The Dezeen team reports on the 21st edition of the London Design Festival in the British capital (September 16-24). Read on for all the coverage from opening preview day (Friday, September 15).
5:00 pm Influencers flocked to an installation from toy brand Lego, in collaboration with It’s Nice That for London Design Festival 2023, to showcase the Danish brand’s Botanical Collection building kits that allow adults to build bouquets from bioplastic components.
The goal of The Lego Piece Garden, as the installation is named, is to “foster creativity through play.” The Lego flowers are presented in beds of moss and natural foliage, with contrasting real and artificial elements.
Throughout the festival, a variety of professionals and creatives will be invited to tackle some of the brand’s most complex adult sets, create different arrangements using Lego flowers and, according to “It’s Nice to Have This Will Knight”, “a moment of calm and peace at work.” on something with your hands as a way to enhance creativity” – Jennifer Hahn
Find out more details about The Lego Piece Garden in Dezeen’s events guide listing ›
4:00 pm At Shoreditch Electric Light Station, part of the Shoreditch Design Triangle, Morag Myerscough’s typically colorful contribution to this year’s LDF is a cityscape within, called Nice To Meet You Again.
The installation consists of brightly colored structures including a chapel-like form and a house-like structure surrounded by a flower-filled cityscape. There is also a colorful theater and a cocktail bar.
The installation is a partnership with Mini and the name also refers to the new all-electric MINI Cooper, which thundered in the center of the screen – Tom Ravenscroft
Find out more details about Happy Meet Again in Dezeen’s events guide listing ›
3 o’clock Artist and designer Simon Brewster in collaboration with Portuguese cork company Amorim presents the spirit of place in Strand Aldwych, an installation of five totems carved from cork.
The collection of objects, measuring 2.5 metres, is part of a two-year collaboration between Brewster and Amorim. The project is based on the idea of a “genius place” – the spirit of a place, which would give it its special characteristics.
As part of her research, Brewster went to visit Amorim’s cork forest in Herdad de Río Frio, Portugal, to see how the company is trying to be sustainable.
“When I started designing this piece, I wanted to capture the characteristics of that forest and bring them here,” Brewster told Dezeen.
Totems are made up of separate building blocks that are put together “like a child’s toy,” she explained. – Jennifer Hahn
1:30 p.m Also at the Victoria and Albert Museum, product designer Ando Masebo is displaying eight pieces of furniture and household items made from a single car.
“I had the idea of looking at the car in terms of what it means to people and that emotional connection you make to the car,” Masebo told Dezeen.
“So, if I can find a car that’s nearing the end of its life, and I can somehow find out what its life was like — the people it connected with, the places it went, the things it saw — then I can actually bring that life back to life,” he said. Stories.”
– Jennifer Hahn.
12:00 pm While on the Victoria and Albert Museum press tour this morning, Dezeen design editor Jennifer Hahn met Dezeen editor Tom Ravenscroft at the Hermès mobile booth for Le Monde d’Hermès magazine.
“I actually buy flowers a lot. It seems like a really easy basic level of not getting in trouble,” Ravenscroft told Han.
Find out more in our London Design Festival 2023 guide, highlighting key events and installations at the festival ›
11:30 am In her exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum as part of the London Design Festival 2023, Palestinian architect, artist and V&A Fellow Dima Srouji presents objects and films that reconfigure the history of glass in Greater Syria and Palestine.
New works include replicas of glassware from the V&A collection excavated in the area.
The original vessels currently on display have been replaced with “grave cards” recounting the violent histories associated with the excavations.
11:00 am One of the most striking installations at the Victoria and Albert Museum created for the LDF is a pink paper tree and bamboo called Hana Mikoshi, which translates as shrine of flowers.
Designed by Hayatsu Architects, the tree is decorated with 50,000 pink flowers made from traditional washi paper and supported on bamboo branches. Each flower was made by visitors to the Victoria and Albert Museum in the lead up to the event.
The tree shape, reminiscent of structures made for the Matsuri festival in the town of Mino in Gifu Prefecture, Japan, rises from a bench that was also covered in washi paper – Jennifer Hahn
Find out more details about Hana Mikoshi in Dezeen’s events guide listing ›
10:30 am London Design Festival director Ben Evans opened this year’s festival by announcing that the event was returning to normal for the first time since the pandemic.
Speaking at the Victoria and Albert Museum, he said: “This is probably the first year we’ve properly returned to normal.”
The festival is meant to be an event of discovery
Evans went on to describe the event as a place of discovery and encouraged people to look for combinations and designs they were not aware of before.
“The festival aims to be an event of discovery,” he added.
“People tend to go and see things they already know,” he continued. “Hopefully we can get you to go see the new stuff. This is probably the most rewarding experience. We have a lot of new stuff.” – Tom Ravenscroft
10:00 AM Dezeen editor Tom Ravenscroft and design editor Jennifer Han are on the ground in London to report on the press preview day for the 21st edition of the London Design Festival, which opens tomorrow (September 16) and runs until September 24.
Dezeen Events has created a guide to London Design Festival 2023, highlighting key events at the festival this year.
Ahead of the opening, we’ve selected some of the key installations and exhibitions to see as part of the 2023 edition – such as the Material Matters exhibition, which explores innovative materials that can contribute to the circular economy.
The exhibition will display products made from food waste, paper, aluminum, rubber, ceramics, and others.
Find out more details about the Material Matters exhibition in Dezeen’s events guide listing ›
Dezeen Live: The London Design Festival returns on Monday 18 September after its first weekend. The festival continues until September 24, 2023.
Dezeen Events has created a guide to London Design Festival 2023, highlighting key events at the festival. Check out Dezeen’s events guide for the latest information you need to know to attend the event, plus a list of other architecture and design events taking place around the world.
All times are London time.
The main image is from It’s a Beautiful Thing and the Lego installation for LDF 2023, The Lego Piece Garden. Photo by Jennifer Hahn.