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What Not to Miss During this Year’s London Design season! #LDF18

We love this time of year where the best from the world of design is curated and celebrated across the city. We’re spoilt for choice with so many design programmes to choose from; it was hard work but here is what’s on our design-thinking radar for London Design Festival #LDF18.

By Frances Hulme

We love this time of year where the best from the world of design is curated and celebrated across the city. We’re spoilt for choice with so many design programmes to choose from; it was hard work but here is what’s on our design-thinking radar for London Design Festival #LDF18.

The Art of Music in the Digital Age: a series of world-first designs – Beatie Wolfe [V&A Museum]

We’re all about immersive and multi-sensory installations and musician and technology innovator Beatie Wolfe has been invited by the V&A to showcase a series of album innovations. Wolfe’s work explores how technology can be used to re-evoke a sense of storytelling, ceremony and tangibility for music in the digital age. With a sense of theatre, technology and immersion, this ‘Fantasia-like’ installation bridges the physical and digital as well as reimagines the vinyl experience in retro-future ways.

Wolfe’s latest design is the Raw Space Experience, which will allow visitors to enter an anechoic chamber and immerse themselves in a ceremonial listening experience, while live AR animations bring the album’s artwork and lyrics to life in real-time. Come hear the sound of silence, a blast from the past, and the music launched into deepest space.

The Raw Space experience has been described as “like walking around in a dream someone had made for me” by The New Scientist, “an extraordinary production: music and visuals” by BBC Radio 4 and “utterly ground-breaking” by Fast Company. Wolfe is also joining the Global Design Forum at the V&A to discuss Designing for the Senses [further in the blog]

  • Saturday, 15 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • 10.00 – 17.30

  • Prince Consort Gallery, Level 3

  • Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

  • Free event


Colourscape Music Festival [Clapham Common]

Along the theme of music and colour, we’re excited about being cocooned in colour! Before you explore the many interconnected chambers spanning nearly an acre, you don a coloured cape so you too become part of the rainbow landscape. Specially composed music for acoustic instruments and semi-improvised music with live electronic processing will explore the relationships between colour, sound and space and be performed throughout Colourscape. You experience the intensity and subtlety of colour in a new way as well as atmospheric sound through the kaleidoscopic labyrinth.

  • Saturday, 15 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • 12.00 – 13.00 [weekdays], 12.00-17.00 [weekends]

  • Windmill Dr, London SW4 9DE

  • £5.00-£11.00

Global Design Forum [V&A]

Global Design Forum is London Design Festival’s curated thought leadership programme, celebrating design and the minds shaping its future. Taking place throughout the Festival at the V&A, the Forum features a unique mix of talks, debates, tours and workshops that together reflect the most innovative thinking in the world of design today.

Inspirational design-thinkers from all corners of the global design community will share new perspectives on designing for a shifting future. From design values and housing solutions, to the power of disruption, be informed and inspired by industry’s innovators.

Here’s a couple of sessions worth noting:

Designing an Experience, Physical and Digital [Tuesday, 18 September] with pioneering film maker Jessica Brillhart 

The Business Value of Design [Tuesday, 18 September]  Ben Sheppard, partner at McKinsey Design will present this world-first study

Designing for the Senses [Wednesday, 19 September] with three leading innovators including Beatie Wolfe

  • Saturday, 15 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • Various times: check schedule

  • Cromwell Rd, Knightsbridge, London SW7 2RL

  • Variable pricing


London Design Biennale [Somerset House]

This year focuses on Emotional States with artists and designers from 40 countries, cities and territories producing work around this concept. As you’d expect, there are highly personalised and diverse interpretations that explore big questions and ideas about sustainability, social equality, energy and migration. Taking over the entirety of Somerset House, visitors can explore and engage with these immersive and interactive installations. Collectively this celebrates the universal power of design and the role of design in our collective futures.

  • Tuesday, 4 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • 11.00 – 18.00 [Mon, Tue, Sat, Sun], 11.00-20.00 [Wed-Fri]

  • Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 1LA

  • £0-£19.50




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Design Junction [Southbank]

Just down the road from us, designjunction is showcasing the forefront of product, lighting and furniture design from major and disruptive brands from around the world. Set across three Southbank venues, a mix of global furniture, lighting, accessory, material and technology brands will be exhibiting alongside pop-up shops, installations, and interactive features. 

#DesignEvery Talks Programme covers a wide range of topics including many of our favourite subjects including, Design Thinking, User Experience, Brand Engagement and Ethical Design. One that has particularly peaked our interest is the Experience Design session “What does it take to engage in the age of information overflow?” which explores how we are increasingly seeking experiences over things to enrich our daily lives. The panel which includes Sam Bompas of Bompas & Parr, discusses this phenomenon through a cross section of disciplines from food to film.

  • Thursday, 20 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • 11.00 – 20.00 [Thurs-Fri], 11.00-17.00 [Sat-Sun]

  • Doon Street, SE1 9PU: Furniture, Lighting and Shops

  • OxoTower Wharf, SE1 9PH: Projects and Exhibitions

  • Riverside Walkway, SE1 9LT: Outdoor Installations

  • £16.00




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Mind Pilot installation by Loop.pH [Design Museum]

We are firm believers in the power of the mind but with this installation it is literally put to the test. Spatial laboratory Loop.pH invites visitors to pilot an airship using the power and focus of their minds inside the museum’s atrium for London Design Festival.

Free tickets to pilot the airship are available from Monday 17 September on a first come, first served basis so make sure you’re first in line. The pilot wears a virtual reality headset that stimulates the sense of being in flight, and a device that measures brain waves and sends signals that navigate the balloon through the space. Get your wings as a Mind Pilot!

  • Saturday, 15 – Sunday, 23 September 2018

  • 10.00 – 18.00

  • 224-238 Kensington High Street, London W8 6AG

  • Free event




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I am so excited to finally announce a new commission called Mind Pilot. A mind powered airship to fly in the Design Museum’s atrium for London Design Festival For eight days during the festival, the spatial laboratory Loop.pH will animate the Design Museum’s atrium with an interactive, site-specific installation called Mind Pilot. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to pilot the textile airship using the power and focus of their minds. The Design Museum has announced a major new London Design Festival installation, a mind-powered hot air balloon that can be controlled by visitors One visitor at a time will be connected via a headset to a series of personal monitoring devices. These will detect the visitor’s heart rate and brain activity, controlling the robotics that move the balloon. This installation encourages the idea of an inclusive future where people with varying physical abilities can use thought control to operate flight. Mind Pilot is commissioned by Ameena M. McConnell, Curator at Large of the Design Museum with support from Arts Council England’s Change Makers Fund. #ldf #designmuseum #eegtech #eeg #airship @designmuseum @l_d_f_official

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