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London Design Festival: A Guide to the Must-See Districts

From Bankside to Brompton, Marylebone and Mayfair...

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London Design Festival is back with a bang, showcasing all the splendour the capital has to offer when it comes to artistic innovation and design. Taking place over nine spectacular days filled with exhibitions, events, instillations and more, and across eleven pioneering districts, #LDF2019 promises to captivate, inspire and enthral. Here is our guide to the must-see districts you won’t want to miss…



The Conran Shop: Sella Concept. Portrait of Designers Behind the Work

Spotlighting the relationship between nature and design, Brompton’s array of exhibitions and events will consider the way design is inspired and preserving of the natural world. With inclusivity from the district’s many leading design brands – including Mint, Cassina, The Conran Shop and Poltrona Frau – and the unveiling of Jane Withers Studio’s series of biodiversity-conscious animal habitats, London Design Festival’s first ever design district is taking an explorative stance on our crucial connection to nature.

DON’T MISS: Jorge Penadés’ nomadic pavilion Traceless, inspired by the body’s biomechanics, as well as the elegant ground-floor Oyster Bar at Bibendum.


Giulio Cappellini

I-MADE: Sketch of Take a Seat Exhibition by Giulio Cappellini

Celebrating its first ever year as an established Design District, Chelsea is destined to showcase quite the creative spectacle. With a rich design culture – boasting artsy institutions such as the Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, Roca London Gallery and the Chelsea College of Arts – and a wealth of free-spirited and innovative design-makers (Anthropologie, The Rug Company, Annoushka), delight in all the artisan splendour this avant-garde area has to offer.

DON’T MISS: The Satchi Gallery’s I-MADE exhibition dedicated to Italian design, the London College of Fashion’s pop-up exhibition exploring the worldly impact of technology and craft, and complimentary sparkling sake at the King’s Road’s Sticks ‘n’ Sushi.


Oliver Smart

Circus: Oliver Smart’s Imago, a Dragonfly in Motion

Returning to the festival for its second year running, W1’s luxury design district (a curation of both The Portman and The Howard de Walden Estate) will be celebrating in style with an array of internationally renowned brands, including Dashing Tweeds, Jo Malone and Cox & Power. Be sure to visit the district’s official festival hub, The Conran Shop, in collaboration with Swiss art gallery Hauser & Wirth, to see a spectacular exhibition of works from some of Marylebone’s most magnificent artists and designers.

DON’T MISS: Martyn Thompson’s exhibition at Jo Malone’s Georgian townhouse, Cox & Power’s ‘Jewellery Clambake’ (bring your undesired pieces and discover how they could be made anew), Circus’s immersive showcasing of Oliver Smart’s mechanical dragonfly, and delectable French dishes at Orrery, overlooking St Marylebone church.


The Africa Centre

The Africa Centre: Kenneth Tharp, Director & architect Jonathan Hagos, Director of FREEHAUS

From Southwark’s illustrious Borough Market to the South Bank’s OXO Tower Wharf, Bankside is brimming with artistic innovation. With an abundance of crafts shops, galleries and exhibitions on offer, the riverside district is certainly one to visit. While you’re there, delight in Musicity’s ‘low line’ walking experience where 15 geotagged tracks will play along the Victorian railway viaducts, as well as The Africa Centre’s intriguing exploration of pan-African design.

DON’T MISS: The Tate Edit’s showcasing of Alicja Patanowska’s ceramic plant pots, over 25 artsy retailers at OXO Tower Wharf, and ingenious java from Roasting Plant Coffee where you can experience the roasting process, from coffee bean to cup.



Achille Salvagni: Tritone

One of London Design Festival’s most innovative and upscale districts, Mayfair is bringing an abundance of artisan elegance to the table, from the likes of SketchThe New Craftsmen and Achille Salvagni Atelier, in which the award-winning designer will unveil his latest show. Delight in delectable food and drink offerings – a glass of bubbles at 45 Jermyn Street can’t go amiss – then stop by Gabriel Scott to view the launch of their exciting new London showroom.

DON’T MISS: Sketch’s specially curated cocktail in celebration of their partnership with Matter of Stuff (available at The Parlour), a five-day social and sustainability-based workshop and exhibition at The Koppel Project, and Camille Walala’s embellishing of South Molton Street with vibrant street furniture and flags.

Pimlico Road

Jan Kath: Inari

Jan Kath: Inari

Renowned for its plethora of interior design studios, antiques galleries and luxury furniture stores, Belgravia’s Pimlico Road is an integral design district and must-visit for interior enthusiasts. From Robert Kime’s bespoke cushion and lampshade open studio, to Ochre’s spectacular showcasing of porcelain chandeliers, there will be plenty to do, see, experience and shop.

DON’T MISS: Tasty seasonal dishes from The Orange’s LDF-curated menu, a live cooking demonstration with the world’s oldest kitchen brand, Poggenpohl Chelsea, and the launch of award-winning designer Jan Kath’s Skull rugs, unveiled at Front Rugs.


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