London Design Festival 2015: what's on

September is the mega-month for design, with the world-acclaimed London Design Festival of more than 350 events launching the very latest in interior, design and lifestyle trends.
The capital becomes the centre of the design world as the international London Design Festival hosts 350 events crammed into nine days from September 19-27. This mega-event has been dubbed "a brilliant and buzzing gathering of international talent," by Mayor Boris Johnson. 

The best and most innovative ideas will be showcased, from product design, technology and architecture to fashion and interiors. “It’s an unparalleled spread of London design disciplines,” says chairman Sir John Sorrell, who co-founded the festival in 2003. 

Plot a personal programme on the interactive website, www.londondesignfestival.com, and check back for daily postings. Follow the Festival on twitter: @L_D_F and instagram @L_D_F_official (#LDF15).

Interactive is the key word — with demonstrations, talks and workshops plus shows that respond to light, movement, sound and even iPads. Download the special Festival app and follow Twitter feeds and instagram using the hashtag #LDF15.

LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL 2015: OUR ESSENTIAL GUIDE


WHERE TO START
The V&A in South Kensington is the festival hub, where you can pick up a free guide book. And there are free tours around the galleries and exhibitions. 

Tours can guide you to the design and art installations. Mostly the meaning is mysterious, but expect powerful visual effects, like 250 mouth-blown interactive glass globes suspended in the charming-period Norfolk Music Room. Note the daily themes: graphics (first weekend) and then in order, one per day: "luxury", "making", "international", "industry" - and - for the last weekend - "digital design." Late night is Friday until 10pm, with music, talks and tours. Visit www.vam.ac.uk for more details.

 
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Dramatic festival set piece, A Bullet From A Shooting Star, will be installed at Greenwich Peninsula; (right) Nomadic furniture designed by Natalia Geci will be on show at 100% Design 

A dramatic festival set piece in Greenwich Peninsula is A Bullet From A Shooting Star, which will be finished at the end of next week, and is a collaboration between artist Alex Chinneck and Hong Kong property developer Knight Dragon. At 115ft high, this huge inverted pylon — which looks like a lightning bolt — can be seen from any angle from its site in Greenwich, where Knight Dragon is building 15,000 new homes. 
 
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Focus at Chelsea Harbour has a free public day on September 25 (www.dcch.co.uk)

DESIGN DISTRICTS
“Design districts” — each with their own party/late nights — break London into walk-sized chunks. They have websites, Twitter handles and hashtags. 

Brompton Design District
Don’t miss Brompton (www.bromptondesigndistrict.com; @BromptonDesign), where top London curator Jane Withers has arranged events with customary intelligence and flair. Visit Mint, Scandium,  Squint, B&B Italia, Boffi and Smallbone for design treats. Meet designers from the RCA and engineers from Imperial College, exploring Arabic calligraphy and Mongolian cashmere en route (Late night: Thursday 24 September).

Chelsea Design Quarter
Nearby is Chelsea Design Quarter (www.chelseadesignquarter.co.uk; @chelseaQuarter) with upmarket interiors showrooms putting on the style with gusto. Design meets antiques at Guinevere, with a spectacular window by design maestro Alidad. Cut down Lot's Road to the Roca showroom, to find childhood inspirations of international  "starchitects".

Bankside is a new fixture (www.banksidedesigndistrict.co.uk; @BanksideDesign), while Shoreditch Triangle is cool (www.shoreditchdesign triangle.com; @ShoreditchDT). Clerkenwell Design Quarter has a great programme listed (www.ClerkenwellDesign Quarter.com).

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