Monday, 17 September 2012

London Calling...

Right then… Very excited, as London Design Festival is finally upon us - it comprises a rich variety of exhibitions, installations, talks, events and parties (read ‘fizz!’). Of course, amongst that heady mix of stuff, a number of larger destination exhibitions punctuate one's list of must-visit events - 100% Design and Decorex in the West, Design Junction in Central London and Super Brands and Tent London in the East. Each destination could be a day out in itself, so leave plenty of time to get around; some of the finest new products are launched… from talented independent designers all the way through to renowned international brands (and there are numerous features to enjoy, including; installations, seminars, debates, pop-up shops, restaurants and bars – read ‘fizz’…). You should be aware that the ‘Design Destinations’ (DDs for short) don't all share the same dates during the festival, so be sure to check their individual websites when planning your visit. It is also advised to register to attend in advance (yawn… boring).

I thought that you might be interested to learn about some of the main events (most are on through this coming weekend), as many of them are open to the general public on selected days.

1) Tent London

Now in its sixth year, the ‘multi-faceted’ design event Tent London returns to the Old Truman Brewery in the lively Brick Lane area of east London. Both established and emerging independent designers and brands co-exist here - however for me Tent London is mainly about up and coming designers who are exhibiting their prototype interior products with the aim of being spotted and to get their work into the mainstream. I really love this event as you get to see what ‘new blood’ coming into the design world are thinking – really inspirational. Visitors can expect to see more than 200 local and international exhibitors from over 26 countries showing a mix of contemporary furniture, lighting, digital and interior products.

When: 20-23rd September 2012 
Where: Old Truman Brewery (E1)
Entry: £10 admission fee

2) Super Brands

Following its successful debut last year, the sister show to tent Super Brands London is returning in 2012 and is more than double its original size. Over 40 furniture, lighting and interiors brands are presenting new concepts and products. 

When: 20-23rd September 2012
Where: Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, London, E1 6QR
Entry: £8 in advance / £10 on the door

3) Shoreditch Design Triangle

To celebrate this year's London Design Festival, thirty one local galleries, shops, studios, cafés and restaurants in and around the Shoreditch Triangle have joined forces to bring you a week of special design events. Starting on the 14th of September, each location will be holding events to launch individual exhibitions and to celebrate and showcase exciting new work. I love this aspect of the week… wandering around the back streets of Shoreditch and stumbling across the most amazing galleries have just popped up for the duration of the festival – truly inspirational. 

When: 14th – 23rd September 2012
Where: Shoreditch
Entry: Free

4) 100% Design

This is one of the biggest events during the festival with over 21,000 trade visitors. The focus is contemporary interior design and there will be four new areas; 100% Interiors, 100% Office, 100% Kitchen & Bathrooms, 100% Eco, Design & Build. Each area will have a dedicated hub space with engaging seminars and networking capabilities. The Emerging Brands section will be showcasing the best in emerging design talent and providing a hands‐up to the next generation from the UK and overseas. 

When: 19-22nd September 2012 (Saturday 22nd General Public)
Where: Earls Court
Entry: Tickets on the door for £15

5) Decorex International

This year, Decorex celebrates its 35th anniversary making it the longest-standing design and interior show during the London Design Festival. Located in the grounds of The Royal Hospital Chelsea, the organisers are marking this milestone with a review of the event’s heritage, honouring iconic moments, key design pieces and the people and influences the industry has harnessed. Over 250 exhibitors are showing, ranging from contemporary, traditional and bespoke furniture to lighting, floor coverings, fabrics and wall coverings, accessories and bespoke services. 

When: 23-26 September 2012
Where: Royal Hospital Chelsea
Entry: Only Trade Visitors

6) Design Junction

Bringing together a stellar line-up of leading UK and international lighting and furniture brands, this event is set to excite, inspire and challenge anyone with a passion for design. Designjunction instantly made a name for itself when it debuted at last year’s Festival with a select showcase of UK and international design brands. This year, the organisers have significantly upped their ambitions by taking on the voluminous old 1960s Royal Mail sorting office as their venue. Spread over three floors and 10,000 sqm, the space offers an industrial backdrop against which a strong line-up of design brands, small labels, creative enterprises, pop-up shops, large-scale installations, temporary restaurants, bars and cafes, working flash factories, live entertainment and seminars are housed.

When: 19-23rd September 2012 from 11am to 6pm
Where: The Sorting Office, 21-31 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BA
Entry: Free

In addition to the London Design Fesitval, the Monaco Yacht Show is taking place this week, so tomorrow morning I am jetting off to Monaco for three days to see the Super yacht I have been working on for the past year (and to a have a little party with billionaires – read ‘fizz’)… Bye.

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