10 things to see and do at The London Design Festival

Celebrating and promoting London as the design capital of the world, offering a gateway to the international creative community, The annual London Design Festival has already well and truly kicked off, so to celebrate The London Design Festival, we’ve picked out some absolute corkers the festival features. With more than 400 exhibitions and events to choose from, this list is by no means extensive. In fact, we’d recommend commenting and adding your own personal recommendations of top events you’re planning on seeing below! 

London Design Biennale

Exploring big questions and ideas surrounding sustainability, migration, pollution, energy, cities and social equality; the first edition of the London Design Biennale takes place at Somerset House. Installations and designs from 37 different countries come together in response to Biennale’s theme ‘Utopia by Design.’

7-27th September  


Light Pollination

An interactive digital artwork in the heart of Brompton Design District, Light Pollination is presented by iGuzzini and UniversalAssemblyUnit. Featuring 20,000 LED lights brought to surface with fibre optics, the artwork is dotted with hidden sensors so you can interact with others through the artwork. It’s like fireworks at your fingertips apparently.

17-25th September


The Smile

The world’s first ever hardwood ‘megatube’, Architect Alison Brooks has created something which could be from another planet. The Smile is an environment that integrates structure, surface, space and light – a 34m long, 3m high upside down arc that pushes the boundaries of timber evolution. Made entirely of tulipwood and situated in Pimlico, this is one installation not to miss at night, because it becomes an immersive lantern.

17-25th September


MINI LIVING ‘Forests’ Installation

MINI have teamed up with designer Asif Khan to explore architectural solutions to urban living in a three-part series of forest bathing spaces filled with plants, which are dotted around Shoreditch. Offering locals places to connect, create and relax, MINI welcomes visitors to mix the extension of public space with private by taking plants home from the installations to grow in their own homes. Free plants = we’re game.

17-25th September 


The Heal’s Party

Heal’s is throwing a bash midway through the festival at their store on Tottenham Court Road. Celebrating design and to showcase their new autumn/winter collection, there will be a bar on every floor and live music, art and DJs instore.  

21st September


Plasticity Forum 

The Plasticity Forum comes to London, bringing its discussion to the RSA House to detail the future of plastic sustainability in the capital and give the design community the opportunity to learn how to educate their clients on plastic waste.

21st September


Type Wednesday in Bankside

Learn how to choose fonts with confidence with Type Tasting Founder Sarah Hyndman and her brilliant workshops. Known for her interest in the psychology of typefaces, Sarah is a graphic designer, writer and public speaker, and is changing the way we think and talk about typography. Plus, it’s being held in Borough Market so there’s the opportunity to explore the bustling marketplace.

21st September 


The Art of Marbling

Oliver Bonas are hosting an exciting workshop at their Tottenham Court Road store where you can create your own marble designs. There will be a step-by-step demonstration, as well as an informal chat on how marble features in the brand’s products.

22nd September



A team of journalists will give talks and workshops throughout the 23rd in the Brompton Design District. Our very own columnist Ben Tallon will be at the V&A discussing how recent graduates can market themselves digitally while on a super tight budget.

23rd September 16


Souvenirs at the V&A

The London Design Festival has collaborated with the V&A to create design-led souvenirs to purchase during the week. If you’re after homeware with a twist, this will be up your street, there’s a London postcode clock, cockney rhyming slang mugs and beermats.

17-25th September


Plan your visit:

Photo credits: London Design Festival 2016 supported by British Land, 17 – 25 September,

Landmark Projects:

MINI LIVING 'Forests' Installation by Asif Khan

The Smile by Alison Brooks Architects, engineered by Arup

Supported by AHEC, Arup, Züblin Timber, Seam, Atrium.




21 Sep 2016 11:27
Looks great :)
Tomos Wilding
21 Sep 2016 14:30
Some great ideas!
21 Sep 2016 21:21
It was a fantastic event, and I really look forward to attending the next one. Good write up.
Keziah Herbert
28 Sep 2016 13:51
Damn! Shame I missed this. Particularly interested in the marbling :)
10 Apr 2017 14:58
Will be looking out for this event this year. Sounds brilliant!

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