Where to go during London Design Festival


Where to go during London Design Festival

September 1, 2015

The London Design Festival is a remarkable event in the UK that is attended by millions of design-goers every year. CovetED decided to tell you more about the most peculiar events and shows that are going to take place during the whole festival.


Celebration of Design

Over the last twelve years, a number of key design exhibitions have become an integral and vital part of the London Design Festival, each offering an exciting mix of designers, products, talks, installations and innovations housed under one roof. These Destinations are hubs for conducting business during the Festival, providing a focal point for international buyers, specifiers and the media.

2015 British Land Celebration of Design

Every year an illustrious selection committee comprising established designers, industry commentators and previous winners sit down and debate possible recipients of The British Land Celebration of Design Awards across four categories. The eventual winners are chosen from a wide range of design disciplines and awarded for their exceptional contribution to their field.


The 2015 British Land Celebration of Design Awards Ceremony will take place in Canada House in Trafalgar Square on the 23rd of September.


The Medal itself is designed by esteemed jewellery designer Hannah Martin and represents the once ubiquitous London bird, the Cockney Sparrow, in flight.

The 2015 British Land Celebration of Design awards ceremony will take place in Canada House in Trafalgar Square on 23 September. The building, which would later become known as Canada House, was built between 1824 and 1827 to designs by Sir Robert Smirke, architect of the British Museum.

The judging of the British Land Celebration of Design took place in May. This year’s winners will be announced during the London Design Festival in September.



Programme of London Design Festival

If anything is evidence of this city’s vitality, it’s the sheer scope and quality of the Festival events programmed by our Partners. From established businesses to emerging practices, from entrepreneurs to educators, from manufacturers to retailers, our Partners represent the heart of London’s design culture. In 2014 the Festival had a programme of 395 projects and events staged by 270 partner organisations.

Navigating the Festival

Navigating all the Festival activity can appear daunting at first. With over 400 events in total, there’s more than any single person could see so we suggest you take time to browse the Visit page for tips on planning. The GPS-enhanced itinerary tool ‘My Festival’ can be used in conjunction with the new events search to save your own personalized diary of events.

Still wondering where to start? The London Design Festival residency at the Victoria and Albert Museum began in 2009 and is a great place to begin. Known as the Festival Hub, the V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design and features a range of Landmark Projects, talks and workshops.


London’s design communities gravitate to different districts creating distinct clusters of activity.

Brompton Design District is situated close to the V&A in west London, heading east, in the centre of London, Fitzrovia Now promote a cluster of shows in the Covent Garden and Fitzrovia areas and in the East End head to the Shoreditch Design Triangle’s network of design venues. Keep an eye on the Design Districts page for more information on activities taking place in each area.

London Design Festival at the V&A

A unique collaboration between the world’s leading museum of art and design and London’s foremost contemporary design festival. Over the past six years, the London Design Festival at the V&A has gone from strength to strength. This year’s programme will once again fill the museum with an extraordinary range of design installations large and small, intricate and majestic.

In 2009 the relationship between the V&A and the London Design Festival began and it continues to grow stronger by the year, producing a programme of installations and events bigger and more daring than ever before.

Somerset House

Somerset House, one of London’s most important centers for arts and culture, is this year a major new destination for the London Design Festival and will showcase a series of exciting exhibitions, installation and events during the Festival.


Within the historic setting will be exhibitions showcasing collaborations between internationally-renowned designers and brands, a presentation of the winning entries from a competition with Twitter, an exploration of how an ancient tree can continue to have a function even after being felled and a display showing the work of four winners of the British Land Celebration of Design Awards.

Design Destinations

A number of large group-shows will take place across the city where new and established exhibitors from the UK and around the world will debut their designs. These ‘Design Destinations’ are crucial for designers and manufacturers wanting to reach new markets and provide excellent platforms for new and emerging designers and makers to present their products and innovations.

100% Design at Olympia

23 – 26 September 2015

This September, 100% Design, the UK’s largest design trade show celebrates its 21st edition in a brand new home, Olympia London. Staged in the dramatic Grand and West Halls, the show will take place across two levels and benefit from natural light, enhanced facilities and five distinct sections including Interiors, Design & Build, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Workplace and Emerging Brands.


Based upon the central theme ‘Design in Colour’, 100% Design 2015 has collaborated closely with trend forecasters WGSN among many others to bring to life the visual and sensual experience of using colour across interiors and the build environment. This is supported by specially commissioned and thought-provoking editorial features, world-leading seminars and live content, alongside over 400 exhibitors.

The top colour trends for 2016 will thread throughout the show as a means to demonstrate the importance of colour and to navigate the show. To complement this, the award-winning 100% Design website fully embraces colour, providing an opportunity to search exhibitor products in each of the selected colours.

Decorex International 2015 at Syon Park

20 – 23 September 2015

Returning to the prestigious location of Syon Park, Decorex International opens alongside the 2015 London Design Festival. This year Decorex explores the future of luxury through a series of interactive feature installations and focused seminar discourse.


Leading applied arts and design critic, Corinne Julius, curates the eagerly anticipated sequel to Future Heritage, an exciting feature of people to commission and the names to collect in contemporary British craft and design. Renowned designer, Russell Sage, will be creating the highly anticipated Champagne Bar this year and The New Craftsmen – luxury handmade craft from over 75 British makers – will be designing the VIP lounge in association with House & Garden. Throughout the four days, visitors will be the first to see new collections from more than 400 design brands and experience inspirational and enlightening talks as part of the popular seminar programme. A pop-up food market will offer visitors the chance to indulge in luxury street food from some of London’s rising stars, while the on-site restaurant will provide fine dining with views of historic Syon Park.

designjunction at Central Saint Martins and Victoria House

24 – 27 September 2015

designjunction is delighted to announce that this year’s London flagship show will be held at two stunning new locations for the London Design Festival 2015. Renowned for taking on challenging industrial spaces across the globe, designjunction2015 will see the transformation of the spectacular, character-filled former Central Saint Martin’s college and nearby Victoria House.

In a move which will result in a major collaborative show for London, the former Central Saint Martin’s College building will house designjunction’s leading trade- focused brands and live content, whilst across the road, Victoria House will present the show’s largest ever retail offering of premium high-end design brands.


designjunction2015 will host more than 180 cutting-edge design brands, over 50 design-led pop-up shops, the largest ever edition of lightjunction, a stellar seminar programme, interactive flash factories and a wealth of culinary delights – all spread across two historic venues.

Focus/15 at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour

20 – 25 September 2015

At Focus/15 connect, converse, create. A comprehensive collective of over 500 leading international brands runs the gamut from classic contemporary to cutting- edge.The dynamic programme brings together creative minds for an exciting exchange of ideas and collection launches. Global names share their expertise

at ‘Conversations in Design’ sessions while ‘Access All Areas’ sees tremendous growth with over 100 events bringing new insights at workshops, talks and forums. Add to this specially commissioned installations and pop-ups, it is the perfect mix of style, innovation and directional design.

Tent London & Super Brands London at the Old Truman Brewery

24 – 27 September 2015

Tent & Super Brands, London have rapidly become the host fairs for national pavilions during the Festival, with 450 exhibitors from 29 countries. Some pavilions will be themed around a design discipline such as the Czech Republic’s 2014 Glass Mania by Umprum academy, or will be a cross-disciplinary selection by producers such as Fulgen for 100% Norway 2015. Other confirmed Pavilions will include the spectacular and updated Consistency & Change in Korean Craft exhibition, Swedish Design Pavilion & Café in Super Brands (curated and designed by Cate&Nelson with brands including Offecct, Bla Station etc.) and The Design & Crafts Council of Ireland exhibition celebrating Irish Design 2015. Taste Taiwan celebrates World Design Capital 2016 with a dining experience, the Italian Trade Commission will present 250sqm of Italian brands, KADK NOW! (Danish selection as seen in Milan), Finland presents Finnish Form for the first time alongside the Australian Furniture Association (curated by Tent London) and returning with a new line-up is Hand Made Japan.

New brands showing in Super Brands will include Neo Craft from Germany and Yask from Switzerland. Visitors will also be able to enjoy a colour experience by Dulux and a talks programme that will reflect the country pavilions line-up.

For the first time, Tent will present a feature area called “Techable Home” for tech enabled design for the home. Techable Home will be paired with a Tech Meets Design talks programme at Second Home – London’s newest Tech community space on Hanbury Street, E1.

Design Districts

In 2015, there will be seven official Design Districts spread across the capital during the Festival. Design Districts are areas where there are distinct concentrations of design activity and events that can be traversed easily on foot. Each District is organised locally and independently under the umbrella of the London Design Festival. This year will see a new Design District, Bankside, take part in the Festival.


Bankside Design District

Bankside will this year be the first London Design Festival Design District located south of the river.

Bankside has seen ongoing transformation since Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge launched in 2000. Today the area has become a creative hub, home to many galleries, design studios, architectural practices and creative agencies.

The Bankside Design District spans from Borough Market to the Oxo Tower and a number of exciting events and activities are lined up to showcase the creative industry within the area, from workshops to walking tours, exhibitions and outdoor installations.

Highlights include Better Letters, who will host a pop-up Sign School at Borough Market, in keeping with the market’s heritage of painted signage. Local calligrapher Paul Antonio Scribe will run a series of calligraphy masterclasses in his studio as well as a fascinating talk on the history of the alphabet. Jerwood Visual Arts will once again be exhibiting the works of prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize artists.

Late night opening on Wednesday 23 September.

Brompton Design District is a partnership of leading international brands, much loved independent retailers and cultural institutions, which hosts a renowned pop up programme, curated by the respected Jane Withers.

With around thirty exhibitions in the district, including the festival hub at the V&A, visitors can wander through the wide streets, and take pit stops at the notable cafes and restaurants such as Fernandez & Wells, Brompton Food Market or Bibendum in the landmark Michelin building.


Partners include Mint, Skandium, Squint, The Conran Shop, to the Italian brands B&B Italia, Boffi and Cassina. And, from the pop ups, highlights include Dzek, Marion Friedman Gallery, OYUNA, Pia Wustenberg, and new talent from the RCA curated by Sarah van Gameren and Philippe Malouin.

Late night opening on Thursday 24 September.

Chelsea Design Quarter

The Chelsea Design Quarter is one of London’s freshest and most eclectic interior design hubs where classic and contemporary sit cheek by jowl. With the largest and most diverse selection of established interiors specialists concentrated in one area, this Quarter is located in and around the southern end of King’s Road running along Lots Road to Imperial Wharf.

Participating Partners will be staging a range of special events ranging from demonstrations and workshops, talks and debates, new product launches and exhibitions throughout the week, with a specific programme of events taking place in various showrooms on Monday 21 September.


Late night opening on Monday 21 September.

Clerkenwell Design Quarter

Clerkenwell is one of London’s oldest boroughs, and now home to some of the most established furniture brands in the world. With a long and glorious tradition of royalty, religion and revolution, Clerkenwell is now the beating heart of British architecture and design.

During this year’s Festival visitors will be able to enjoy brands and showrooms and see hundreds of new products from some of the leading names in design.

Late night opening on Tuesday 22 September.

Islington Design District

The Islington Design District returns for its second year, bringing together a growing collection of design-led shops, showrooms and cafes in the Islington area including SMUG, Aria, twentytwentyone, Present & Correct and Folklore.

Visitors will be able to walk the Islington Design District Trail from Amwell Street south of Angel, through to Camden Passage and along Upper Street, to discover new designers, special product launches and one-off exhibitions and events.

Late night opening on Tuesday 22 September.


Queen’s Park Design District

A long-established hub of creativity and international design talent, the Queen’s Park Design District event will encompass a series of open studios, live design events, art installations, and workshops centred around Lonsdale Road, Salusbury Road and Kimberley Road.

The relaxed ambience of the Queen’s Park area comes hand in hand with a vibrant spirit and an innovative attitude. The Queen’s Park creative community is committed to maintaining the most desirable work/life district in the capital.

This year we welcome new partners into the district along with established names – exhibitors include Bill Amberg Studio, The Interior Design School, Some Ideas London, Claridge Architects, Hub Architects, Theo Williams, and Rupert Bevan.