What to do and see at Designjunction 2018

From 20-23 September, London’s Designjunction takes place on the South of the River Thames, and will see installations, exhibitions, talks and its well-known fair spread across three venues including Doon Street, Oxo Tower Wharf and the Riverside Walkway. Here’s a round-up of things to catch at the four-day event.

Exhibition: Rado Star Prize UK

Courtesy of Designjunction

What: Now in its second year, the Rado Star Prize UK sees designers create socially-led products, that aim to help the world in some way. The 10 finalists of the competition will be on show as an exhibition at this year’s Designjunction, with the winner being announced at the opening of the show on 20 September. This year’s theme was “On Time/ Time Off”, and asked designers to explore how design can improve life in two ways: by supporting busy, fast-paced lifestyles and by allowing people to slow down and relax. The winner, chosen by a judging panel, will receive £5,000 in prize money and a Rado watch. Another winner, voted for by Designjunction visitors, will be announced following the trade show, and will receive a Rado watch. Some of this year’s product concepts include a light for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a two-part USB stick for both “work and personal life”, and a sustainable plumbing system made out of limescale pipes that grow naturally.

When: 20-23 September 2018.

Where: Oxo Tower Wharf, Barge House Street, South Bank, London SE1 9PH.

Info: Designjunction tickets cost £16. To buy tickets, head here. For more information on the Rado Star Prize, head here.

Installation: Head Above Water

Head Above Water, by Steuart Padwick, photo courtesy of Designjunction.

What: While many installations have graced London’s South Bank in recent years – Morag Myerscough’s giant, multi-coloured Temple of Agape structure comes to mind – this is the first time a giant head will sit overlooking the river. Head Above Water, designed by Steuart Padwick, is a nine-metre high, interactive head sculpture, which looks to raise awareness of mental health issues. The wooden noggin is intentionally gender, age and ethnicity-neutral, appearing more anatomical than personal, and visitors can engage with it and convey their emotions through the piece by connecting with it via Twitter – by tweeting how they are feeling using #HeadAboveWater, the head will change colour to correspond with people’s emotions. The structure is in support of awareness campaign Time to Change, which looks to open conversations about mental health and end discrimination and stigma. Sat on the edge of the jetty, the striking installation will jut out into the River Thames for four days. You can read our round-up of installations to catch at London Design Festival here.

When: 20-23 September 2018.

Where: Queen’s Stone Jetty, Riverside Walkway, Southwark, London SE1 9LT.

Info: Tickets to Designjunction cost £16. To buy tickets, head here. For more information on Head Above Water, head here.

Tour: Architectural Walking Tour

The Switch House at Tate Modern, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, photo © Iwan Baan

What: Ever wanted to find out more about how London’s Southbank and Bankside districts were transformed from desolate areas to thriving hubs of culture? You can join a walking tour, hosted by New London Architecture (NLA), which explores the buildings of the South of the River, home to this year’s Designjunction. Starting at Southwark tube station and ending at London Bridge, you’ll learn about the Millennium Bridge, the Tate Modern and its recent extension building created by architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron, and the Shard. The one-hour walk will be a chance to learn about some of London’s most striking architecture and take a stroll through a bustling district.

When: 10.30-11.30am, Friday 21 September 2018.

Where: Starts at Southwark tube station.

Info: Designjunction tickets cost £16. For more information, head here. For more information on the walking tour, head here.

Talks programme: Ethics, diversity, regeneration and more

Sarah Weir, CEO, Design Council, one of the speakers at this year’s Designjunction

What: Designjunction will host a varied talks programme over two days, which will see the likes of Benjamin Hubert, creative director at Layer, and Ruth Wassermann, design director at Made.com, speaking. Talks include The Rise of ‘South of the River’, exploring the transformation of Southwark in recent years, hosted by Design Week, The End of the Unethical, exploring where designers draw the line ethically when it comes to projects, and Diversity in Design, a discussion hosted by Design Council CEO, Sarah Weir on the need for equality and diversity in the design industry. You can read our round-up of talks to catch at London Design Festival here.

When: 20-21 September 2018.

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

Info: Talks cost £8 each to attend. For more information, head here.

Fair: Designjunction exhibition

Courtesy of Designjunction

What: The main event of Designjunction is its huge trade fair, showcasing everything from furniture, lighting and retail fittings through to graphic prints, small products, textiles and jewellery. Moving from King’s Cross to South London’s Doon Street this year, exhibitors include the likes of Welsh designer Bethan Gray, who will showcase her studio’s collection of natural furniture, made from leather, marble and solid wood, Vitra, with its new bathroom range, and Terence Woodgate, whose stand will focus on LED lighting collections. Find out more about the exhibitors here.

When: 20-23 September 2018.

Where: Doon Street, Lambeth, London SE1 9PU.

Info: Designjunction tickets cost £16. For more information, head here.

Designjunction takes place 20-23 September 2018 at three locations across the South of the River Thames, London. For more information, head here. The event runs alongside London Design Festival, taking place 15-23 September 2018 across London. For more information, head here.

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