London Design Festival preview – West London

The rich LDF pickings of west London are so fruitful we’ve had to cover off festival hub V&A and trade show 100% in separate reviews.

Cheese knife, by Sebastian Bergne
Cheese knife, by Sebastian Bergne

This still leaves the area with some of the biggest product designers holding shows and launches plus the esteemed RCA opening its doors and a host of coordinated events, including some exciting goings on around the Brompton Design District.

Indeed, the Brompton Design District is celebrating its fifth birthday with the curation of a 19th century townhouse by design consultant Jane Withers, who will show projects by 12 designers from the UK, Europe and Africa, working to a people-focused theme which ask how we can better live our lives in rapidly changing times.

At 4 Cromwell Place, the heart of the Brompton Design District, there’ll be a chance to see the home of this eclectic and autonomous bunch who work across media and materials  including variously  flour, water and code.

Intriguingly, and this does sound good on paper, although we haven’t seen it, the building will play host to cashmere label Oyuna and Peter Marigold’s reinterpretation of a Mongolian Ger tent-house. Looking to Oyuna’s nomadic origins, Marigold’s installation will ‘challenge the notion of indoor-outdoor space.’ But it might just be a tent.

The B&B Italia store on Brompton Road will see an exclusive launch of a marble version of the Tobi-ishi table designed by Barber Osgerby for the company.

Meanwhile at Chelsea College of Art’s Chelsea Space, the personal archive of Ralph Tubbs will be on display. Tubbs is the architect of the 1951 Dome of Discovery – a symbol of post-war optimism in the year of The Great Exhibition – which came to be scrapped the following year.

The 1951 Dome of Discovery, by Ralph Tubbs
The 1951 Dome of Discovery, by Ralph Tubbs

Richard Rogers looked to this very archive in his inspiration for what we used to call the Millennium Dome.

The Conran Shop is marking its 25-year tenure at the Michelin building with its show Red, confusingly in The Blue Room, where – inspired by British pillar-box red – it will show pieces by designers including Ross Lovegrove and Studio Job.

Corin Mellor and Sebastian Bergne will put on a joint exhibition, united by a shared love of product design for food. Bergne has featured on Design Week for similar projects before, but now the pair  will exhibit new products side by side.

Luxury Decorex International will follow a retrospective route, while showcasing new furniture. You can experience Dame Vivienne Westwood’s design for the Sloane Square lobby and Ralph Hague’s Champagne Bar.

At the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour, Focus 12 will see 500 brands hosted by 95 showrooms for another huge interiors show. ‘In conversation’ sessions will be held.

Meanwhile the Roca London Gallery is offering free design and architectural bike tours with Artouride between 100% Design and the gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid. These things are quite popular in our experience and spaces are limited so RSVP to get involved.

The Lustre Lights, by Tom Dixon
The Lustre Lights, by Tom Dixon

The Royal College of Art has curated Design for The Real World as its contribution to LDF, an exhibition exploring the legacy of designer and educator Victor Papanek.

Meanwhile the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design  presents inclusive and human-centred design projects and Sustain RCA, the cross college centre for sustainability, presents the best sustainable design concepts by graduating RCA students.

West London is also  home to Tom Dixon and The Dock, where Dixon will host his design-led Luminosity project, a collection of new lamps, lights and shades which demonstrate new technologies for artificial light and illuminated environments.

The brand will also launch Eclectic, its first accessories collection, while The Dock, overseen by Dixon is inviting Parisian home concept store Merci, Slovenian designer Nika Zupanc, Dutch designer Piet Hein Eek, and homewear brand Moooi along. 

Work by Piet Hein Eek
Work by Piet Hein Eek

London Design Festival runs from 14-23 September. For more information visit

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