all of the city’s major attractions. The hotel combines grandeur and heritage with clever design. It is comprised of 225 rooms, 51 suites, 7 penthouses and an exceptional restaurant.
Address: Whitehall Pl, Westminster, London SW1A 2BD, UK
The Dorchester, a splendid English luxury hotel, is located in upscale Mayfair close to Hyde Park. The hotel is truly representative of the British tradition offering the quintessence of refinement and elegance.
Address: 53 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA
Situated in the heart of Mayfair, Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel personifies modern British luxury, with outstanding personal service, elegant rooms and suites, award-winning afternoon tea and a spa. The Donovan Bar and HIX Mayfair celebrate British dining and contemporary art, offering the perfect London experience.
Address: Albemarle St, Mayfair, London W1S 4BP
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park offers an enticing blend of elegance, style and luxury. Home to two of the city’s best restaurants, elegant afternoon tea room, stunning spa, beautifully designed accommodation and exquisite function rooms, the hotel offers a fashionable, yet timeless base from which to discover the British capital.
Address: 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
Shangri-La’s first UK outpost boasts arguably the best views of any hotel in London, with 360-degree vistas of the capital from just about everywhere that make a stay here truly memorable. The top-floor infinity pool area is a particularly desirable space from which to survey your kingdom.
Address: The Shard, 31 Saint Thomas, London SE1 9QU
Best Restaurants to Experience
This two Michelin-starred restaurant is located in the elegant The Connaught Hotel and Darroze’s creativity and passion become even more famous here. Hélène Darroze only uses season ingredients, and they are available just on the day of serving.
Address: Carlos Pl, Mayfair, London W1K 2AL
Alain Ducasse’s three Michelin Star restaurant is placed on the Dorchester Hotel, a London Landmark. In this luxury restaurant, people are treated with the French Charm and eat classical food.
Address: 53 Park Ln, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA
Sketch is a complex and unique site. Conceived by French master chef Pierre Gagnaire and restaurateur Mazouz, it has attracted unprecedented media reaction for its myriad food, drink and entertainment styles since it opened in December 2002.
Address: 9 Conduit St, Mayfair, London W1S 2XG
It’s easy to be amazed by the Lanesborough Hotel but, at first, you need to dine at Céleste. This brilliant Michelin- starred restaurant is led by Executive Chef Florian Favario and offers amazing courses with European influences.
Address: Hyde Park Corner, Belgravia, London SW1X 7TA
Aquavit London is a fresh, new concept that combines inspired signature dishes with sophisticated design, all in a uniquely Nordic style. Situated in the recently re-developed St James’s Market in central London.
Address: St James’s Market 1 Carlton Street, London SW1Y 4QQ
Best Museums and Art Galleries to See
The British Museum hosts more than 8 million works and is dedicated to documenting the story of human culture and art from the very beginning until our present. The museum is actually the first national public museum in the world.
Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, UK
The beloved art museum was founded in 1824 and it comprises a collection of more than 2,300 pa
Recognized as the world’s leading museum of art and design, V&A features a permanent collection of 2.3 million objects. It also houses several national collections and some of the world’s greatest resources when it comes to architecture, fashion, furniture, photography, painting, sculpture, Asian art and design, glass, and countless others.
Address: Cromwell Road, London, SW7 2RL
The Serpentine Galleries are located in the Kensington Gardens and are mainly dedicated to contemporary art. The two galleries (Serpentine Gallery/Serpentine Sackler Gallery) are just a stone’s throw away from each other.
Address: Kensington Gardens, London W2 3XA, UK
Tate Modern holds the title of being Britain’s national gallery of international modern art. The gallery houses the national collection of British art from 1900 to the present day as well as international modern and contemporary art.
Address: Bankside, London SE1 9TG, UK
In conclusion, the London Design Week is one of the greatest celebrations of design that allows both design enthusiasts and professionals to discover the best of what the city has to offer. It is in fact, the best platform to identify and be inspired by the best city to offer, the latest trends and product releases.
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