London Design Festival 2017: 5 must-see talks

As LDF returns to the capital this September, we’ll be taking a look at some of the key events to look forward to in a series of previews. Next on the agenda is the festival’s talks programmes, which will feature a selection of panel discussions, Q&As and presentations from professionals within the design industry.

How to Use Design to Save the World

Hillary Clinton presidential campaign branding, by Michael Bierut

What: Pentagram partner Michael Bierut has had an illustrious career as a graphic designer, having previously completed branding, identity and wayfinding projects for the likes of Mastercard, Benetton, The New York Times, the Walt Disney Company and Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign. Hear him speak at this year’s Global Design Forum on how to “sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh and cry, and change the world”. It seems a fitting time to discuss design’s wider purpose, given the Wellcome Collection’s recent exploration of design’s role in healthcare throughout history, through its exciting new exhibition Can Graphic Design Save Your Life?.

When: 16 September, 4-5pm.

Where: Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL.

Info: Tickets cost £15. For more info, head to the Global Design Forum site.

The Future of Transport Design and Beyond

Waymo Firefly driverless car completing its first full run on public streets in 2015

What: Transport design has advanced tremendously in recent years, with the likes of self-driving and hydrogen-powered vehicles starting to grace our streets, and Virgin Galactic’s far-fetched plans for a two-hour round-trip between London and Sydney likely to become a reality. Learn about the future of transport design with this Global Design Forum panel discussion, which will be chaired by Rory Hyde of the V&A, and will feature principal at PriestmanGoode, Paul Priestman, and Jaguar advanced design director, Julian Thompson, as panellists. Read our piece on the future of air travel here.

When: 21 September, 1.15-2.15pm.

Where: V&A museum, Cromwell Road, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL.

Info: Tickets cost £15. For more info, head to the Global Design Forum site.

Elements of Colour

Hella Jongerius exhibition at Design Museum, © Luke Hayes.

What: The Design Museum recently hosted a fascinating exploration into how the human eye views colour, through an exhibition on the work of Hella Jongerius. A talk will take place at 100% Design looking at the huge role colour plays for designers, from graphics to interiors, and in our everyday lives. The eclectic panel includes renowned designer Yinka Ilori, famous for his Nigerian fabric-inspired prints and distinctive furniture, and the Design Museum’s Ameena McConnell.

When: 21 September, 4-5pm.

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

Info: Attendees to 100% Design need to register online, and then can attend talks. For more info on registration, head here, and for the talk, head here.

When Design Meets Discipline

Southerden, by Eley Kishimoto

What: Have you thought about how your work approach might differ if you were a product or interior designer rather than a graphic designer, or vice versa? This Designjunction talk, chaired by Creative Review editor Patrick Burgoyne, will explore how processes and methods change depending on disciplines, and will look at the different perspectives that various creative professionals take. Panellists include Turkish architect Gokhan Avcioglu and Mark Eley, co-founder at architectural practice Eley Kishimoto.

When: 22 September, 12-1pm.

Where: Stanley Building, 1 Pancras Road, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AG.

Info: Tickets cost £6 per talk. For more info, head to Designjunction’s site.

When Design Meets Education and Politics

© Tony Baggett

What: Design Week will be hosting two panel discussions at this year’s Designjunction, which will explore creative education and the accessibility of the design industry. The education-focused talk will delve into the importance of promoting STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and maths) into school curriculums, and incorporating creativity from a young age, with panellists including The Saturday Club Trust director, Sorrel Hershberg and Fixperts’ director, Daniel Charny. Design meets Politics will feature panellists including Design Council CEO, Sarah Weir and graphic designer Jack Renwick, who will debate how young people can break into an industry rife with unpaid internships and nepotism.

When: 22 September, 1-2pm and 3-4pm.

Where: Stanley Building, 1 Pancras Road, King’s Cross, London N1C 4AG.

Info: Tickets cost £6 per talk. For more info, head to Designjunction’s site.


London Design Festival 2017 takes place 16-24 September across various locations in London.

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