Mayor to open London Design Festival tonight

This evening Mayor of London Ken Livingstone will open the London Design Festival at the Royal Festival Hall.

This evening Mayor of London Ken Livingstone will open the London Design Festival at the Royal Festival Hall.

The fifth London Design Festival begins in earnest today, following a weekend of public events at the South Bank. For the first time, the festival has a dedicated centre, at the newly refurbished Royal Festival Hall. The venue will host a programme of conferences, talks, exhibitions and social events for designers, buyers and the public.

Today’s seminars discuss design for children and the influence of computer technology on crafts.

More than 300 000 visitors are expected at this year’s festival, viewing 200 projects and events at venues across London. From today, Trafalgar Square will host a Tom Dixon installation of 500 energy-saving light bulbs hung from ‘state of the art’ scaffolding.

Ken Livingstone, says, ‘Through projects in public spaces such as Trafalgar Square, the festival uniquely allows design to reach thousands of Londoners, and by partnering with Southbank Centre for the first time in 2007 it will directly add to further establishing the South Bank riverside as a key cultural quarter for London.’

An itinerary of Design Talks runs through this week, sponsored by The Financial Times. These examine the issues associated with branding, property development, digital design and retail.

Networking opportunities will be provided by the London Design Embassy, designed by Ross Lovegrove, where invitees can mingle with international buyers and the design community.

Furniture and interiors exhibition 100% Design runs from 20-23 September at Earls Court, the same dates as festival newcomer Tent London in the Truman Brewery. The digital day, iDesign, takes place at the Purcell Room tomorrow, supported by Design Week.

London Design Festival closes on 25 September following a weekend of further public events, also based on the theme of sustainability. For the full line-up see

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