In the design world, the month of September means one thing: London Design Festival. Here is our guide to LDF 2017: the highlights and the trends to look out for in 2018.
Looking back on the festival, there is one theme that reigns supreme: fun. The Villa Walala installation by French artist Camille Walala saw a brightly coloured bouncy castle erected in the centre of Broadgate’s Exchange Square. In stark contrast to its surroundings, Camille’s aim was to add fun to the daily routine.
Not far away in a three-floor Shoreditch warehouse was the London Design Fair, famous for an eclectic mix of international designers. Notable themes were lighting and bright pops of colour. Brands to watch include: Swedish Ninja and Future Days.
Retro lights are also making a comeback and no one did it better than Lambert Kamps with an 8ft ‘light up clock’ installation.
We cannot fail to mention the ‘Kitchen of the Future’ exhibit from Schott Ceran; the ‘Fusics’ black glass-ceramic cooktop is an impressive mix of illumination, connectivity and touch display.
100% Design in Kensington is the UK’s largest trade show and attracts architects and designers from all over the world. While many of the brands are largely commercial suppliers, it’s still a feast for the eyes. H Furniture is a good example of contemporary design.
A recurring theme throughout the week was botanicals. Brands that did it right were House of Hackney and Sølø with its Jungle Collection at Decorex International at Syon Park. Decorex was celebrating its 40th anniversary and did so with a giant carousel showcasing a fusion of fashion, floristry and interiors from Matthew Williamson and Larry Walshe.
This brings us on to another trend: flowers. ‘Direct to your door’ florist Bloomon was also exhibiting at Design Junction, in the Heart of King’s Cross, with a pop-up shed bursting with blooms. This district is the ‘new kid on the block’ in relation to other more established events but its youthful exuberance only helps to increase its cool reputation.
A definite highlight from the fair, and indeed the whole of LDF, was Gateways. The beautiful ceramic installation was a bespoke project created by Adam Nathaniel Furman on behalf of Turkishceramics, designed to celebrate Turkey’s rich artisanal history. This was one of the most Instagrammed shots of LDF and rightly so; it embodied the theme of fun and colour that characterised the festival. Perhaps it's a sign of a colourful awakening in 2018, and it will be interesting to see how the trends are realised in kitchens.
For more information about some of the main projects, visit the London Design Festival website.