Over the past 10 days, the London Design Festival featured hundreds of events across London, showcasing the city’s pivotal role in global design. The London Design Festival was in full colour this year, slapping Blighty’s austere environment with an array of vibrant furnishings. The festival’s Landmark Projects projects have become very much the public face of the London Design Festival and over the last few years some of the greatest designers and architects in the world have experimented with new materials and processes as part of the festival – often in some very familiar London spaces. This year marked the event’s tenth anniversary and continued to expand the scope of the Landmark Projects, showing off design’s ever expanding frontiers with projects like the BE OPEN Sound Portal in Trafalgar Square – where it’s the ambience around us that is being re-thought, or Keiichi Matsuda’s digital installation Prism at the V&A. Below are three videos which help summarise this monumental event and will help to give anyone interested a taste of what this event had to offer.
As Ben Evans, Festival Director explains: “The London Design Festival is not just about being big but being different. Though we’ve grown hugely – both in terms of the number of events in the Festival and the number of people flocking to see them – what really interests us is making each year different. If one of the skills of design is to look at the world in new ways, that’s something we want to reflect. And that’s very much the theme behind our Landmark Projects this year. Take Keiichi Matsuda’s Prism at the V&A: it’s a different way of looking at London. Prism is a digital installation made of giant screens that are constantly changing as they absorb and process live data from around the capital. Like the city, it’s constantly in motion. And like John Pawson’s extraordinary installation at St Paul’s Cathedral last year, Prism opens up a space the public haven’t had access to before; the cupola at the top of the V&A’s central tower entrance.”
Using these sites around London on behalf of the Festival sites allows us to reach beyond our core audience of design fans and professionals. As Evans says, “We are also interested in reaching people who don’t really think they know what design is.” Add spectacular, intelligent large scale installations, often created with public participation in mind, and you have a way of making great design a tanglible, celbrated addition to London’s cityscape. The London Design Festival’s Landmark Projects are something London is very proud of; no other international design event has created such a remarkable legacy of public work, extending design’s vocabularly and drawing a huge public to the work of some of the world’s most innovative design thinkers.
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