London Design Festival (LDF) is back for its 18th edition, and due to the unexpected year that we've had, it will be a year unlike any other. LDF is a celebration of contemporary design; it's a chance for retailers, museums, designers and artists to shine a spotlight on their work, across the city, from 12th to 20th September.
This year, the festival is taking a local approach, with installations, exhibitions and events mapped out in Design Districts across London, including Brompton, King's Cross, Marylebone, Mayfair and Shoreditch.
We've been through the listings for you and selected our top-five to visit. Conveniently they're all in and around Shoreditch. So if you just have one day to visit, we'd recommend heading straight there and checking out the following:
1. House on Mars Gallery - From Mars with Love
Unit 30 Sunbury Workshops, E2 7LF
Architect, educator and maker Vanja Bazdulj launches her pop-up gallery, House on Mars for LDF. The gallery showcases wearable art, jewellery and objects for 'the modern lifestyle' and aims 'to celebrate and promote amazing artists, designers and makers and to select objects that add a joyful component to everyday experience. Placing emphasis on a mixed selection of pieces featuring various methods of making and materials that are rooted in traditional crafts combined with very contemporary modes of production.' Artists and designers include the amazing glass artist, Jochen Holz, whose work is pictured above.
2. LABOUR AND WAIT BROWN
16c Calvert Avenue, E2 7JJ
LABOUR AND WAIT will host a special LDF 'pop-up' from 12th - 20th September, just a short walk from their shop on Redchurch Street. It's a tongue-in-cheek homage to their beginning. Offering a mixture of vintage pieces, new finds and limited-edition versions of familiar stalwarts, all in various hues of you guessed it, brown!
3. Donna Wilson - An Unexpected Turn of Events 33 Redchurch Street
Best known for her whimsical knitwear and stuffed bears, Donna Wilson unveils the latest additions to her Abstract Assembly body of work in the form of an installation in a vacant retail space at 33 Redchurch Street. Donna says: “I’ve created an installation which we’re calling An Unexpected Turn of Events. The Abstract Assembly pieces on display have been produced slowly and carefully over the past year.” The collection comprises of eight pieces – a bench, three chairs and four mirrors – built out of offcuts of oak, beech and Douglas fir and handpainted by Donna. Each of the pieces is a three-dimensional interpretation of Donna’s abstract watercolour paintings. On view from Monday 14th until Sunday 20th September.
4. onRedchurch - Cabinet of Curiosities
From 12 Sept, Cabinets of Curiosities will appear in Redchurch Street’s shopfronts. Scan the QR codes to discover a local designer, maker, artist or craftsperson, or to learn more about the rich creative history of Redchurch Street and Shoreditch. Look out for gorgeous pieces by Grain & Knot, pictured above.
97 & 99 Hoxton Street
After completing her MA in Sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1983, MacCarthy worked with a range of materials including wood, aluminium, plaster and latex. In 2008, after following a part-time one-year ceramics course, she found the material that enabled her to engage more immediately and viscerally. All of the sculptures at PEER have been produced in the past five years. Distorted and mutated vessels, and rendered useless. The shapes are collapsed and exhausted. They reference MacCarthy's memory of the landscape of abandoned domestic and manufacturing buildings in post-industrial Liverpool in the 1960s and 70s, where she grew up. The unglazed ceramics also look like folds of flesh and represent her interest in the body as form and mass.