London Design Festival 2016 preview:from the V&A to Designersblock - the biggest shows, workshops and product launches not to be missed

The capital celebrates design in spectacular style with shows across London offering dazzling displays of craft and innovation...

The 14th London Design Festival starts on Saturday September 17 and runs for nine days. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who is actively fostering the arts and design in the capital, sees it as a “core priority”. He says: “London is home to the design world’s greatest innovators, practitioners and educators.

“By showcasing and promoting their work, the festival lets people from all walks of life experience why London really is the design capital of the world.”

Explore the London Design Festival online and use the mobile-optimised “my festival” tool to build a personal online schedule to share with friends — and check Twitter updates @L_D_F.


Head first to the Victoria & Albert Museum, the official festival “hub”, to pick up your free guide and join a free tour.

At the V&A: The Green Room by London design duo Glithero, is spectacular, with a fringe of coloured threads revolving around a classical staircase

Talks and workshops here have changing themes — eg Makers (Sept 20) and Digital Design (weekend, Sept 24-25). Late night: Friday September 23, until 10pm.

  • Cromwell Road, South Kensington, SW7 (@V_and_A)


The mavericks who host Designersblock have regularly championed the avant-garde here and abroad for 19 years and reliably expand the margins of design.

At Designersblock: turned, slip-cast porcelain by Bryony Applegate

At the weekend meet experts from YOSTEAM.COM, a new YouTube channel promoting tech and science for everyday life, and join the Human Imagination Task Force for a virtual reality experience.

New this year is Creative Matters, running September 15-18, a four-day forum for design professionals and students.


Tent London, set up 10 years ago and much-loved for its east London energy, has ballooned into the new London Design Fair, with 500 exhibitors from 29 nations, including individual pavilions from countries around the world. 

At London Design Fair: Zeynep Lale Rende and Emre Rende from Istanbul-based decor brand 3rd Culture

Don’t miss the British craft pavilion, 100% Norway, or the spotlight on the new design emerging from India. Also enjoy the colourful cafés and markets of Brick Lane, all around the former brewery.

  • The Old Truman Brewery, 26 Hanbury Street, E1 (@LDNdesignfair); Sept 22-25, first two days trade only, public days Sept 24-25. Tickets £10 online, £12 on the door. Get two for the price of one online with code ES241


The triple glass domes of the super-smart venue of Design Centre Chelsea Harbour are permanent home to London’s top brands for interiors.

Focus/16: at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour

Here 120 showrooms are in a frenzy of product launches, celebrity talks, seminars, and demos. Chat to designers, pick up tips and bag loads of samples. Check out “conversations in design” in the lecture hall, and/or join a guided tour.

  • Design Centre Chelsea Harbour, SW10 (@DESIGNCENTRECH; #Focus16); Sept 18-23, first four days trade only, all welcome for free on September 22-23


Luxury and bespoke are the mantras for the well-heeled interior designers who follow this show, now in its 39th year and bursting the seams of a big tent. 

At Decorex: Poxte handloomed curtain fabric, £145 per metre; Coyolate brocade cushion, £255; Volcano ikat cushion in emerald, £105; Batagua Kelim Rug, from £350, all at A Rum Fellow

This year features young, edgy brands, and the avant-garde is explored through contemporary craft.

  • Syon Park, Brentford (@decorex_Intl); Sept 18-21, trade only, but all welcome on Sept 20, tickets £30


Now in its 22nd year, this event spearheaded the rest of the London design shows.

At 100% Design: new OLED light panels from designer Ron Arad — find his installation in the upper gallery, hosted by LG Display

An impressive talks programme has put been put together by Design Museum, whose new home will be in Kensington from November, and an interior design masterclass on September 24 is with Daniel Hopwood, presenter of BBC2’s Great Interior Design Challenge.

  • Olympia London, Hammersmith Rd, W14 (@designlondon); Sept 21-24, trade only except for Saturday Sept 24; tickets £15 — quote ES50 online for half-price offer


Enjoy an outdoor evening party on September 21 in and around Granary Square, with DJs, street food and pop-up bars celebrating the show’s new home in the square, at the heart of King’s Cross Creative Quarter just across the canal from the station.

DesignJunction: at Granary Square (Ruth Ward)

In the square itself are eight large themed “Monopoly houses”, including one where online design forum Houzz will demonstrate “smart” home technology.

At DesignJunction: concrete plant pots from Geo Fleur

A ticket admits to the Canopy, with 70 traders selling homewares, fashion, tech and textiles. At Cubitt House over 100 brands showcase their newest lines.

  • 1 Granary Square, King’s Cross, N1C (@_designjunction; #djKX); Sept 22-25, tickets £12 in advance, £15 on the door, quote code EVENINGSTANDARD and get half-price tickets online


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