The London Design Festival from a local’s perspective

London is the centre of many important art and design related events. One of the most important ones is definitely the London Design Festival. Many people come to the city, visit various venues, and post it immediately on social media. The most important part of this festival, however, are the revolutionary designs of emerging & well-established designers. They come up with incredible ideas of how to reduce pollution, make better use of renewable resources or create products which make us think about and appreciate what we have.

As a tourist, hungry for some LDF highlights, I would recommend to start and to finish off with the V&A Museum. As a Londoner, I would try to feel like a tourist and also start and finish off with the V&A. It is an incredible place and can keep you occupied all day and night long!

I decided to see a few venues in one day,  thinking naively that I would be able to cover all I have planned. After spending almost 6 hours in the V&A Museum, feeling totally exhausted I was still very far from seeing everything I wanted. There were various talks, lectures and tours all around the Museum. I managed to sneak into the Ineke Hans’s talk about her “Cuckoo eggs” and take a tour around the main highlights of the LDF with one of the lovely V&A volunteer and design-enthusiast covering all the interesting bits and bobs of the event.

The most exciting as well as photogenic part of the LDF is, in my – Londoner’s (Dezeen included) opinion, the “Green Room” by Glithero. This unusual sort of clock has a pink point in the middle which keeps moving around (a round per minute, they say) and, whilst making a horrible squeaky noise, pulls each silicone strip up and down. Pink, orange and grey beautifully complement the green walls of the Victoria building. (It is also pretty high, 17,5 metre :O).

I had a great fun with this clock and had a hard time leaving it alone, though the security guard as well as the bloody annoying noise made me move on!

And onto another attraction – the “Cuckoo Eggs” which was basically a room full of old furniture, enriched of exciting stories saying what this and that piece would have been used for nowadays or how it had helped the world of furniture develop into what we have today. The whole thing made much more sense when the creator itself, the Dutch designer Ineke Hans, was talking about her thoughts behind her work at 6pm.

I followed to the stairs and bumped into something indescribable and hard to understand. It was a collection of wires hanging from the ceiling, surrounded by lights which were moving at seemingly irregular pace and speed. Still a lot of fun to take photographs of!

See what I am talking about? Hypnotising…

Anyways, then I finally started moving onto other LDF highlights, such as the “Beloved” and “Foil” (the best to come at the end). The “Beloved” was inspired by a Turkish novel, I believe, and is an object made of mirrors with gaps through which you can see inside and watch the story… I passed it three times and still struggle to make any sense of it. Nevertheless, since I am once an artist, I decided to add my own story to it. The “Broken Image”, I call it, which allows you to see your reflection imperfectly, broken down into pieces, which can actually be truly beautiful and almost better than the reality. It was marvellous, with the flashes of nudity coming into the reflection of yours… Magic.

But that is not the end, the real highlight is yet to come. There were a few other projects, eco-friendly, super-efficient… Perfect but expensive, let’s leave it there… But seriously, a table which generates electricity from the light indoors? What da hell?? Congratulate the new generations of designers for that.

Finally, I have reached my final destination, the one everybody is obsessing about and worshiping Braun, the main sponsor, for being so revolutionary, ahead-of-all-of-us, and so superb… Here we go, let us enter… the darkness! (artistic name: The “Foil”).

Totally amazed, exhausted and absorbed by art, I decided to leave the other London Design Festival’s destinations for another day, jumped on my bike and said goodbye to both, the V&A Museum and the ending day… Cycling at sunset is such a blast!

With designer’s love,

Gabrielle xx



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