Fringe shows take limelight

Though 100% Design is still expected to be one of the key attractions at this year’s sixth London Design Festival, top names within the industry have created a raft of alternative events, installations and exhibitions across the capital.

Building on the success of last year’s installations by architects and product designers Zaha Hadid and Amanda Levete, David Adjaye’s undulating tulipwood pavilion Sclera, for Size & Matter, is set to take centre stage on the South Bank, while Fredrikson Stallard’s Portrait commission for Veuve Clicquot – a single piece of wood that has been magnified and transformed to recreate the grain structure of wood – will light up the waterfront outside Somerset House.

Away from the South Bank hub of the festival, Designersblock will this week transform Covent Garden Piazza, with a series of installations, showcasing the work of 60 UK and international designers, the first time the group has shown outside of the East End (www. designweek., 18 August).

The London Transport Museum, also in Covent Garden, will be celebrating 100 years of its iconic roundel logo, as well as showcasing its new range of retro furniture and home accessories, based on original upholstery designs used on buses and Tubes during the 1930s and 1970s (see page 6).

Across the city, Tent London, at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, will be showing the cream of emerging design talent, with a line-up that includes product designer Jake Dyson and De Tank TV Studio, presented by Max Fraser and Hidden Art.

The Brompton Design District will showcase rising stars of new design alongside more established figures, including Frank Gehry’s 2008 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, and the experimental Double Dutch: A Floral Fantasy, by the Flower Council of Holland, which will explore the sensuality of floral design (pictured).

On Fulham Road, the Conran Shop is celebrating 21 years at Michelin House by showcasing a collection of 21 products, exclusively designed by 21 suppliers.

Pop-up shops will make a major appearance during this year’s festival, with Foundry’s first-ever design shop appearing in the heart of Clerkenwell, showing products from Mooi, Flos, Thorsten van Elten and many more. In South Kensington, Piet Hein Eek’s shop for architect and design studio Rabih Hage is a first for the acclaimed Dutch designer-producer.

Design curator Libby Sellers, who debuted as Gallery Libby Sellers last year, will take up residence  for a month at Regent Street department store Liberty, with her latest show, Beau Sauvage. The exhibition will explore the complexities and contrasts of contemporary design, through a fusion of high-end commissioned furniture, new media and lighting.

The London Design Festival runs until 23 September. For more information, visit www.


• This year Martino Gamper has worked with Royal College of Art students to develop new signage for the festival, to be placed outside each venue

• Last year, an estimated 350 000 visitors attended festival events

• A 2006 survey showed that 65 per cent of festival visitors were based in London, 23 per cent from across the UK and 12 per cent from around the world

• The Arts Council of England announced earlier this month

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