London Design Festival 2012

The London Design Festival has just announced details of the various exhibitions, projects, talks and installations (Keiichi Matsuda’s Prism, above), which will make up this year’s ten-day event

The London Design Festival has just announced details of the various exhibitions, projects, talks and installations (such as Keiichi Matsuda’s Prism, shown above), which will make up this year’s ten-day event…

Running from September 14-23, the 2012 LDF will include the inaugural Global Design Forum, which will take place at the new Central Saint Martins site in King’s Cross on September 18. Though the line-up is yet to be announced the event will apparently examine new ideas and directions in design. (This page will be updated with further details.)

Pentagram has once again designed the identity for the festival (more here), which this year will also see the launch of the LDF app, essentially a detailed guide to all of the events that, once downloaded, is full browseable offline.

LDF is also working with “creative think tank” BE OPEN on a project in Trafalgar Square which plays with the idea of “design you can’t see” via an immersive rubberised space in the centre of the square (mock up, shown above).

Designed by Arup with Sound and Music, the Sound Portal will generate three-dimensional soundscapes created by a series of musicians and sound designers. Sound and Music has commissioned five works by artists such as Jana Winderen and Ivan Pavlov that will each respond to the square.

At the V&A Museum, the LDF’s hub venue, a series of specially commissioned installations will be on show, including the large-scale sculptural piece, Prism, by Keiichi Matsuda (image shown, top), which will render live data feeds via a series of projectors.

“Prism is alien,” says Matsuda, “a seductive but ultimately unknowable artifact occupying the city. Gazing into it, we can discern the shadows of data, but are locked out from full understanding. This is not a project about the politics of data visualisation, but rather an investigation into urban informatics, and our relationship with data itself.”

Japanese studio Nendo’s series of Mimicry Chairs (above) are also set to appear in varying locations throughout the V&A museum, while designer Rolf Sachs’ installation at the Henry Cole Grand Staircase will involve building custom-designed drip mechanism, constructed from IV drip bags and fountain pens, which will drop brightly coloured pigment from the height of the staircase into a tank of liquid, creating a series of colour clouds (like the one shown, below).

All London Design Festival events will be listed online at (the 2011 events are still up at time of posting) but there are several other “design destinations” on during the run of the festival:

100% Design, Earls Court, September 19-22
The UK’s largest contemporary design trade event is relaunched for 2012.

Decorex, The Royal Hospital Chelsea, September 23-26
Running for over 35 years Decorex is one of the UK’s most established design and interiors shows.

Designjunction, The Old Sorting Office, September 19-23
Showcasing the best in global design against an industrial backdrop, designjunction unites creative and commercial design.

Super Brands London, Truman Brewery, September 20-23
Now a stand-alone event Super Brands includes over 40 global brands such as Erba Italia, Prooff, Architonic, Materials Council and Fritz Hansen.

Tent London, Truman Brewery, September 20-23
Tent presents over 200 exhibitors from 25 countries showing a diverse range of contemporary interior products.

The Brompton Design District will feature Studio Insights: The Wonder Cabinets of Europe (curated by Livia Lauber and Maria Jeglinska) where eight emerging practices from seven European cities bring a little of their studios to Brompton. And Kopiaste (Greek for ‘sit and talk’) is a new project by design provocateurs Design Marketo and Haptic Thought around the theme of an invitation to share food, experiences and soulful ideas. Gallery Libby Sellers presents Hot Tools, an exhibition of glass works by the Product Design master students of ECAL (University of Art and Design Lausanne), the culmination of a student workshop led by designer Ronan Bouroullec and glassblower Matteo Gonet. And at Fluid Surface – Serpentine Glass, Corning Gorilla Glass will present an architectural-scale glass wall constructed from a lightweight glass typically used on touch-screens for PCs, tablets, and smartphones.

Full details on all LDF events will appear at

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