London Design Festival – Designjunction review

This is the second year that Designjunction has been housed in the huge Sorting Office space in central London, and the event has definitely settled into the space.

Pantone stand
Pantone stand

Building on last year’s strong foundations, Designjunction seamlessly sits established brands next to up-and-coming designers; creating an overall feel that’s innovative, slick and fun.

Vita Side Table by Uncontrollable Urge.
Vita Side Table by Uncontrollable Urge.

The ground-floor space has been partially taken over with what the festival dubs ‘flash factories’ – demonstrations in techniques such as 3D printing and craft making, with a particularly jovial representative from Brook’s saddles nattering away to punters when DW visited.

Noma Bar at Outline Editions
Noma Bar at Outline Editions

Alongside a hugely broad range of product and furniture, Outline Editions’ stand represents the graphics side of things with works from the likes of Noma Bar, Kristjana S Willliams and Malika Favre; while FAO’s pop up shows SEA Design’s creations for the brand’s collaboration with Monotype.

FAO x Monotype
FAO x Monotype

The gallery space between levels is showing a charming photographic project, Joy of Design by design writer Barbara Chandler, with design-world faces beaming down on visitors from the walls.

Camden Town Brewery bar
Camden Town Brewery bar

As with last year’s event, there’s no shortage of decent food and drink either, with Jamie Oliver’s Barbacoa restaurant, TfL’s collaboration with Camden Town brewery, Gelupo ice-cream and the Yves Behar Sodastream Lounge.

Yves Behar Sodastream.
Yves Behar Sodastream.

As we enter the second floor, we pass three huge Anglepoise lamps, dancing to the sounds of a DJ playing Dead or Alive’s You Spin Me Round.

Dancing Anglepoise lamps
Dancing Anglepoise lamps

It’s hilarious; it’s fun and it creates a sense of theatre and interactivity to the proceedings.

Miele
Miele

Miele, the German kitchen brand, is also keen to engage with people in strange and surreal ways. There’s something a bit fishy about the stand – quite literally – as when DW pops by, the table is covered in cocktails containing, among other things, tuna mayonnaise.

Minerals Wallpaper by Eliza Fricker for Baines and Fricker.
Minerals Wallpaper by Eliza Fricker for Baines and Fricker.

While these aren’t to everyone’s taste (DW declines the offer to try one…) they form part of an interesting research project, which underpins Miele’s explorations into the ‘kitchen of the future’. These, they brand proposes, will boast features such as holograms that regale family favourite recipes; a hand scanner that can detect what nutrients you need and lighting that can adjust according to mood, such as romantic night in. It comes across rather like something from Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror TV series, but is rather compelling nonetheless.

Melogranobu lighting.
Melogranobu lighting.

This year sees the debut of Lightjunction, a section dedicated to high-end decorative lighting. There’s some beautiful work on show, ranging from a very traditional aesthetic to more out-there pieces, such as these by Trainspotter:

Trainspotter lamps
Trainspotter lamps

It’s hard to believe this is only Designjunction’s third outing: the event feels established and confident, yet playful, too. It’s a definite LDF highlight, and we’re excited to see how it develops in future.

LZF High Fidelity lighting.
LZF High Fidelity lighting.

Designjunction runs until 22 September at The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London WC1A

Glenda Chair by Julian Mayor for Andon Design
Glenda Chair by Julian Mayor for Andon Design

Latest articles

What we loved at Milan Design Week 2018

From a fully functional American diner through to Google’s unnerving house showing how technology has taken over our lives, we round up our favourites from this year’s Italian design festival.