London Design Festival 2015

By Laura Marshall

It’s been a soggy start to the week in London but one reason to leave the comfort of your home is the 13th annual arts festival, London Design Week 2015. A nine day festival spanning two weekends (19th–27th September 2015) and the whole of London means no Londoner, or visitor to the capital, has an excuse not to get immersed in something a bit creative. There is an overwhelming array of events and exhibitions on offer (over 350 in fact) meaning regardless of your specialism in design, or even if you just appreciate looking at beautiful design, there is something for everyone. The festival showcases everything from architecture and product design to fine art and illustration. Your only problem is making the difficult decision of what to visit in the short time you have.

We’re currently at the halfway point of the festival, but there is still so much on show. Most of the exhibitions are free, leaving you to indulge to your hearts content, but there are also some great paid events and talks to attend as well.  

Here are a few of my must sees of the festival.

Ladybird by Design (EXHIBITION, House of Illustration, N1)

An essential for illustrators and book entusiatics alike. The iconic Ladybird books will be recognisable to most adults and children alike.

http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/ladybird-design

Allies and Morrison: Line Work (EXHIBITION, Allies and Morrison Studios, SE1)

A beautiful selection of Ian Sutherland's architectural drawings from his 26 years with Allies and Morrison.

http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/line-work

Mise-en-abyme (EXHIBITION, V&A, SW7)

If you’re anywhere near the V&A this is one to look out for and to be shamefully honest, in this digital age, a great place to take a new profile picture for your social media personality if you're so inclined!

http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/mise-en-abyme

Kickstarters for Designers (TALK, 1.30-3.30pm 25/9, V&A, SW7)

If you’re a budding designer, inventor, or if you just have a great idea that you want to make a reality this talk is a must for you.

http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/kickstarter-designers-prototype-version-one

I for one will definitely be heading down to to the pop-up design shop in South Kensington (http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/london-design-festival-shop). It’s a bit of a cheat but if you’re pushed for time, or looking for some direction to which exhibitions in particular you would like to explore further, I find visiting dedicated exhibition shops can be a great way to get an overview of all that's on offer.

The website is essential when you’re hunting down your next destination for inspiration and although there isn’t a dedicated app available, the website basically doubles up as one if you add it as a bookmark to the home screen of your smartphone. One thing to note, as I discovered while getting increasingly frustrated wandering around Brixton on the 'Brixton Design Trail', do know what you are going to see and where it is beforehand, some of the street art in particular is really tricky to find if you only have the website as a guide. Though I did eventually find the Simon Pengelly presents Unnia exhibition it was closed (website misinformation), but you can’t fault it on it’s 'Around me' feature, showing you what is locally available wherever you are in London which in itself is a great way to dictate which event/exhibitions to visit.

Don't forget to document your experiences using #LDF14 and drop us a tweet at @popdotmedia, we would love to know what your best bits of the festival have been.