London Design Festival is the proverbial iceberg of festivals. Although its official run was only for nine days, its reach and scope has been gargantuan, leaving a permanent mark on our city. Not only is London abound with residual installations, it has also been given a tangible appetite for design - which has been fed and sharpened by the extent of autumn’s showcased talent.
The Festival is more like the umbrella under which hundreds of installations, workshops, shows, expositions and discussions have been nurtured; since its conception in 2003, the festival has grown exponentially, both in size and complexity.
Epitomising this evolution brilliantly this year, designjunction truly came into its own – having moved to a new location. The three-day event was moved from Holborne to Granary Square in King’s Cross, becoming a sort of mini festival in its own right. The decision to move there was inspired. As part of the campus for Central Saint Martins, the new location resonated greatly with the future of design.
Against the industrial backdrop of King’s Cross, designjunction 2016 hosted four distinct exhibition sites:
The centrally located Granary Square featured ten custom exhibitions for headline sponsored projects and installations which were all arranged around the permanent water display. One of our team even got snapped blending in rather well with the pop-up tents!
Cubitt, a two-floor pavilion in Lewis Cubitt Square, had trade focus, featuring the best in contemporary lighting in the ‘lightjunction’ as well as furniture from international design brands.
The Canopy acted as a temporary pop-up venue for premium retail brands, including everything from fashion accessories to technology, textiles and stationery. Located between Central Saint Martins and Waitrose, the large market area took shape under a heritage protected wrought iron structure, attracting retail buyers and design-savvy consumers.
The Crossing, running through the Central Saint Martins building, provided the show’s registration point as well as a platform for specially commissioned installations and flash factories.
Each site was curated thoughtfully, providing tailored platforms for all exhibitors and a fantastic viewing experience for us. We were pleased to see some familiar faces like Modus, Haberdashery and Floor Story and were also introduced to several new designers including BlackBody, Zero Studio and Bethan Gray.
We can’t wait to see what designjunction will open our eyes to next year. Whatever they have in store, we fully anticipate to be blown away!
London Design Festival; londondesignfestival.com