London Design Festival 2018: Five must-see exhibitions

Solid Wovens by Sophie Graney, on show at Mint

The London Design Festival is one of the biggest highlights on the design and interiors calendar, and is one of the events I personally look forward to most. London is always a high-energy city, but during LDF (running from 15th-23rd September), this energy becomes devoted to design and innovation as the best of London’s world-class design community showcase their latest ideas.

This year, the festival’s 16th edition, includes ten official Design Districts and five major trade shows. With so much on offer, it can be hard to know where to start. Here are five events that we think should be part of your itinerary.


Material thinking at Mint

Avant-garde design gallery Mint should be high on your list for materials innovation and design futures. Curated by Lina Kanafani, this year’s LDF exhibition ‘TRANS-FORM’, will feature work from more than 60 forward-thinking designers, including some of the most exciting graduates from this summer’s design degree shows.

Marwoolus Collection by Marco Guazzini, on show at Mint

An inclusive experience at Designjunction

For its 8th year, Designjunction relocates to the picturesque South Bank with a mix of product showcases, pop up shops and special exhibitions across three venues. Installations will include a co-working space by Squire and Partners, an emergency housing prototype by architect Stephanie Chaltiel, and the Gateway to Inclusion, a steel and ribbon rainbow structure created by designer François Dumas and WGSN’s Lisa White, head curator of the International Design Biennale Saint Etienne 2019.

Gateway to Inclusion by Lisa White and François Dumas, on show at Designjunction

Rising talent at London Design Fair

Country pavilions and the Material of the Year showcase have refreshed the London Design Fair, turning it into one of LDF’s most exciting events for up-and-coming design talent and independent makers. This year’s highlights are set to include the Finnish Design Pavilion’s showcase, Nordic Happiness Hotel, as well as new interpretations of plastic – the fair’s Material of the Year – by designers including Dirk Vander Kooij.

Tero Kuitunen, on show at London Design Fair

Design goes disco at Tom Dixon

If you haven’t yet visited the Coal Office, Tom Dixon‘s new HQ in Granary Square, now is the time. For LDF18, the design brand is hosting Electroanalogue, a range of installations exploring the impact of digital technology. Alongside Hyper Real, an exhibition of new products and collaborations, sound artist Yuri Suzuki will be cutting records in The Factory live making space, and Teenage Engineering will stage a 1970s-style disco in honour of its new synthesizer.

Electroanalogue by Tom Dixon

Mad Atelier’s pop-up pub

Founded by Chantal Martinelli and Julien Desormeaux, design boutique Mad Atelier is situated in a former pub, the Lord Cecil in Clapton, which closed in 2006. For LDF, they’ve decided to lean in to the building’s storied past, opening a three-room pop up pub that will serve beers alongside artworks and design that translate the many stories from the pub’s life into an immersive, tactile design experience.

Reconstructing Lord Cecil by Mad Atelier

WGSN Lifestyle & Interiors subscribers will be able to access our full trend reports from the London Design Festival shortly after it wraps, including visual merchandising highlights, the big ideas from the show, the key trends and design directions, and the stand-out themes for colour, material and finish.

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