London Design Festival 2009: the hit list

London is crammed with design events - some 200 in all - during the London Design Festival which runs from 19 to 27 September. Browse Barbara Chandler's hit list
For details of 100% Design and Tent London, the main players, plus Focus and Decorex, go to our September diary.

Size + Matter: Shigeru Ban installation on South Bank
Size + Matter: Shigeru Ban installation on South Bank


The festival's central "hub" this year, with shows/happenings all over the museum; dramatic "chair arch" (in the garden) made from Ercol chairs by designer Martino Gamper; large and colourful benches in the entrance hall, by Sebastian Wrong and Richard Wood; sculpture and products made from waste materials in the tunnel entrance. In Praise of Shadows celebrating low-energy lighting; poster exhibition with 25 leading graphic designers. See the full programme of seminars with free lunchtime talks. Most events run from 19-27 September; South Kensington, SW7;

Design Museum

Three shows: Super Contemporaries (until 4 October); Mariscal:drawing life (until 1 November); and Jan Kaplicky: architect of the future (also until 1 November). Meet the Museum's new "Designers in Residence" - Marc Owens and Dave Bowker - at Design Overtime, 25 September 6pm-10pm; Shad Thames, SE1;

Public art/installations

Huge ceramic chess pieces on a mosaic chess board at Trafalgar Square, WC2 symbolising the Battle Of Trafalgar by Spanish artist/designer Jaime Hayon, now living in London.

Size + Matter: large pieces of sculpture on the South Bank; Australian designer Marc Newson's mushroom shape of enamelled steel and Japanese architect Shiguru Ban's elongated pyramid of cardboard tubes.

Brompton Design District

More than a dozen specialist shows and seven pop-up shops conveniently close to each other and the V&A. Latest news:

Royal College of Art

Various shows: CloseUp spotlighting ten years of European design projects by Helen Hamlyn research association; Kensington Gore, SW7; find more details on

Losing the Plot

For Italian plastic giant Kartell's 60th anniversary: eight Philippe Starck Louis Ghost chairs customised by artists and designers; 19-27 September; 11a Kingsland Road, E2;

Ligne Roset

Urban Nature Textiles and hand-painted upholstery in modern furniture store make a (marginally ironic) pastoral paradise; 19-27 September; Ligne Roset, 18 Mortimer Street, W1;


A world first: one-piece metal furniture designed by architect Thomas Heatherwick, and extruded by machine, including six aluminium polished benches; 18-30 September, closed Sundays; Haunch of Venison, 6 Burlington Gardens, W1;

Heritage Boy: carpet installation by Lee Broom
Heritage Boy: carpet installation by Lee Broom

Heritage Boy

Lee Broom's cupboards and tables in simple shapes get dazzling treatments with carpets, parquetry and tiles; 22-27 September; The Future Gallery, 5 Great Newport Street, WC2;

Transforming Passion into Products, 1989-2009

Design retrospective celebrates 20 years of Hidden Art; products from current design luminaries such as Cressida Bell, and Susan Nemeth, early members of this successful organisation for promoting design; plus lots of new talent; 16-20 September; thegallery@oxo, Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, SE1.

Knit wit with Iittala

Knitting wizard Barley Massey transforms iconic Iittala artefacts, such as Alvar Aalton vases and Oiva Toika birds, with slip-over covers; 24-27 September; Skandium, 245-249 Brompton Road, SW3;

The Dock

Installations and temporary "pop-up" shops in the not-yet-let space around Tom Dixon's new showroom on the Grand Union canal, with Hidden Art, Donna Wilson, Thorsten van Elten, Case Furniture, The Rug Company and other cool creatives; 21-27 September; 344 Ladbroke Grove, London, W10;

Oxo Tower

Festive opening for 26 artists' and design studios on the first and second floor of this London landmark; new designs for sale; 18-27 September; Bargehouse Street, SE1;

Britain Can (Still) Make It

An eclectic mix of design - naturally all made in the UK; huge Anglepoise lamp covered in a Timorous Beasties fabric; new pieces from design veterans, Ercol; 20-27 September; Liberty, Great Marlborough Street, W1;

Ceramics in the City

Selling show with 50 makers; 18, 19, 20 September; Geffrye Museum, Kingsland Road, E2;

Made It

Contemporary ceramics for sale from 16 makers; Somerset House, Strand, WC2; until 30 September;

The Apartment

Stunning installation of "design art"; open now until 16 October; 30 Ledbury Road, W11,

Giles Miller pop-up shop

Cardboard king Giles Miller and other artists including new-girl Abigail Borg; 17-26 September; Unit 1, 12 Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, W1;

Designer-makers one-day sale

Monday 21 September, 12 noon to 7pm; Craft Central, 33-35 St John's Square, EC1;

Super Squat

In a Georgian house; first furniture from Bodo Sperlein, gifted ceramic artist, plus work by other designers, including Shin Azumi; 19-27 September, 30 Wandsworth Road, SW8;

For fuller details, and more listings, go to

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