London Design Festival

By Rosanna Holmes,
18th September 2010 - 16:22
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London will be a hotbed of creativity later this month with the London Design Festival taking place from 18th-26th September in museums and galleries from Brompton to Shoreditch. Here's our guide to what not to miss...

 
Clemens Weisshaar's Outrace in Trafalgar Square1 Light fantastic
Last year, a giant chess set appeared in Trafalgar Square. This year, the London landmark will host German designer Clemens Weisshaar’s Outrace installation. Resembling a mechanical octopus, robotic arms will project light traces into the night sky from text inputted by the public.
 

2 Pop art
The V&A will again host a range of special events – we suggest a rendezvous at the pop-up cafe in the Exhibition Road entrance before checking out the installation of picture frames by Stuart Haygarth on the marble staircase leading to the architecture galleries. Another highlight is rising star Max Lamb’s monumental piece of sculpture in the cast courts.
020 7942 2000; vam.ac.uk
 
3 Mapping it
The autumn exhibition at Priscilla Carluccio’s design shop Few and Far is inspired by Phyllis Pearsall, who walked every street in London in 1936 and began the A-Z city street atlas. Rachel Hazell will be running workshops for customers to make a map of their own.
020 7225 7070; fewandfar.net
 
4 A day like no other
Heal’s, the home of contemporary design, is taking part in the festival for the first time by honouring creative superstar Lucienne Day, who produced more than 70 textiles for the company and whose 1951 ‘Calyx’ is a landmark of post-war design. The store is holding a selling exhibition of her textiles and launching a new collection inspired by her work.
0870 0240 780; heals.co.uk
 
5 Find a penny
London-based lighting designer Paul Cocksedge’s sculpture (one of two installations on the Southbank) houses three giant, magnetised discs that will gradually turn from mirror-polished stainless steel into copper as they are ‘human plated’ with money donated by passers-by. All proceeds go to charity.
 
cathy miles teapot6 South Kensington style
The Royal College of Art and the Serpentine Gallery in South Kensington, along with stores such as B&B Italia, will be hosting exhibitions and events. And in nearby Earls Court, 100% Design on 26th September showcases the latest in interiors and fresh design talent.
020 8910 7963; 100percentdesign.co.uk
 
7 Creative crafts
If craft shows make you think of frumpy felt bags and dodgy bracelets, contemporary craft show Origin (23rd-29th September) will make you think again. Relocated this year to Old Spitalfields Market, this jury-chosen event presents the very best in craft talent. Look out for Cathy Miles's striking metalwork, pictured above.
020 7739 5561; originuk.org
 
8 Decor delights
Decorex International at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea and Focus 2010 at Chelsea Harbour’s Design Centre are where designers, retailers and architects head to get a taste of what’s hot in the world of interiors. To make sure you keep one step ahead of the neighbours, go along on their public days on 28th and 29th September respectively. Focus spills out on to nearby King’s Road, where Osborne & Little and Designers Guild are also taking part.
020 7921 8406; decorex.com
020 7225 9101; designcentrechelseaharbour.co.uk
 
9 Tait modern
The iconic mid-century ceramics of Jessie Tait, whose zebra stripe and polka-dot designs are as popular today as they were in the 1950s, will be on show at kitchen showroom Bulthaup in Clerkenwell from 20th September-1st October. Included will be examples of some of her most famous designs for Midwinter Pottery alongside rare one-off pieces.
020 7317 6000; bulthaup.co.uk