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London Design Festival 2023: Key trends, insights and interviews

Peter Pilotto x ​​Christopher De Vos
Peter Pilotto x ​​Christopher De Vos. Image: Studio Stagg
Sep 22, 2023 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

WGSN takes our podcast on the road to hear from curators, designers and studios at the 21st edition of the event.

Join us on a journey across the city to explore highlights of the programme, including exhibitions, installations, workshops and more. WGSN’s Executive Editorial Director Bethan Ryder speaks to the likes of UK design duo Pearson Lloyd, East London-based designer and woodworker Rio Kobayashi and Danish textile artist Tanja Kirst

Tune in to our three-part podcast series which covers three overarching themes of regenerative materials, convivial collaborations and materials futures. WGSN subscribers can also click here to find our trade show reports covering all the trends you need to know for 2023 and beyond. Alternatively, request a demo with us to discover our full suite of trend forecasts on the Interiors site.

Gareth Neal’s Loopy chair
Gareth Neal’s Loopy chair. Image: James Champion

Building regenerative futures

“[Cork] is regenerative. In the process of harvesting the material, you remove the outer layer and that encourages the tree to grow more of its outer layer, which means it has to harvest more CO2 from the atmosphere. So the more of these trees we have, and the more cork we use, the more we are causing these trees to pull CO2 from the atmosphere.”
– Simone Brewster, designer

Spirit of Place by Simone Brewster. Image: Ed Reeve
Spirit of Place by Simone Brewster. Image: Ed Reeve

Colourful, convivial design collaborations

“Conviviality, its root is conviver – to live together. It’s a subject that you could approach whether you’re talking about a dining table. Often the way we think about it, coming together around a meal, but also what does it mean for social design? How do you interact with people differently? Or how do you think about crafts within conviviality?”
– Jane Withers, curator

Rio Kobayashi’s Manus Manum Lavat at Brompton Design District
Rio Kobayashi’s Manus Manum Lavat at Brompton Design District. Image: James Harris

Materials are the message

“We’ve got graduate work, but we’ve got work from significant brands. We have recycled aluminium from Hydro, we have people working in silkworm solutions, we have people 3D printing mycelium vessels, we have Gareth Neal 3D printing three-times recycled polymer. There really is a smorgasbord of interesting ideas in this show.”
– Grant Gibson, founder, Material Matters

Tanja Kirst’s Planted installation at Material Matters 2023
Tanja Kirst’s Planted installation at Material Matters 2023. Image: Nanna Navntoft

To hear the full conversation, tune into episodes 88-90 of our Create Tomorrow podcast on Anchor, Apple and Spotify.

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