September 6, 2017

The EJP London Design Festival Guide | Design Districts

Navigating London Design Festival is like stepping into a black hole of creativity and sometimes the guide can seem completely overwhelming. With the EJP guide to #LDF17, you can navigate through the best installations, workshops, talks, exhibitions & design districts this London Design Festival without a worry – as long as you’re into colour, pattern and interesting narratives of course!

I’ve given a short round-up of each of the design districts below. What can’t be missed? Where will you be closest to? Find out below!

Shoreditch Design Triangle

The Shoreditch Design Triangle is a celebration of all things East End with over 50 events in the area created from various architecture, furniture, fashion and food brands. Visitors can expect to see a healthy mix of design led furniture, accessories, lighting, ceramics, fashion, jewellery, bags, tableware, cookware, books, prints, flowers, textiles, bicycles, stationery and even chocolate. 

This year, amongst the crowd pleasers such as Lee Broom and Ace Hotel, there are some new brands in the mix. Design store (and new EJP fave) W.A Green will be presenting a showcase of female talent across the festival while DARKROOM will present the GREEN HOUSE cafe at Old Shoreditch Station — a graphic installation of foliage, and their new collections of planters & furniture. 

One not to miss is Restoration Station x Yinka Ilori where Yinka will work with the non-profit social enterprise programme’s participants to restore pieces of furniture in line with his signature aesthetic. You can even pick one up at a great price!

Brixton Design Trail 

Brixton Design Trail’s theme for 2017 is Love is Power and aims to communicate the positive potency of love in promoting acceptance, celebrating difference and nurturing a strong community. 

Award-winning architectural practice Squire and Partners will host the creative hub of the trail with The Department Store, home to a number of talks and workshops over the nine days. Headline installations and events have been conceived to provoke dialogue and interaction, and several will be permanent artworks to create long term positive change.

Be sure to pop by for the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September, when Crafty Fox Market will be popping up with Design Circus, a playful weekend event of roaming performers, interactive installations, and drop-in workshops curated by Emy Gray of BRIXI.

Bankside Design District

Bankside Design District looks set to be positively buzzing this year with a focus on getting hands-on and a very strong theme of typography – just what I like to hear. Oxo Tower Wharf will provide the central hub of the district with the MINI LIVING Landmark Project acting as a beacon for visitors. Not to mention the 27 design stores located at the iconic building whom all have their own talks and workshops for you to check out.

Font fans and type geeks will love the lettering workshops with US sign painting legend Mike Meyer, as well as lots more in store from Better Letters. There will be a secret garden at citizenM and Southwark Street’s crossing, previously painted by Camille Walala, will be freshened up by a new artist. Don’t miss out on the Bankside Design District late night on Wednesday 20 September.

Islington Design District

The Islington Design District is a special district filled with independent creatives and created by a VERY lovely lady. Spearheaded by Lizzie Evans of lifestyle store SMUG on Camden Passage, Islington Design District celebrates great design with big names and long standing Islington design favourites such as Aria and twentytwentyone.

This year will see the district’s first podcast series. Lizzie will interview friends and peers in the entrepreneurial design world to talk about their career journeys, design passions and current projects with a focus on how to stay inspired and deal with work life balance.

Don’t forget to also pop down to Present and Correct for your stationery fix and to catch their London Design Festival installation, Cliptomania.


Clerkenwell Design Quarter

Clerkenwell is famous the world over for its concentration of design showrooms, studios, and architectural practices and more commonly known for Clerkenwell Design Week which takes place in May. From the maverick to the multifaceted: events, talks and exhibitions throughout Clerkenwell Design Quarter will be an intoxicating mix of art, craft, food and science.

Vitra will celebrate the iconic Eames Plastic Chairs in a unique installation while ‘Punctuating Spaces‘ at Viaduct will explore the art of punctuating a space with colour, light, tactility and form.


Brompton Design District

Building on Brompton’s reputation for showcasing experimental design, visitors to the Brompton Design District will be able to visit pop-up installations by inspirational designers and makers responding to the ‘alternative perspectives’ theme as well as catching up on the latest trends from Brompton’s leading design retailers.

Catch Peter Pilotto & Friends who will take over three floors of one of the historic townhouses at Cromwell Place to create a dynamic collaboration while It’s Nice That will once again be collaborating with The Conran Shop for ‘Private View‘ – a month-long soirée in the windows of the store where everything may not be quite what it seems. 

Don’t forget to visit The Poundshop Cart will offer a range of affordable products for sale, from over 20 independent designers, all under the price bands of £1, £3 and £5!

Chelsea Design Quarter

Situated on the New Kings Road, the Chelsea Design Quarter is a high-end design district making it the perfect luxury design destination. Highlights will include Roca London Gallery’s exhibition, ‘100 Years of Roca, 100 Years of Design’ while the Talisman will explore the design world of fashion, interior and art with their interactive installation. The Rug Company are celebrating their 20th anniversary and Tom Faulkner will be hosting a unique installation based on elements. It’s a celebration of luxury interior design and we’re all invited.

Want to see more LDF content? Explore the full EJP London Design Festival Guide or head straight to your interests – just click for Exhibitions, Workshops, Installations, Talks and Design Shows.


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Emma Jane Palin is a freelance art consultant, interior stylist and multi-award-winning blogger residing in Margate, UK. She has worked with various home and lifestyle brands not limited to West Elm, Apple, John Lewis, Habitat, MADE, Caran D'Ache + No.3 Gin. Emma is also a regular contributor to Hunker where she writes about design trends and interior advice.

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