London Design Festival today announces an inspiring series of city-wide commissions and installations, that will transform the capital from 14-22 September 2019. New projects announced today include Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness by Kengo Kuma, a large-scale bamboo installation in the John Madejski Garden at the V&A; Life Labyrinth by PATTERNITY, an ambitious project that brings together design and mindfulness at Westminster Cathedral Piazza;
Iri-Descent by Liz West at Fortnum & Mason; Martino Gamper at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross, inspired by the concept of Potemkin Villages; and Take The Plunge by Volume Creative.
Each intervention will add an exciting new dimension to the city’s streets and iconic spaces, exploring the power of design to shape our world and demonstrating the role it plays in how we live, feel and solve problems. These ambitious site-specific works will present the creative spirit that has earned London its reputation as the design capital of the world and as one of the largest creative economies globally. One out of every six people working in London is employed within the creative industries, demonstrating the extensive role design plays in the capital visually as well as economically.
London Design Festival Director, Ben Evans CBE says, “London Design Festival continues to grow and evolve. From North to South, East to West, the programme this September will celebrate the capital’s diverse creative talent, encouraging a global audience to discover something inspiring and new. London is the biggest cultural hub of any global city with a rapidly expanding creative sector, and design is at the heart of this. The Festival provides a platform for designers to connect with an audience hungry for the latest in design innovation and solidifies our position as an international creative powerhouse.”
PROJECTS AT THE V&A
BAMBOO (竹) RING: WEAVING INTO LIGHTNESS
JOHN MADEJSKI GARDEN, V&A
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH OPPO
FURTHER SUPPORT BY KOMATSU MATERE AND ANA (ALL NIPPON AIRWAYS)
Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, is an experiment in the concept of weaving, one of the interests explored by Kengo Kuma. Japanese architect Kuma has most recently designed the V&A Dundee, his first building in the UK, along with the New National Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the Great (Bamboo) Wall house in China. Inspired by the John Madejski Garden and curated by Clare Farrow, the doughnut-shaped structure – like a nest or cocoon – has been created by weaving rings of bamboo and carbon fibre together. For Kuma, working with Ejiri Structural Engineers and the Kengo Kuma Laboratory at The University of Tokyo, the installation is an exploration of pliancy, precision, lightness and strength: by pulling two ends, it naturally de-forms and half of the woven structure is
lifted into the air. Bamboo has been used traditionally in Japanese architecture in part due to its linearity and flexibility, and as a symbol of strength and rapid growth. The basic component of the structure – a 2m-diameter ring – is made from strips of the bamboo Phyllostachys edulis. By combining carbon fibre, a contemporary material, with the ancient material of bamboo and laminating each ring, the resulting effect achieves a certain rigidity while maintaining the unique material properties and beauty of bamboo – a remarkable, sustainable material that resonates with Kuma’s childhood memories and looks into the future of architecture.
Bamboo (竹) Ring, or ‘Take-wa 竹わ’, has the ambition to become a catalyst for weaving people and place together.
Image Credit: Bamboo (竹) Ring: Weaving into Lightness by Kengo Kuma at John Madejski Garden, V&A
SUPPORTED BY VICTORIA & VICTORIA WESTMINSTER BUSINESS IMPROVEMENT DISTRICT
WESTMINSTER CATHEDRAL PIAZZA
Life Labyrinth takes inspiration from the principles of resonance and flow – harmonising the senses and invoking positive thoughts and experiences in the world. Through the power of pattern, movement, sound and nature, the installation – designed by PATTERNITY – will invite visitors to meditate upon, and enjoy the Piazza, at their own pace. The heart of the installation will be based around a giant geometric labyrinth formation, a pattern-based journey proven to have positive health benefits for the user as they meander through the journey to the centre of the piece. The labyrinth will be created from sustainable, recycled and recyclable material. PATTERNITY’s bold graphic style will reflect the brick-work of the Cathedral and the communal seating will pay homage to the geometries of the Abbey architecture and space. Wild autumnal grasses and flowers and gentle sounds bring nature, beauty and connection to the space, balancing and engaging the senses in a visceral way. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in the sacred space, amidst the hustle and bustle of London life.
Image Credit: Life Labyrinth by PATTERNITY at Westminster Cathedral Piazza
SUPPORTED BY FORTNUM & MASON
FORTNUM & MASON
Iri-Descent by Liz West is a suspended arrangement of 150 skeleton-framework cubes located in the atrium of the historic Fortnum & Mason store in Piccadilly. Clad with dichromatic film in two differing colour-ways, the cubes appear to change colour as visitors move around the atrium and between the floors above and below. There are two colour variations interlacted throughout – warm and cool – offering a pink and blue range of hues. The highly reflective film also mirrors its surrounds and transmits complementary colours outwards. Iri-Descent forms part of an ongoing series of spatial light works based upon research into colour theory and light fields with an ambition to transform architectural spaces and public environments. West works across a variety of media, mixing luminous colour and radiant light in a provocation of sensory reactions. With Iri-Descent, she wants to encourage visitors to enage with the space in a new way, and to examine their own personal relationship to colour and light.
Fortnum’s heritage and iconic landmark location provided the inspiration for the installation. Liz West said, “I am delighted to have been invited to work with London Design Festival in the atrium of Fortnum and Mason. It is a particularly joyful commission to work on due to the passion, knowledge and commitment of everyone involved. I have thoroughly enjoyed conceiving this and been creatively challenged and finding delicious materials to ignite the work and people’s imaginations and perceptions”.
Image Credit: Iri-Descent by Liz West at Fortnum & Mason
SUPPORTED BY COAL DROPS YARD
COAL DROPS YARD, LONDON
Coal Drops Yard will be home to a Festival Commission by Martino Gamper. This one-off site specific installation is a playful temporary addition to the King’s Cross architecture: a false facade with traditional cladding from the Italian Alps. The installation is inspired by the concept of a Potemkin village. The term comes from stories of a fake portable village built to impress Empress Catherine II by her lover Grigory Potemkin during her journey to Crimea in 1787. Gamper’s concept is designed as a gateway to Coal Drops Yard. The structure will have a low environmental impact, with all materials as waste products, recycled or later repurposed.
In addition to the installation, King’s Cross will for the first time become a Design District following the success of their Design Route last year. They will also welcome back Design Destination, designjunction.
TAKE THE PLUNGE
IN COLLABORATION WITH VIRGIN VOYAGES
We are delighted to announce a Special Project for London Design Festival 2019 with Volume Creative in collaboration
with Virgin Voyages, titled Take The Plunge.
Further details will be announced soon.