As London Design Festival’s doors opened and, with pressing deadlines in the studio, the question was “what, out of the hundreds of design happenings over the next few days, shall we go and see?”
Sophie was, as ever, very active – as judge for 2015 British Land Celebration of Design Awards for the second year in a row. Sharing conversation with Ken Adam, who received a well earned lifetime achievement award, and enjoying the celebration dinner with top UK designers and fellow judges.
The TM team gravitated towards Somerset House and the V&A for two reasons: time starved – both venues showcased a concentration of activity to be explored in one hit; and Quality vs Commercial – we were looking for an experience, not buying design, and these venues held the most relevant content. Our highlights were both experiential and educational:
Max Lamb’s ‘My Grandfather’s Tree’ at Somerset House, was a really powerful piece using context to give gravitas and relevance. By showcasing a whole tree in ‘dismantled’ form, our imaginations were triggered to see both object d’art and elegant future furniture.
Robin Day, Works in Wood curated by Jane Withers and designed by Turner Prize nominees Assemble at the V&A, this exhibition showed a side to Day’s work that we suspect many don’t know about. Lovely examples of his work (those plinths were quite high but luckily our shorter members were wearing high heels!) sat alongside thoughtful text about his process and life. Very insightful and one for the inspiration bank.
There was also the very popular ‘Crafting Our Digital Futures‘, part of the V&A Digital Design Weekend.
Physically engaging, both in terms of the technology itself as well as having the creators along side, enthusiastically explaining their ideas. These personal anecdotes provided an invaluable experience, especially for an event as disparate as a citywide festival.
The LDF party at the V&A was, as usual, a fantastic event – great to catch up with the familiar, and new, faces of London’s design world.
The designers we met, the inspiration offered and the feeling of being part of something larger than the individual is what makes the festival special. We think LDF is not just about design, it’s all about the people and our great capital city.