This month saw the ever popular London Design Festival return to the city with a jam-packed programme, offering plenty for design fanatics to visit.
London Design Festival was introduced to London in 2003, aiming to build upon and promote the city’s existing creativity. The festival draws on the country’s greatest thinkers and practitioners to deliver an extraordinary celebration of design, which after 17 years still remains one of the most important events in the design calendar.
The festival takes place during September and delivers a programme of over 400 free events within the 11 design districts all around London. From site specific installations to talks and workshops there was something for everyone at this year’s festival but here are the two standout projects the caught our eye.
Take the Plunge
One of our favourites from this year could be found in the Bankside Design District. Design studio Volume Creative invited visitors on a unique journey of discovery in this dreamlike installation at Oxo Tower Wharf. The stand-alone immersive experience highlights the power of design to evoke curiosity.
Upon entering the installation you step into a white, bright, mirrored corridor which represents an endless horizon. This futurist space juxtaposes with the secondary warm room, which you can only find if you move through the hanging cylindrical tube barrier. The ombre space depicts a sunset under the sea, with the whole installation being inspired by the love of the ocean – the great unknown with the promise of epic discoveries.
Our second highlight is a magnetizing installation from the collaboration between photographer, Dan Tobin Smith and design studio The Experience Machine. Void is an exploration into the phenomena of light and time through the lens, included gemstones.
The installation explores these ancient forms offering visitors an immersive experience, travelling through a series of large-scale projections that showcased the expanded space inside gemstones and mapped the blurring boundaries between nature and design. A selection of Mozambican rubies and Zambian emeralds from Gemfields’ mines, which date back millions of years, were brought to life through photography of tiny microcosms magnified to become abstract, galaxy-like structures.
By translating moving image into a contained physical form and scoring the experience with harmonised layers of the human voice – by female electronic drone choir NYX, visitors were truly offered a one-off experience by world renowned designers.
Rebecca Shaw, Author