As the London Design Festival comes to an end, what has inspired you, and do you think it should stay the same or change its shape in the future?
For me, 100% Design felt much the same as previous years. I didn’t have any wow moments, and it was hard to find real invention and creativity in such a vast space. Most of it is taken up by large corporate clients promoting very commercial products, while smaller independent designers (and exciting new finds) seemed hard to find and thin on the ground. As for the rest of the London Design Festival, I really wonder how many of us are making enough of it. I feel that it should be more connected to us as an industry, but a lot of it feels very remote.
Samantha Dumont, Creative partner, Dragon (pictured top)
Nothing created by man cannot be improved, and the London Design Festival is certainly no exception and will continue to evolve. This year’s festival was easily the best so far. Perhaps, in the future, it would be useful to address a specific theme or issue. This year the Venice Biennale highlighted city planning, for example. Maybe such an approach would benefit the London Design Festival.
Sebastian Conran, Creative director, Conran & Partners
The festival could still do more to engage fully with the city and with the design issues that face its residents. It still feels more about the London design community looking inward, not outward. Festival content certainly favoured the product and furniture designers, at the expense of fashion. Since it is purposefully timed to encompass Fashion Week as well as 100% Design et al, I’d like to see more interaction between the different design sectors.
Gareth Williams, Curator, Victoria & Albert Museum
Giving away free chairs is a brilliant example of how the festival can use its powers to be inclusive. How far could they take this concept? Seriously though – who could have believed 12 years ago that design would be taking over the capital? 100% Design was the first step to taking design and commerce seriously, and it was responsible for bringing in tens of thousands of international visitors. The industry needs to support design and add to its success through public funding and long-term initiatives, and this should be the role of the festival.
Ian Rudge, Brand director and co-founder, 100% Design (pictured)