London Design Festival: where to go and what to see

16 September 2016

London Design Festival is one of Europe’s biggest celebrations of design, in all disciplines, and there are hundreds of events to see, from the landmark installations at the V&A and this year’s inaugural London Design Biennale, to smaller, hidden gems around the various districts: Shoreditch, Clerkenwell, Islington, Chelsea, Brompton, Brixton and Bankside. If you’re not sure where to start, you’re in luck because the It’s Nice That team has picked out the top ten exhibits you won’t want to miss.


What Ho! Andrzej Klimowski’s illustrations for P.G. Wodehouse

What Ho! Andrzej Klimowski’s illustrations for P.G. Wodehouse
London Print Studio, 
8 September – 12 November 2016

Andrzej Klimowski’s linocuts, installations and props celebrate the work of writer PG Wodehouse. During the late 1970s, Andrzej designed book jackets for the Everyman series and in total he has illustrated 95 books written by Wodehouse. Some of his designs will be available as prints to buy in the show. 


Below Stairs at Sir John Soane’s Museum

Below Stairs
Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 September 2016 – 28 January 2017

Leading designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, Jasper Morrison, Martino Gamper and Paul Cocksedge are showing new and bespoke work in an exhibition called Below Stairs at the Sir John Soane’s Museum. The show coincides with the opening of the newly refurbished Regency Kitchens at the museum, previously unseen by the public. 


London Design Biennale: Chile’s The Counterculture Room

The Counterculture Room
London Design Biennale, Somerset House, 7 – 27 September 2016

Chile’s Counterculture Room created as part of the London Design Biennale has a positively kitsch sci-fi feel. Designed by FabLab Santiago and curated by Andrés Briceño Gutierrez and Tomás Vivanco Larraín, the reconstructed room aims to recreate a communications hub from the 1970s. Dressed like a film set, the team have filled the room with retro control panels surrounded by wooden panelling and blocky, futuristic chairs. 


Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan: Sign Machine

Sign Machine by Morag Myerscough and Luke Morgan
Bulgari Hotel, 12 – 25 September 2016

The Sign Machine is a kinetic installation of brilliantly bright colours and textures, full of personality.  A completely interactive piece, “users are able to sit in the machine and turn a series of rods to control signs that brandish bold and simple messaging, causing objects and signs to interact with one another creating wider statements.”


Eley Kishimoto: Brixton Windmill

Brixton Windmill by Eley Kishimoto
Windmill Gardens, Blenheim Gardens. 18 September 2016.

As part of the Brixton Design Trail (17 – 25 September) local pattern and print designers Eley Kishimoto will repurpose the windmill seals with their striking designs. There will also be the chance to see flour being ground in the working windmill, alongside bakery demonstrations by local bakery, The Old Post Office. 


Domenic Lippa: Words by Voices

Words by Voices
Pentagram Design offices, 21 September, 6:30pm

Domenic Lippa is hosting Words by Voices, a typographic installation that explores words of social justice. Designed by Domenic and displaying quips, quotes and speeches from Eleanor Roosevelt, Martin Luther King Jr. and Muhammad Ali among others, the installation of large format posters will be presented throughout Pentagram’s London office.


Studio Makgill x H Furniture

Studio Makgill x H Furniture
Designjunction, 22 – 25 September

Graphic design agency Studio Makgill has collaborated with Mexican-British brand H Furniture to reinvent its WW chair. The eye-popping colour combinations fused with the Windsor chair design make for a covetable pairing, and a great example of what cross-disciplinary projects can produce.


Assemble: BBQ tiles


Jochen Holz: Beam soap dish


Jochen Holz: Beam soap dish

Ready Made Go 2
Ace Hotel, 20 – 25 September

Ready Made Go 2 is the second range of products commissioned by Ace Hotel London and the Modern Design Review, designed bespoke for the hotel. This year the range includes a range of tiles by Assemble, featuring patterns created by smoke; a quilt by Toogood, an industrial-style soap dish by Studio Silo, drinking glasses by Jochen Holz and a climbing wall by Patternity.


Sarah Hyndman: Type Tasting

Type Tasting
Laithwaite’s Arch, Stoney St, Bankside, 22 and 27 September, 7:30pm – 9:30pm (booking essential)

Typography expert Sarah Hyndman and wine expert Grant Hedley have come up with the frankly brilliant idea of combining a type workshop with a wine tasting evening. Learn about how typography and label design can tell you much about the provenance and price of your wine, and even influence what you taste.


Toilet Break

Toilet Break
Basement, 1 North Terrace, 17 – 25 September

Design magazine Dirty Furniture and The Shit Museum are collaborating on Toilet Break, an event exploring the potential of shit as a product for use in design. Featuring two exhibitions and a series of debates, including one called Shit into Gold, looking at “how we might re-evaluate our most primordial activity, and the material that results from it”. We’re intrigued.

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