5 talks to catch at London Design Festival 2018

Diversity, sustainability and fresh new design talent are all on the programme for this year’s LDF – here’s a selection of great talks, presentations and panel discussions you should go see.

The Rise of “South of the River”

Gateway to Inclusion, by Lisa White and François Dumas, an installation on the River Thames

What: 30 years ago, the south bank of the River Thames was a derelict spot with a huge, empty power station and little else. Now, in 2018, Bankside is a thriving cultural hub, with a recreated Shakespeare’s Globe theatre, the Tate Modern, bars, restaurants and many creative and design studios, which have migrated to the area in recent years. This panel talk chaired by Design Week is part of this year’s Designjunction fair, and will explore the recent regeneration of the London area, with architects, designers and philanthropists taking part in the discussion. Panellists include Tracy Meller, partner at architectural firm Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Alex Lifschutz, co-founder at Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Toby Neilson, director of architecture at BDG Architecture Design, and George Nicholson, board member at social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders and the Illuminated River, which has worked on regenerating the area.

When: 1-1.50pm, 20 September 2018.

Where: The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London SE1 9PH.

Info: This talk is part of Designjunction. Tickets cost £8. For more information, head here.

Designing Inclusively Today: Stories from BBC2’s Big Life Fix

Scooter for older people, by PriestmanGoode

What: Whether it is designing transport services that are accessible for disabled people or rethinking technology so that it is easier to use for older people, inclusive design is increasingly considered by governments, local authorities and designers – and there’s still a long way to go. This talk will see Ruby Steel, senior design strategist at Smart Design, discuss the studio’s history of designing inclusively, stretching back to the 1980s, and whether their processes are still relevant today. Steel previously featured on BBC Two’s documentary series The Big Life Fix, which looks to come up with life-changing solutions for people in need. She will talk at depth about how Smart Design created a personalised voice assistant for a woman living with progressive multiple sclerosis (MS), and will more generally look at how the studio considers diversity across demographics including ability, language, culture, gender and age.

When: 6.30-8.30pm, 17 September 2018.

Where: 141-145 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.

Info: This event is free, but requires a ticket. For more information, head here.

Yinka Ilori in Conversation with Helen Parton

Restoration Station with Yinka Ilori © Dan Weill

What: London-based furniture designer Yinka Ilori is best known for his Nigerian-inspired, upcycled, vintage furniture, which he transforms and makes new through vibrant prints and fabrics. Ilori is set on sustainability, and looks to repurpose old items rather than create more waste by starting from scratch, and has previously worked with Shoreditch-based charity Restoration Station, which runs workshops for people in recovery from addiction, teaching them craft and furniture skills. This talk, in conversation with design journalist Helen Parton, will explore Ilori’s work, inspirations and will delve into his newest project, the Colour Palace, which is set to transform the Dulwich Picture Gallery pavilion in 2019.

When: 2-3pm, 20 September 2018.

Where: Auditorium, Olympia, Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, London W14 8UX.

Info: This talk is part of 100% Design. Talks are included within the price of a ticket to the trade fair, which costs £15, or £10 for students. For more information, head here.

Design Connections: 10/10

The Design Museum, photo © Gareth Gardner

What: If you’re interested in finding out about new design talent, head to the Design Museum’s fast-paced evening showcasing 10 multi-disciplinary creatives. This two-hour event, run by the British Council, will showcase the work of designers working across categories including social, fashion, architecture, craft, product and digital design, who will lead presentations on their ideas and work. This year’s selection includes architectural studio Studio Mutt, craftsperson and jewellery-maker Esna Su, independent print magazine Azeema, which is dedicated to Middle Eastern and North African women, and science-focused product design studio Unit Lab.

When: 6-8pm, 19 September 2018.

Where: Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 6AG.

Info: Tickets cost £7, or £5 for concessions and Design Museum members. For more information, head here.

The End of the Unethical: Welcome to Moral Design 2.0

Courtesy of Designjunction

What: The last few decades have seen designers become far more conscious of waste production and the impact of their work on the environment and ecosystems. This panel discussion, chaired by design writer Anna Winston, will explore how makers have turned into activists, and are making a stand against contributing to issues such as “climate change, animal cruelty and poor ethical production”. The talk will explore a pertinent topic, given the need for designers to think about recyclability and avoiding wasteful materials and processes. Panellists include Emily Morley, founder at vegan design studio Studio Can Can, Ben Parker, creative director at communications agency Made Thought, and Emma Fromberg, a learning manager at sustainability charity the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

When: 3-3.50pm, 20 September 2018.

Where: The Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, London SE1 9PH.

Info: This talk is part of Designjunction. Tickets cost £8. For more information, head here.

Also catch:

Diversity in Design – The Long Road Ahead at Designjunction: A discussion between Sarah Weir, CEO at the Design Council and Sonia Watson, CEO at the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, about the importance of diversity and equality in design, and how it can be improved. For more information, head here.

Head Above Water – Design Activism at Designjunction: The director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Rama Gheerawo, will lead this discussion on how design can be a tool for activism and engaging with the public. For more information, head here.

Design Fresh Relay at 100% Design: A quick-fire, 45-minute, relay-style talk from a selection of fresh talent in the design industry, who will present their products and ideas, hosted by design journalist Max Fraser. For more information, head here.

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  • Nick Corston September 13, 2018 at 8:12 am

    These talks look fantastic and picking five was a tall order… here’s a sith for anyone at #LDF18 who Really Cares About Creativity, Community and our Children.

    As Design Week have reported, the arts and creative education are under pressure in our schools, so Creative Community Enterprise STEAM Co. are delighted to be working with The London Design Festival by holding an evening of discussion, ideation and action to show how Creative People and Companies can #COLLABORATEforCREATIVITY

    It’s 6-8pm Monday evening in Brick Lane and will be followed by a screening of Multi Award Winning Creative Education film ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ which features global commentators like Sir Ken Robinson and the bloke who was beaten at Chess by IBM’s Big Blue AI system.

    Free tickets and Info here: http://www.steamco.org.uk/collaborate

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