London Design Festival 2011 - Our Highlights, Part 2

We’re starting Part 2 in Covent Garden and then heading west.

In the piazza at Covent Garden, Sebastian Bergne created the world’s first LEGO greenhouse. Yes, a fully functioning greenhouse made of transparent LEGO bricks. (LEGO also had their own pop-up in association with ICON at Central St. Giles).

Online design store Theo materialised in Monmouth Street with a week long pop up. A chance to play with products before purchasing, Theo’s temporary store stocked the wonderful desktop accessories by Australian duo Daniel Emma and was the first UK stockist for Tattly temporary design tattoos from Swissmiss founder Tina Roth Eisenberg.

If we keep moving in a generally west direction, Outline Editions hosted an exhibition by graphic artist Noma Bar entitled “Cut It Out”. An embossing machine disguised as a giant black dog allowed visitors to re-create their own Noma Bar work, all of which were signed and numbered by the artist.

Jumping over to Brompton Design District, Michael Anastassiades took over an old jewellery store and filled the original display cases with a beautiful selection of silver ware and lighting in brass and onyx. 

A couple of doors down, Skandium presented a comprehensive retrospective on Swedish architects and designers Claesson Koivisto Rune called “On Yellow”. Furniture, lighting, rugs, jewellery and architectural models designed by the small but prolific studio were dotted across the store, like a treasure hunt and identifiable by the yellow perspex squares they all sat on. Again, Ӧrsjӧ were well represented with both Aria and Baklava by CKR included in the show. 

As always, Mint’s show was unmissable. This year, “Mint Explores" brought together fashion and furniture, cellulose that felt like concrete, as well as lighting and textiles from as far afield as Mexico and Chile.  

However, we will end our highlights in the eye of the storm - at the V&A Museum. For the third year, the V&A became the hub (both physical and digital) for the Festival’s activities. Exhibits were dotted liberally throughout the galleries, encouraging you to wander, often into rooms you weren’t previously aware of. British-ish, curated by Giles Deacon, and Industrial Revolution 2.0, curated by Murray Moss, saw pieces scattered throughout the galleries. it was sometimes difficult to tell which installation a piece belonged to, but it hardly mattered. It was a pleasure to wander and discover.


(Further pieces, along with project and designers names can be found in our Facebook album)

Impossible to miss was the 10 metre high Timber Wave by Amanda Levete dominating the main entrance. A serious feat of engineering, construction was apparently completed with minutes to spare before the press launch.

Inside, the other major draw was Textile Field by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, in conjunction with Kvadrat in the Raphael Gallery. A 60 metre raised carpet, it became a giant bed for weary visitors to sit back, relax and contemplate the famous Cartoons.

Also open at the V&A with impeccable timing is the Power of Making. Open until 2nd January and free, its worth a visit.  

And so we come to the end of another LDF. What does LDF 2012 have in store for us? Watch this space!