London Design Festival – touring LDF on a Tokyobike

Several brightly coloured bicycles, the same number of design-hungry bicycle riders and a collective sense of enthusiasm, it seems, can easily make up for a very rainy, and rather grey afternoon.

Tokyobikes.
Tokyobikes.

Yesterday DW went on one of the LDF Tokyobike cycling tours, leaving from Designjunction throughout the festival.

Tokyobike Tracey Neuls collaboration
Tokyobike Tracey Neuls collaboration

Each participant is lent one of the gorgeously simple bicycles – ours was a charming baby blue – led by a design expert who also enjoys cycling (a rare breed, we’re sure…)

Bouroullec Brothers Quilt Chair at Established and Sons.
Bouroullec Brothers Quilt Chair at Established and Sons.

Poke London creative director Nik Roope led our tour, which took in a number of design shows around the Clerkenwell and Shoreditch areas.

Close up of The Conductor by Faye Toogood at Established and Sons
Close up of The Conductor by Faye Toogood at Established and Sons

One of the first stops was Established & Sons, sited near the canal that connects Angel to Old Street.

The Conductor by Faye Toogood at Established and Sons
The Conductor by Faye Toogood at Established and Sons

For the duration of LDF, the brand is showing a brilliant installation by Faye Toogood called The Conductor, a sprawling interactive light piece where viewers delight in the simple pleasure of controlling the light levels by flicking switches laid out in an industrial-scale board.

Jo Nagasaka at Established and Sons
Jo Nagasaka at Established and Sons

Also on show is a series of bright new designs by architect Jo Nagasaka, which use coloured resign and natural wood grain in furniture that looks to engage with ideas of colour-blocking, natural materials and explorations of levels of translucency.

Lighting at  SCP
Lighting at SCP

We stop briefly at Kvadrat for the display celebrating the brand’s new book, before stopping at design store SCP in Shoreditch.

Mark McGinnis America Design Club Alphabet Cards.
Mark McGinnis America Design Club Alphabet Cards.

The LDF exhibition, The Special Relationship, is all about red, white and blue; presenting new works by British and American designers, including lighting by New York’s Roll & Hill and homeware by Pennsylvanian brand Lostine.

SCP The Special Relationship
SCP The Special Relationship

Down the road, Donna Wilson celebrates 10 years in design with an exhibition at ICN Gallery of her signature strange, cute critters; while Tord Boontje’s show Magnetic Fields marks a darker turn, showing wall panels and furniture with 3D patterns created using electro-magnetism, which are embedded into resin-coated surfaces.

Knitted Creatures by Donna Wilson
Knitted Creatures by Donna Wilson

Watch brand Uniform Wares’ show is charming and hugely engaging, displaying a series of wonderful photographs of designers and craftspeople.

Industrial Facility Formwork
Industrial Facility Formwork

The final stop is Industrial Facility’s small, but perfectly formed exhibition, showcasing the quietly brilliant studio’s work. Pieces include the smart Formwork collection of modular, stacking desk accessories produced by Herman Miller and designed by Sam Hecht and Kim Colin of Industrial Facility.

Oscar by Donna Wilson
Oscar by Donna Wilson

Tokyobike tours are leaving from Designjunction daily until 22 September. Check the Designjunction website for ticket availability  

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