London design festival 2010 announces new design districts

Over the past eight years of the London Design Festival, hubs of design activity have sprung up across the capital, and for 2010 the Festival announces the launch of three new districts – Covent Garden, Fitzrovia Creative and Clerkenwell.

Across London, for the duration of the London Design Festival, designers, studios, exhibitions and events will demonstrate why London is the design capital of the world.

The first was the Brompton Design District – established in 2007 – which brings together leading designshops, exhibition spaces and institutions in South Kensington, Brompton Cross and Brompton Quarter under a single identifiable banner.  Presenting one-off design exhibitions, highlights for this year include ‘Homeworks’ – a selection of over 40 experimental pieces from Mint which reinvent or transform everyday objects into captivating and provocative designs – and Studio Toogood’s project ‘Super Natural,’ dedicated to exploring and collecting in the English countryside. Visitors will experience a mushroom installation by New Forest forager Mrs Tee whilst being immersed by a bespoke scent dedicated to the woodland by Francis Kurkdjian.  Other partners include B&B Italia, Skandium, Nigel Coates, The Conran Shop and Few and Far – all which will have a special late night opening on Thursday, 23 September.  See www.bromptondesigndistrict.com for more details.

The Covent Garden Design District presents five exhibitions, three events and a two-day film festival withmembers such as Aram, The Hospital Club and the London Transport Museum. A particular highlight will be Sphelix, a major outdoor sculpture by Johnny Hawkes to be installed in the Piazza, representing the joining of a sphere and a helix. Other design activity includes free design business advice from the experts at theDesign Council to a conversation with Patricia Urquiola at Molteni & C, as well as the added attraction of the new Apple store on the Piazza.  The Covent Garden Design District will open late on Wednesday, 22 September.  Visit www.londondesignfestival.com for details.

Staying close to the middle of town, the newest district, Fitzrovia Creative, encompasses design-led retail venues, galleries, hotels and eateries. It will launch its first ever event on the evening of Wednesday, 22 September, with 23 partners, from Ligne Roset to The Langham Hotel. Highlights include a live design chair workshop at EDC London and Contemporary Applied Arts’ show ‘A Living Space’ curated by tastemaker and Firmdale Hotels Design Director, Kit Kemp. Check out www.fitzroviavillage.com for details.

Over in the east, the Clerkenwell Design District includes designers Alias, Bene, Cappellini, Modus and Toto. Exhibitions range from luxury kitchen designer Bulthaup’s exclusive showcase to the ceramic designs of Jessie Tait for Midwinter Pottery. There will be a late night opening on Tuesday, 21 September to celebrate. More details can be found at www.clerkenwelldesigndistrict.co.uk.

The Festival is also delighted to welcome back nearby Shoreditch Design Triangle, focused on profiling established product and furniture designers such as Jasper Morrison and Lee Broom as well as exciting new brand collaborations like the capsule furniture collection from The Fumi Gallery and fashion house Fendi. SCP will show products from their Autumn/Winter collection including new Sundara rug collection with Donna Wilson, while Matilda launches 13 of Australia’s most cutting edge designers in the UK. New to the Festival and to the district is The Tramshed, a powerful new design exhibition and creative collaboration, which will exhibit 25 exclusive international design brands as well as stage design debates, ‘The Tramshed Live’.

Closeby, the Festival’s hotel sponsor, Andaz Liverpool Street brings the Mathieu Lehanneur-designed ‘Once Upon A Dream’ sleep unit to the hotel lobby where design luminaries and tastemakers will read excerpts of their favourite books.  There will be a late night opening for Shoreditch Design Triangle on Tuesday, 21 September.

In west London, The Dock is back for a second year at Portobello Dock in Ladbroke Grove, with a week-long event of exhibitions and pop-up stores.  Tom Dixon Studio hosts Global Industry, an eclectic collection of international entrepreneurs from around the world, as well as launching its first shop in the converted Wharf Building showcasing extraordinary items for everyday use.  The Dock will also sell work from exhibitors such as Fine Cell Work, the social enterprise that teaches needlework to prison inmates and sells their products.

This is just a selection of the 240 events and installations on offer throughout the Festival. For further information on individual partners and events please visit the London Design Festival website:www.londondesignfestival.com

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