London Design Festival (LDF) 2023

London Design Festival (LDF) is set to return for its 21st year this September, bringing back London Design Fair after three years and focussing on nurturing emerging young talent. LDF highlights that the design industry has grown 1.5 times faster than the wider economy over the past decade, contributing £108 billion in GVA annually.

LDF highlights that the design industry has grown 1.5 times faster than the wider economy over the past decade, contributing £108 billion in GVA annually. The festival organisers describe the industry as a “a powerhouse of the UK economy” and reinstates its commitment to positioning London as a “global design capital”.

Despite this long-term sector challenges have also been highlighted including the number of students opting to take design subjects at GCSE and A level continuing to decline. LDF director Ben Evans says: “This year’s programme promises fresh perspectives and boundary-pushing ideas that will inspire audiences but, just as importantly, the festival provides opportunities for emerging talent and promotes inclusivity in the sector.

London Design Festival was launched by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans CBE in 2003. Building on London’s existing design activity, their concept was to create an annual event that would promote the city’s creativity, drawing in the country’s greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver an unmissable celebration of design. The launch of the first Festival took place at Bloomberg on 25 March 2003, with a show of support from design, education, government and London organisations. 20 years later, this vision remains ever strong.

In 2019, the Festival welcomed a record-breaking 600,000 individual visitors from over 75 countries. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, London Design Festival now moves into a new decade, celebrating how it has played a key role in the growth of the design industry, bolstering London’s position as a global destination for business, culture and tourism, and contributed to the UK’s reputation as a creative powerhouse. As one of the world’s leading design events, the Festival has also served as the blueprint for design weeks and festivals globally and continues to be a key moment on the cultural calendar.

“London Design Festival is a fantastic event which brings together designers from across the globe and demonstrates the capital’s position as a powerhouse for the creative industries. London is known for its creativity and continues to attract the best companies and talent from around the world. I’m delighted to support London Design Festival, which shows that London is open to great ideas, innovation and people from all backgrounds.” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London

Bring London Together by Yinka Lori

“London and Design go hand in hand. It is part of our story. London Design Festival is a platform for hundreds of design stories to be told. Each of them talks to an expanding audience hungry for design ideas and enjoying the quality and diversity of what’s on offer. It all confirms London’s status as the global centre of design." - Ben Evans CBE.

Returning as the largest commercial exhibition at LDF, London Design Fair will run from 21–24 September, showcasing innovative design, brands, international pavilions, and makers. It can be found at Truman Brewery in Shoreditch and boasts an extensive talks programme as well as interactive workshops and opportunities to experience installations and spot trends. London Design Fair will also include a Design Alumni pavilion, showcasing recent graduates’ designs as part of the festival’s wider commitment to help young talent increase visibility.

Medusa by Sou Fujimoto & TinDrum

Please Be Seated by Paul Cocksedge

Other works to appear in the V&A include objects that reframe the history of glass in Greater Syria and Palestine by Palestinian architect, artist and V&A Jameel Fellow Dima Srouji. A tapestry, sculpture and film is the result of a collaboration between British-born Canadian artist Nirbhai (Nep) Singh Sidhu and UK arts organisation Without Shape Without Form, and an immersive installation and VR experience is being created by Poulomi Basu & CJ Clarke.

Global Design Forum

LDF’s talk series Global Design Forum will return to the V&A for five days, seeking to cover some of the most challenging and future-forward topics in design. Global Design Forum partners this year include SAP, Pearlfisher, Istituto Europeo di Design and UAL.

Design Districts

An additional four design districts will be included in this year’s festival: Dalston to Stokey Design District, Battersea Design District, Chelsea Design District and Fitzrovia Design District. Other districts which have been part of LDF previously and return again this year are: Bankside Design District, Brompton Design District, Greenwich Peninsula, Islington Design District, Kings Cross Design District, Mayfair Design District, Park Royal Design District, Shoreditch Design Triangle and Southwark Design District.

Check out the website for full details


Credit Design Week

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