DetailsLondon Design Festival today announces details of its 21st edition, taking place from 16 - 24 September 2023. With a vibrant and thought provoking programme of events, exhibitions, and installations, the Festival will once again provide a vital platform for designers and creative businesses to showcase their work. This year’s edition will continue to foster growth and excellence in the sector, building on a two-decade-long legacy and commitment to promoting and supporting the UK’s design community.
The Festival's programme also encourages the next generation to pursue a creative career. Young and emerging talent are a vital part of the creative ecosystem and key to maximising the economic potential of the sector. However, the sector faces long term challenges as design subjects continue to experience a decline at GCSE and A levels. The Festival remains predominantly free, allowing diverse audiences to discover and encounter inspiring design stories. By providing accessible and inclusive experiences, it aims to inspire young audiences, encouraging them to consider a creative career.
The 2023 Festival programme will take over the city presenting groundbreaking ideas and creative concepts that underscore the vital role of design. The programme will feature major installations, museum exhibits, Design Districts that highlight creative clusters across London, Design Fairs and the Global Design Forum, a thought leadership programme that brings together creative leaders to explore and propose solutions for pressing global issues.
Additionally, the annual London Design Medals will recognise the contribution made by leading design figures and emerging talent to London and the industry, with four London Design Medals awarded each year. The Festival is delighted to continue its long-standing partnership with Fortnum & Mason as the Supporting Partner of the London Design Medals 2023. Further details of this year’s winners will be announced in September.
2023 marks the 300th anniversary of Sir Christopher Wren’s death. London Design Festival supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies takes the opportunity to delve into the legacy of the extraordinary architect and polymath through a modern lens. By collaborating with contemporary designers, the Festival aims to provide fresh insights into Wren and his collection of architectural masterpieces. The two Landmark Projects which will form part of the Wren 300 celebrations will serve as a means of engaging with his architectural and scientific heritage, as well as exploring how his works remain relevant and inspiring in the present day.
At St Paul’s Cathedral, London Design Festival in association with Artichoke will present Aura by Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena. The installation approaches what a temple means in today’s world and examines the potential of time, sound and light to create contemporary rituals. Aura is a live installation that transforms the sounds present in the cathedral into a pulsating line of light projected at an architectural scale.
Studio Waldemeyer will present Halo, a transcendent light installation within St. Stephen Walbrook Church. The conical pendulum traces a celestial path around Henry Moore's famed altar, evoking planetary motions and creating an ethereal Halo. Slow colour transitions on the grand dome, inspired by natural phenomena like the aurora borealis, amplify the meditative aura.
Simone Brewster in collaboration with Amorim will present Spirit of Place on The Strand, an installation of 5 large scale sculptural vessels. This family of objects, ranging up to 2.5m, represents Amorim’s cork forest at Herdade de Rio Frio, Portugal. The future of the forest is secured by four key traits: drought resistance, fungal resistance, upright expression, and fast voluminous growth.
The Rubin Museum’s Mandala Lab in Canary Wharf is an interactive space designed to explore challenging emotions and consider how to transform them into wisdom. The freestanding structure contains a metaphoric floorplan for our emotional well-being, featuring five thought-provoking, playful experiences that guide you along an inner journey focused on self-awareness and awareness of others.
Morag Myerscough has partnered with LDF automotive partner MINI to unveil an immersive installation at Shoreditch Electric Light Station. This vibrant journey into the future teases the brand's exciting vision, where tradition and technology collide, to create greener and more abundant urban environments. Morag's unique use of space and captivating designs perfectly align with MINI's values and commitment to enhancing urban city life.
There will be 13 Design Districts as part of this year’s Festival:
Bankside Design District
Brompton Design District
Islington Design District
Kings Cross Design District
Mayfair Design District
Park Royal Design District
Shoreditch Design Triangle
Southwark Design District.
These will be joined by four new districts for 2023:
Dalston to Stokey Design District
Battersea Design District
Chelsea Design District
Fitzrovia Design District.
As part of the Festival programme, London Design Festival hosts major trade and consumer shows, formerly known as Design Destinations. These are the commercial pillars of the Festival and are key meeting places for designers, manufacturers, buyers, specifiers, the media and design enthusiasts to discover new product releases and identify current trends.
After last year's hugely successful debut, the Material Matters fair will return to Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf as part of the Bankside Design District. The fair, which runs Wednesday 20 - Saturday 23 September will bring together world leading brands, designers, makers, and innovators to investigate and celebrate the importance of materials and their ability to shape our lives. The refreshed line-up includes Headline Sponsor, UK lighting specialist Bert Frank and the Milan-based platform Isola and much more.