Visitors to this year’s London Design Festival were able to gain insight into some of the most innovative thinking in the current world of design. The Global Design Forum was “a week-long celebration of design and its power to change the world,” according to the organisers. The series of talks, discussions and workshops was aimed at helping participants gain inspiration from “pioneers who are changing the way we design and live, refreshing their thinking and rebooting their understanding of the power and potential of design as a force for good”. Speakers shared their perspectives on designing for how we live today, and the world we want to inhabit tomorrow.
The London Design Festival is a city-wide event that provides a platform for major trade shows being held across London. This year they also included 100% Design, designjunction and Focus/19, featuring work from a local and international network of both new and established exhibitors.
In 2019, there were 10 official design districts from east to west and north to south, in areas with concentrations of design activity and events that could be traversed conveniently on foot. Each district was organised locally and in-dependently via the London Design Festival platform. In 2019, new district Kings Cross joined Bankside, Brompton, Clerkenwell, Marylebone, Mayfair, Pimlico Road, Shoreditch (Triangle), Victoria Connections and West Kensington, as well as Paddington Central returning as a Design Route. London Design festival was established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans “to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world”. Since then it has consolidated its reputation as a key date on London’s autumn creative calendar, together with London Fashion Week, Frieze Art Fair and the London Film Festival, “attracting the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to the capital”.
This was the 17th year the festival had returned to London, and it also marked 11 years with the V&A as a collaborating partner and the official festival hub. The museum hosted a series of specially-commissioned projects by internationally-renowned designers, with Iconic spaces within the museum being transformed by a curated collection of displays and installations.
The V&A is considered to be world’s leading museum of art, design and performance. It was established to make works of art available to all and to inspire British designers and manufacturers, and today its collections span over 5,000 years of human creativity in virtually every medium and from many parts of the world.
Welcoming visitors to the festival, deputy mayor for culture and the creative industries Justine Simons, said, “Each year the London Design Festival hosts a truly inspiring programme of events, bringing together designers from across the world and demonstrating our position as an international creative powerhouse. The creative industries are responsible for one in six jobs in London and the festival sends a clear message that London is open to great ideas, creativity and innovation.”