London Design Festival preview: central and west London

While the V&A remains the hub for London Design Festival this year there are many other goings on across central and west London including design companies like Brompton bicycles lifting the lid on design secrets, and over in Clerkenwell shops and studios screening design films.

Conran Shop
Conran Shop

In walking distance form the V&A there are a cluster of product launches and installations across design shops, studios and smaller galleries.

Look out for the Conran Shop’s Best of British Craft and Design at Michelin House, and over at Studio Skandium the Skandium brand is celebrating 15 years by showing 15 key products from its collection.

Almora chair by Doshi Levien at B&B Italia
Almora chair by Doshi Levien at B&B Italia

Brompton Road is another lively hot-spot nearby where you can find B&B Italia showing contemporary classics by Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby and Doshi Levien.

Brompton bikes

Also in the area Squint will introduce its new velvet table-top collection and in its basement host bicycle maker Brompton, which is returning to the Brompton area to showcase its manufacturing processes and techniques.

Tom Dixon's club-inspired collection
Tom Dixon’s club-inspired collection

Over in Ladbroke Grove you’ll be able to see Tom Dixon’s club-inspired collection, which references both British members clubs and the designer’s “misspent youth” in discotheques.

There are also new products available from Dixon’s shop including Plane Chandelier, a new addition to the Plane collection. The minimal, sculptural, brass plated chandelier comprises 18 double-layered white glass spheres.

There will be more demonstrations, workshops and talks going on around Chelsea where the likes of Lapicida, John Cullen Lighting, Roca Gallery and  The Rug Company are hosting exhibitions and debates.

Savoir Beds will be putting on quite a show by getting their craftsmen to demonstrate upholstery techniques including ‘star lashing, teasing and hand side stitching’.

Copenhagen Harbour bath
Copenhagen Harbour bath

Then there’s the rather tangential and intriguing prospect of Urban Plunge, curated by Jane Withers, which looks at the proposals for the Thames Bath and the King’s Cross pond and places them into the context of the growing urban swimming movement.

The prolific London-based Icelandic artist Kristjana S Williams has a new show, which brings her signature collage style to map making.

Hosted by The map House in SW3 this cartographic show plays with historical maps of cities around the world.

ArchiTube by Christophr Jenner
ArchiTube by Christophr Jenner

Designer Christopher Jenner has teamed up with Globe Trotter to create the ArchiTube, which will be on display in the store’s W1 shop window.

Jenner’s tube is a leather carry-case for architects and designers and captures his hallmark style by combining artisanal flourishes with a design “which bridges the age of drafting and free drawing with that of the high-tech present”, his studio says.

New this year is the AN’D Film Festival which sees venues across Clerkenwell showing free architecture and design films.

Many of these spaces are showrooms but will convert themselves for the screenings. Atwork, for example, which creates bespoke feature walls, decorative screens and doors, is presenting a Wall of Objectification, exploring the hidden meaning of treasured objects in a disposable world with an animated film which narrates a story inspired by the objects.

Cafe Smug
Cafe Smug

There’s a bit more happening around Islington’s Camden passage area where design shops, cafes and showrooms including Café Smug, Aria, twentytwentyone, Folklore and Coexistence are opining their doors.

Café Smug will be a mini hub for the area, which has a particular focus on sharing the secrets of design led brands.

Over in Lonsdale Road in NW6 Bill Amberg Studio is working on a flag design project that will see Union Jack flags reinterpreted by the likes of Ron Arad, Tom Dixon, and Amberg himself. The efforts will line the street.

Other design studios and showrooms on the street will host events with Georgina Goodman, Theater Monopoly, Michiko Koshino, Rupert Bevan all involved.

Paul Firbank is The Rag and Bone Man
Paul Firbank is The Rag and Bone Man

You can also drop in on designer-craftsman Paul Firbank, who will be setting up The Rag and Bone Man’s pop up workshop, where you can see him turning local industrial scrap and parts of vehicles which have come to the end of the road into bespoke lighting, furniture and accessories.

Firbank recently starred in Channel 4 programme Kevin’s Supersized Salvage and his company celebrates the traditions of the “totter” (rag and bone collector) but with a sustainable 21st century intention.


For more information visit

Start the discussionStart the discussion
  • Post a comment

Latest articles