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The London Design Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
© London Design Festival

This year, the London Design Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary. From 17 to 25 September, the festival, whose stated aim is to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world, will once again offer an extensive programme of events, exhibitions and installations. As every year, it provides a platform for designers and creative businesses to showcase their work to an international audience travelling to the Thames to discover the breadth and diversity of talent in London and across the UK.

Since its inception in 2003, the festival says it has played a key role in the growth of the UK design industry, strengthened London’s position as a global destination for business, culture and tourism, and contributed to the UK’s reputation as a creative powerhouse. In 2019, it was estimated to have generated £118 million in gross value added, created 2,992 full-time jobs and provided a platform for more than 2,500 businesses by bringing audiences to small and established creative businesses. Sir John Sorrell CBE, Chairman of the Festival, said, “We deliberately set up the London Design Festival to be public-facing. Unlike other design events, we don’t just want to support designers by helping them showcase their work and generate business, but more importantly to create an understanding and appreciation of the creative industry amongst as wide an audience as possible. Over the last 20 years, the festival has had incredible penetration and success in bringing people together and generating new ideas.”

Once again, the anniversary edition of the London Design Festival aims to shine a new light on the city and highlight the familiar through a programme that features sensational installations and museum exhibitions as well as “Design Districts” that highlight creative activities across the city and the “Global Design Forum” that brings together creative leaders to share ideas and solutions to some of the most pressing issues of our time.

As for Landmark Projects, Rotterdam-based designer Sabine Marcelis will present an installation in central London to celebrate the brutalist architecture of the Centre Point building complex and London’s multi-faceted architecture. At Cromwell Place, Sony Design will present a media platform of light, colour and sound that will constantly evolve through interaction with visitors. On the Greenwich Peninsula, a project inspired by Neolithic stone structures will create a space separate from the outside world. The collaboration with the Victoria& Albert Museum of Art, Design and Performance, now in its 13th year, will see iconic spaces at the museum transformed through specially commissioned installations and exhibitions by international contemporary designers. Linked by the idea of transformation, projects range from the transformation of molecules and materials to the creative renewal of household objects and the regeneration of the planet itself. Themes of repair and renewal are addressed as well as how to deal with plastic waste from the sea.

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