LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL

Two Sides, One Cover

Today, I’m sharing with you coverage of my experience at The London Design Festival. For those of you who don’t know, LDF is an annual event that aims to, as the title suggests, celebrate creativity and all things design. The week-long festival takes place in London towards the end of September and is considered one of the world’s leading design-related events.

This year I was lucky enough to be in the city during the time of the festival and spent four days exploring its creative activity and absorbing some newfound inspiration. The festival had its wings spread across the entire capital, with seven main independent Design Districts that were all under the umbrella of LDF.
So, to put you into better perspective, let me just say, we had a lot to choose from and a very limited time to do so. But we did what we could, to get through as much as possible!

One of the first stops upon our arrival to London was Kensington Gardens in Hyde Park where Spanish studio SelgasCano helped to transform Serpentine Galleries into a rainbow-like playground of unconventional shapes and vibrant colors.
In Another World

Color Splash

Coming across a sign and signwriting workshop while wandering through the Bankside Design District was definitely one of the highlight of our trip. An intensive one-day hand lettering workshop took place in Market Hall, right next to the foodie’s heaven known as the Borough Market. The workshop was under the supervision of Mike Meyer, a traditional sign-painting expert from America, with the help of an Australian graphic designer Brett Piva.
A B C D E

Mike Meyer explains to us what its like to create hand-lettered signs for a living.
Options

Also, can we please take a moment here and appreciate the incredible color coordination that is Mike’s cap and the two balloons behind him?!
Orange vs. Blue

I was also fortunate enough to have a little chat with Brett Piva, the Creative Director of Pocket Design and Mike’s right hand during the workshop. Face to Face

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Hands of a master sign painter, as he shows us the basics of hand-lettering and puts his bush into action.
Precision

We had some good laughs about the fact that Brett’s surname means “beers” in Slovak.
Honest Approach

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The venue of the workshop could not be positioned better and more strategically. Not only is the place full of natural light, therefore great for working, but also the surroundings of the Borough Market are bursting in signs and lettering inspiration.
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After a little session with Mike and Brett, we could not resist the open doors of RABOT 1745 inviting us in from across the street. We simply had to enter this chocolate paradise. It was the right decision! So, for you, my fellow chocolate lovers, if you ever come to the area this place is the gem!
..You are welcome in advance.
Yes, please!

One massive exhibition space , four days, hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of visitors and endless amount of inspiration coming from all over the globe. That is what 100%design at Olympia London looked like.
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Among the many emerging brands and show sections (including interiors, workplace, kitchen bathrooms and design build) stationed through the entire complex, visitors could also attend daily talks given by various individuals across the design industry.
We managed to catch two of them, both focusing on a topic of scents and their relation to design. A craft parfumer Sarah McCaurtney gave us an insight into what impact scent has on retail for brand. While Simon Harrop touched up on sensory branding a.k.a. the fascinating power of senses and their significance when it comes to architecture and interiors.
(If you’d like to know more about this sensory branding expert, definitely check out his Ted Talk.)
Olympia

An exhibition held on the third floor of London’s Design Museum called “Like Me: Our bond with bands” curated by a global creative consultancy Lippincott, was one of our final stops before we took off.
Design and Staircases
The exhibition was divided into couple of sections starting with ‘Inside out’, which gave you a moment to reflect on your personal relationship with brands as well as let you ponder upon the impact brands have, when it comes to shaping one’s identity.

Via this installation Lippincott looks at the bond between people and brands as well as set the question of, really, Who’s branding who? And further challenges the viewer to think more and consider their own position in society that is so widely dominated by companies and brands.
LondonDW-1 copy

As we approached the centerpiece of the entrance hall , the face disappeared and instead, the brand logos came to the surface, completely transforming the initial look of the installation.
..In a way I felt resemblance to impressionist paintings; further away I stood the more of a solid image I saw.
LondonDW-logos-2

Minimal, yet spectacularly bold, reception of ME London was certainly one to remember. Consisting of an impressive nine-storey pyramid dressed in white marble, this monochromatic atrium produced by Foster + Partners was taking it to another level.
..Oh boy, could you just breath luxury up in there!
I AM Magic

And besides all the places mentioned above, we also managed to see some good stuff at TATE Modern, attend Yves Béhar talk at V&A Museum, stroll through Brixton Design Trial, seek inspiration at Syon Park during Decorex International, have a tour around Mondrian London at Sea Containers and admire the impressive works of British designer Tom Dixon, step into the mind of Louis Vuitton‘s very own creative director Nicolas Ghesquière at Series3, attend a party at a very cool hipster-looking Ace Hotel in Shoreditch and probably some more exhibitions, events and installations. But I think that’s enough typing for now..

Thanks for stopping by and have a good one my friend!

Until next time..
BON VOYAGE

Love, Barbara

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