Paul Cocksedge's installation 'Please Be Seated'

Your Guide to London Design Festival 2019

10 August 2019 | Billie Manning

What is London Design Festival, anyway?
London Design Festival isn’t quite what you’d think of when you think of a festival: there are no muddy wellies or compost toilets in sight here. LDF, which is now in its 17th year, is made up of an exciting programme of installations and events across the capital, all to do with incredible design. From a giant labyrinth outside Westminster Cathedral to costume exhibitions, you’ll be immersed in design from start to finish - which, by the way, is from 14 - 22 September this year.
Where can I find it?

You don’t have to travel to be a part of the Festival – you’ll find cool installations ready to uncover all over the city, whether you’re travelling to work via the City or chilling out near Islington. The V&A is the official hub of the Festival, where a series of specially-commissioned projects by eminent international designers will be on display for you to discover.
What’s the big project?

There are 3 Landmark Projects this year – Please Be Seated; Sea Things by Sam Jacob at the V&A; and Trace by Architecture Social Club. Please Be Seated is the brainchild of British designer Paul Cocksedge. Finsbury Avenue Square, between Liverpool Street and Moorgate, is part of London’s biggest pedestrianised area, and Cocksedge has taken advantage of that fact to create a (very) large-scale installation. The wavy, wooden installation is created to respond to the rhythm of the community and features curves for people to sit in – perfect for a chilled lunch break. Words don’t do it much justice, so check out the pic above, but the project is a great example of what LDF is all about: creating great design for the use of the people of London.
Which other installations should I check out?

There are a load more public installations that’ll be making your strolls round London much more shiny and interesting than usual. We’re excited to get bamboozled by design group PATTERNITY’s giant geometric labyrinth at Westminster Cathedral Piazza, and to get lost in the large-scale projections by Dan Tobin Smith and The Experience Machine at Islington’s Collins Theatre. And over at the V&A, 8 commissioned projects with innovative designs will be encouraging you to contemplate our impact on the environment including Sam Jacob’s infinity mirror Sea Things and an immersive room by Matthew McCormick called Avalanche.
Anything else I should go and see?

Well you definitely shouldn’t miss out on LDF’s events programme. There’s a wealth of fascinating talks, workshops, walks, tours and more going on all month as part of Global Design Forum at the V&A. In addition there are design tours of Westminster Cathedral all about the incredible mosaic and marble in the building, and a roundtable with German designer Werner Aissingler. We like the sound of the exhibition of the costumes from Wicked.

London Design Festival runs from 14 - 22 September 2019

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