H. Aldous Brandisher – Saturday, 28th September 2013

Endless Stair at Tate Modern Supported by AHEC © Photography Ed Reeve

Endless Stair at Tate Modern Supported by AHEC © Photography Ed Reeve

London Design Festival 2013 has been a world catalyst for creativeness and originality. “It’s a terrific and wide-ranging showcase of a sector that generates around £15 billion a year for our economy and is critically important to our future prosperity” Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said.

London Design Festival 2013 has been organized in five differentDesign Districts. Eleven years ago, at the beginning of the festival the events were grouped together in some areas. For the 2013 edition of the festival the following Design Districts hosted events: BromptonDesign District in the South Kensington area of West London, which is the longest standing, comprised temporary exhibitions housed in vacant properties as well as a variety of product launches and installations in the local cluster of design shops and galleries; Chelsea Design Quarter with its established international design interior retailers; Clerkenwell Design Quarter focuses on the area’s now mature furniture and lighting retailers and trade showrooms, and includes the local culinary scene; Fitzrovia in central London brings together burgeoning design retailers and trade showrooms for Fitzrovia Now; Shoreditch, the city’s creative hub, comes alive as the ShoreditchDesign Triangle with a concentrated grouping of exhibitions and pop-ups from local retailers, studios, galleries and restaurants.

An interesting landmark project, “Endless Stair”, is installed at the Bankside, in collaboration with AHEC, dRMM Architects, ARUP, Nüssli, Imola Legno, SEAM and Lumenpulse. “Endless Stair”, a huge structure inspired by MC Escher’s surreal staircase, is in place on the lawn in front of the Tate Modern, overlooking the Thames. Designed by Alex de Rijke of dRMM, Dean of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, the piece is constructed from a series of giant interlocking staircases formed from American tulipwood and sponsored by American Hardwood Export Council. There are 187 steps and it is in place until 10th October 2013.

The London Design Festival 2013 continued its collaboration with the world’s leading Museum of art and design, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) which in 2012 saw audiences reach 111,538. As the central hub location for the London Design Festival for the fifth year, the V&A again housed a broad range of commissioned activity which were spread throughout the Museum (installations, events, talks and workshops), including “God is in the DetailS” a collaboration with Swarovski to set 14 influential designers on a project of reutilize an object from the V&A’s extensive collections. Also at the V&A Museum, a project supported by Amorim, “The Progressive Extension of the Field of Individual Development and Experience”; “28.280” is a custom-made chandelier by Canada-based designer Omer Arbel, hung from the V&A Museum Cupola; the Norfolk House Music Room in the British Galleries provided a theatrical backdrop for Scholten & Baijings “The Dinner Party/ True-to-Life Design”; ALESSI Made in Crusinallo with “The Beauty and the Mastery” a rare insight into the production processes supported by Alessi; “8-18: The Typographic Circle’s Circular Magazine”, supported by Pentagram, a bold floor-to ceiling graphic installation celebrating the 2D typography-led magazine, ‘Circular’; and “Moleskine Sketch Relay”, in collaboration with Moleskine and the Detour Project. Moleskine and the London Design Festival have invited over 70 London based designers to participate in the Moleskine Sketch Relay.

A packed programme of lunchtime talks, gallery talks, hands-on workshops and provocative debate was focused in the V&A Museum’s Sackler Centre. Talks each day vary from creative showcases and project presentations to panel discussions and debates. Simultaneously, challenging workshops and demonstrations gave visitors the opportunity to learn new skills from expert practitioners.

The Global Design Forum at the V&A and Southbank Centre has been the pre-eminent agenda-setting thought leadership event for design. It is a unique platform for the world’s most challenging thinking about the future of design.

The London Design Medal 2013 has been won by Peter Saville. The Medal is British design’s most coveted accolade, awarded each year by a panel of judges to an individual who has made an immense contribution to design and London. This year the London Design Medal was supported by luxury watch brand Panerai with Wallpaper as media partner.

Design Destinations are a number of key design exhibitions and destinations from partner across London. They are vital hubs for conducting business during the Festival, providing a focal point for international buyers, new products and the media. The key events this year included 100% Design at Earls Court; Decorex International, at Perks Field & The Orangery; design junction at The Old Sorting Office, New Oxford Street; Focus/13 at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour; Tent London & Super Brands London at Truman Brewery; and Southbank Centre.

The London Design Festival 2013 was ongoing from 14th to 22nd September 2013.