London Design Festival – Design Junction

The Design Junction show, which made its London Design Festival debut last year, has taken on a mammoth task this year – filling the gargantuan 11 000m2 Sorting Office building on New Oxford Street.

Work by Pearson Lloyd for the Joy of Living exhibition
Some of the offerings on the ground floor

The space, which has been art-directed by Michael Sodeau, is certainly a step up from Design Junction’s comparatively poky former home at Victoria House.

Spread over three floors, Design Junction hosts a plethora of pop-ups, workshops, bars, cafés and even a cinema…

Work by Pearson Lloyd for the Joy of Living exhibition
The pop-up cinema

The ground floor is largely given over to pop-up store and interactive showcases. There are stalls from the likes of TokyoBikes, Nokia, and Antalis McNaughton (which brought along these lovely paper-cut whales).

Paper whales, from Antalis McNaughton
Paper whales, from Antalis McNaughton

Outline Editions is showcasing work from the ever-popular likes of Noma Bar, Anthony Burrill and Kristjana S Williams…

Work by Pearson Lloyd for the Joy of Living exhibition
Outline Editions’ pop-up

While Thonet is holding bentwood chair-making demonstrations – using a mobile wood-bending machine.

Bentwood chair demonstrations at the Thonet installation
Bentwood chair demonstrations at the Thonet installation

Here's one they bent earlier…
Here’s one they bent earlier…

The first floor features exhibitions from the likes of the Crafts Council and Northumbria University, as well as a pop-up cinema, hosting films and talks on architecture and design.

And a highlight is the Joy of Living exhibition, hosted by Max Fraser and curated by Anthony Dickens.

Work by Peter Crawley for the Joy of Living exhibition
Work by Peter Crawley for the Joy of Living exhibition

More than 50 designers – including Peter Crawley, Pearson Lloyd, Max Lamb and Minimalux – were tasked with adapting one of their designs to highlight the joy of living, with the resulting bespoke creations going on sale to raise money for cancer charity Maggie’s.

Here's one they bent earlier…
Work by Pearson Lloyd for the Joy of Living exhibition

The third floor also features brand showcases, as well as the Tramshed space, showing works from the likes of Benjamin Hubert and Simon Hasan.

And Design Junction is full of very enticing bars and cafes. Artek, Gelupo and Fernandez & Wells are among those hosting eateries – although the highlight is definitely Canteen’s pop-up collaboration with Transport for London, which features dishes from TfL’s 1950s canteen menu served in authentically old-school surroundings.

Work by Pearson Lloyd for the Joy of Living exhibition
The TfL Canteen

Design Junction runs until 23 September at The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street WC1. For more information visit  thedesignjunction.co.uk.

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