100% Design - 18-21 September
100% Design (Earls Court, SW5, September 18-21; 100percentdesign.co.uk) is the UK’s biggest design trade show, looking at interiors, kitchens and bathrooms, “emerging brands” and more. See the “farm kitchen” for growing food; a delicate walk-through paper sculpture, and a digital home spa super-shower.
Public day is September 21, entrance £15. But take a friend and get two-for-one by printing this page and quoting code pub100 — or book online.
Tent London - 19-22 September
Tent London and Super Brands, Old Truman Brewery, Hanbury Street, off Brick Lane, E1 (tentlondon.co.uk). September 19-22, two-for-one offer for £10 (plus booking fee) online before September 13. Use promo code ESTL241, not valid on door.
Decorex - 24 September
Public day at Decorex trade show, Kensington Gardens, is the afternoon of September 24. Tickets are £30 but readers quoting code DECX9 get 20 per cent off at decorex.com.
Free: The V&A - 17 - 25 September
With more than 80 events the V&A is the place to start. Find a free booklet and map with a list of the festival fun at its information desk, where you can marvel at a chandelier with 280 glass pendant lamps blown into spheres.
“God is in the details,” said Thirties Bauhaus architect Mies van der Rohe. It’s a quote design buffs love, and the title of a pan-museum escapade with designers magnifying favourite treasures using giant Swarovski lenses: Tom Dixon is “blowing up” an exquisite model of the Albert Memorial.
The V&A’s hard-hitting programme of talks, debates and workshops is for the brainy and the hands-on. There’s a theme for each September date from graphics, to nature.
Meet maverick designer Julia Lohmann in her “department of seaweed” and find sustainable textile demos (dyeing and printing, etc) then breeze through a magical wall of paper windmills.
FREE: Designjunction - 18-22 September
In a large, grungy West End venue (The Sorting Office, 21-23 New Oxford Street, WC1) is Designjunction. Free entry for Visa card-holders, or pre-register at thedesignjunction.co.uk. Find more than 150 big brands and smaller labels, plus a mall of small design outfits and websites that don’t usually have shops (Thorsten van Elten, clippings.com and Outline Editions). There are cafés/bars on all three floors and cook-while-you-watch stalls from South Bank’s Real Food Festival (realfoodfestival.co.uk). Five “flash factories” show saddle-making to 3D printing. Get to understand the crafts, ask questions and take away free examples.
FREE: the South Bank
Visit the South Bank (southbankcentre.co.uk) for more free design — world’s largest lava lamp, anyone? Star act is Designers block (very designersblock.com, 19-22nd September), London’s best show for maverick, alternative and advanced design, plus suitably sober seminars. Fun workshops let kids make radios and more. Fifth Element (15-22 September)in the Festival Hall looks at Science Technology and Process in Design.
FREE: FOCUS - 25 September
Focus has at 80 showrooms at Design Centre Chelsea Harbour and is free to visit. Find details at dcch.co.uk; there’s even free transport.
FREE: design districts 14-22 September
Explore in turn Shoreditch Triangle, Fitzrovia Now, Clerkenwell Design Quarter, Chelsea Design Quarter and Brompton Design District — all walkable. Most events are free, and some in the evening offer free drinks — more at londondesignfestival.com.
Track down the offers
Look out for festival offers all around the West End but first download a detailed promotional card from thedesignjunction.co.uk.
You can buy five Arne Jacobsen stacking chairs and get one free, and/or buy an Egg chair and get a free footstool, at Republic of Fritz Hansen, 13 Margaret Street, W1 (fritzhansen.com), where there’s a great arched maze installation by the Bartlett School of Architecture using scrap veneers and leather from Denmark.