London Design Festival returns to the capital for its 17th year this September 2019 with an inspiring programme of events and installations across the city. This year also marks 11 years with the V&A as a collaborating partner and the official Festival hub. During the Festival, the world’s leading museum of art, design and performance will once again play host to a series of specially-commissioned projects by internationally-renowned designers.
Initially established in 2003 by Sir John Sorrell and Ben Evans, London Design Festival is an annual citywide celebration that brings together a global community of designers, artists, architects and the creative industries with a vision to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world. Since its inception, London Design Festival has grown to encompass a broad range of activities, and attracts visitors from around the world: the 2018 Festival welcomed a record-breaking 588,000 direct visitors from over 75 countries generating almost 1 million visits.
London Design Festival Director, Ben Evans says, “London has the biggest creative economy in the world, and design is a key part of it. London Design Festival celebrates and promotes London’s design excellence in a period when showcasing creativity is even more important.”
For the nine days of the Festival, the unique collaboration with the V&A will once again see iconic spaces within the Museum transformed by a curated collection of displays and installations. The Museum will also play host to London Design Festival’s thought leadership programme, Global Design Forum, which celebrates design with an inspirational lineup of talks, debates, daily tours and workshops. In 2018, London Design Festival and Global Design Forum helped drive 170,000 visitors to the Museum during the Festival’s tenure.
Dr Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A says: “The V&A is once again proud to be the Festival hub for this year’s London Design Festival, bringing to life an ambitious programme of events and installations which celebrate London’s role as the design capital of the world. The Festival is a wonderful opportunity for leading figures from the international creative community to engage with the V&A’s world-class collections of art, design and performance.”
The Festival receives support from the Mayor’s Office and is delighted to continue its long-standing partnership with British Land as Headline Partner.
Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries, Justine Simons, said: “Each year the London Design Festival hosts a truly inspiring programme of events, bringing together designers from across the world and demonstrating our position as an international creative powerhouse. The creative industries are responsible for one in six jobs in London and the Festival sends a clear message that London is open to great ideas, creativity and innovation.”
GLOBAL DESIGN FORUM
Global Design Forum is a week-long celebration of design and its power to change the world. A series of talks, discussions and workshops, the Forum lifts the lid on the most innovative thinking in the world of design today. Visitors will be inspired by pioneers that are changing the way we design and live, refreshing their thinking and rebooting their understanding of the power and potential of design as a force for good.
In 2018, 45 speakers from 20 countries shared their perspectives on designing for how we live today, and the world we want to inhabit tomorrow. Previous speakers include Edward Barber & Jay Osgerby, Michael Beirut, Es Devlin, Zaha Hadid, Jaime Hayon, Thomas Heatherwick, Paul Priestman, Faye Toogood, and Camille Walala,.
The full programme will be announced in June.
DESIGN DISTRICTS, DESIGN DESTINATIONS AND DESIGN ROUTES
As a citywide event, London Design Festival is an essential platform for the capital’s major tradeshows taking place across London, including: 100% Design, designjunction, Focus/19 and London Design Fair. These shows feature work from a local and international network of both new and established exhibitors.
In 2019, there will be 10 official Design Districts from East to West; North to South. Design Districts are areas where there are distinct concentrations of design activity and events that can be traversed easily on foot. Each District is organised locally and independently via the platform of London Design Festival. This year will see a new Design District taking part in the Festival; Kings Cross Design District.
It joins Bankside Design District, Brompton Design District, Clerkenwell Design Quarter, Marylebone Design District, Mayfair Design District, Pimlico Road Design District, Shoreditch Design Triangle, Victoria Connections Design District and West Kensington Design District.
In addition, we are delighted to welcome back Paddington Central Design Route as a Design Route.