London Design Festival 2022 – September 20 – 23rd

London Design Festival has returned for its 20th anniversary, and with its return comes thought-provoking events, exhibitions, and installations. Coined as Autumn’s unmissable design event, I had 36 hours to navigate around London, which for London Design Week is only scratching the surface. In today’s blog post I’m rounding up my favourite finds, design discussions, and some need-to-know names in the business.

As I’m coming from, the main aim of these trips for us is to dive into the creative process and explore new areas of design we can potentially introduce within our product catalogue. So my first stop was the design fair “Design London”. Design London returned to Magazine London in North Greenwich for the second time, this event’s main attraction came from the cutting-edge furniture from emerging designers and furniture of those who are well-solidified in the design industry.

Seeking Circularity

Designers and brands are becoming increasingly aware of the impacts humans have on our planet and so sustainability is very much the core conversation for now and the future. Circular economy was a huge talking point with designers and brands throughout the festival, I had a fair idea of what it meant but not to this extent. In layman’s terms, its aim is to keep materials and products in use in the economy for as long as possible.

Adidas led the way for empowering circularity at Design London with their immersive exhibition called “Chasing Circularity”, it sees the brand taking a leap of faith into its circular journey with previews of their new collection, “Made to be Remade”.

Discussions at Design London became an integral part of my trip, I was lucky enough to catch the leaders in Danish design and how they tackle the circular economy. One of the speakers on the panel really found my interest following his explanation behind his company “Houe”.  “Houe” Denmark has created a collection called “MyTrash” and it reuses household plastic trash for furniture production. All materials are sourced in Denmark and then designed by Danish designers and the products are made with Danish technology. Learning about this company is a real eye-opener in how to better one’s design ideas and practices.

London Design Trails

Following the discussions at Design London, it was time to jump from tube to tube to make my way through the London Design Trails. Two of which are the Clerkenwell Design Trail and the King’s Cross Design District.

Clerkenwell was first on the list to ramble through and Fritz Hansen was the first port of call. An internationally renowned interior design brand, this visit did not disappoint. Iconic pieces from Arne Jacobsen, Hans J.Wegner, and Paul Kjaerholm to name a few, were on display. Even though I was by myself I couldn’t help to loudly ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at the genius that is the Fritz Hansen Design House.

The final stop of the jampacked trip was King’s Cross Design District, and for me, it felt like the cherry on top.  In preparation for my trip, I planned who and what I wanted to see, and the “Porro” debut London store trumped the number one spot every time. The London showroom takes over space within Tom Dixon’s Coal Office. The Italian furniture company “Porro” creates bespoke furniture systems, these storage systems are housed behind the red brick of Tom Dixon’s Coal House. The clean crisp lines of Porro’s key design, the “Storage Wardrobe”, designed by Piero Lissoni against the rough, industrial environment of the Coal House truly shows the versatility of the product. The products shown by Porro and Tom Dixon were truly magnificent. As a young designer, I have been reveling in the beauty of these pieces since.