London Design Festival preview – 15 must-see exhibitions

With such a wonderfully diverse selection of exhibitions on offer at London Design Festival 2015, it’ll be tricky to pick which ones to visit – here, we’ve provided a handy guide to help you decide.

Our top 5 picks:

Like me: Our bond with brands

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What: Lippincott, the consultancy which has helped to create visual identities for everything from eBay and Dell to Campbell’s soup, Coca-Cola and Starbucks, has curated this exhibition questioning the power of branding. Not only looking at the persuasive qualities of brands themselves, it will also explore the consumer’s control over this, and look at which side really has the power.

When: 19 – 27 September

Where: The Design Museum

Info: This event is ticketed – see the page on the LDF website


Robin Day: Works in Wood

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What: Creator of the 1960s Polypropylene chair, Robin Day is easily one of the most influential designers of the 21st century. This exhibition showcases his wooden furniture and object creations, alongside notes from the designer revealing his strong attachment to nature. It has been curated by Assemble, which has fittingly used a forest as inspiration for the exhibition setting. Paula Day, who describes her father’s use of wood as a “neglected aspect of his work”, has also donated pieces from her personal collection to the show.

When: 19 – 27 September

Where: V&A Museum

Info: This event is free – see the page on the LDF website


Designed in SW1

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What: If you enjoy perusing antique furniture and living room interior design options, you’ll want to head down to Designed in SW1. Alongside browsing homeware, furniture, art and clothing, there will also be workshops and masterclasses running throughout the week, led by those working in home interior style and design.

When: 19 – 27 September

Where: Pimlico Road and Elizabeth Street

Info: This event is free – see the page on the LDF website


Type Tasting: Interactive games & demos

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What: This show will question the sensibilities of those who think the power of a font extends only to what it looks like. Put together by type designer and author of the book “The Type Taster”, Sarah Hyndman, this show uses a series of multi-sensory games to explore what a font might “smell or taste like”, or whether they can have “personalities”.

When: 19 – 20 September, 1 – 4pm

Where: V&A Museum

Info: This event is free – see the page on the LDF website


A collection of international design exhibitions

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What: This year’s festival is packed with design spanning the continents – explore the work of designers, architects and artists of African-Caribbean origin at the African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora. Alternatively, muse over a fusion of Indian and British design and architecture at INfluence, Create Culture’s Indian Design Platform at Studio Egret West, or alternatively browse the many international showcases taking place at Tent, celebrating country pavilions from the likes of Korea, Japan, Sweden and Finland.

Info: African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora: 16 – 21 September; The Oxo Tower Bargehouse; this event is free. Influence: 21 – 27 September; Studio Egret, 3 Brewhouse Yard; this event is free. International showcases: 24 – 27 September; Truman Brewery; these events are ticketed.


We also recommend:

  • 50th Anniversary of the British Road Sign: designers’ interpretations of classic Calvert and Kinneir creations. (Design Museum)
  • Critical Mass presents Ear Whacks: a playful, interactive look at sound interface design. (Hixter Bankside)
  • Clinic presents Gig Poster Power: an array of old and new gig posters, which question the future of music design. (Clinic, 32 – 38 Saffron Hill)
  • The Origins of Tomorrow: a look at the expansive work of consultancy PriestmanGoode, spanning the design of travel. (PriestmanGoode, 150 Great Portland Street)
  • The Deadgood Library: furniture, lighting and interior products from the Deadgood range, with an immersive exhibition space created out of suspended paper. (The Library, 72 Rivington Street)
  • Exhibition Road Project Display: taking place within the V&A’s new courtyard and gallery, the museum will showcase models and sketches of the creation of this exhibition space itself, alongside other temporary exhibitions. (V&A Museum)
  • Ten Designers in the West Wing at Somerset House: Leading designers, including the likes of Barber and Osgerby, Jasper Morrison and nendo, will be showcasing work in this wing. (Somerset House)
  • Jon Daniel presents Afro Supa Hero: taken from the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, Daniel will present an array of merchandise and designs from his Afro Supa Hero action figure and comic brand. (Diverse, 390 Coldharbour Lane)
  • Best of British: A selection of the “best of British design” from a selection of jewellery, print, fashion and product design manufacturers. (Snowden Flood, Unit 1.01, Oxo Tower Wharf)
  • Rapid Response Collecting: A changing display of objects collected from “major moments in history” that have affected the world of design. (V&A Museum)

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