London Design Festival was filled with bold colour, wellness inspiration and sustainable conversation, all in a sun-soaked week. Taking over London’s coolest hot spots, we set our sights on Coal Drops Yard and 100% Design to gage what is inspiring London designers with talks, activations and experiences throughout.
Taking place from 18th-21st of September, 100% Design celebrated 25 years of events in The Olympia, Kensington. The space was bustling with vendors, industry professionals and artists, showcasing the latest design innovations and trends.
Upon arrival, the first installation featured London-based textile design studio Kirkby Design Collaborating with TFL, an ode to the Underground. Reimaging an original tube carriage, pink and teal hues modernised the traditional tube aesthetic, a contemporary mix of heritage and reinvention, the first of many bold colour choices throughout the space.
Talks throughout the week focused on designing for wellness and embracing sustainable practices. From looking at lighting that aids circadian rhythms to examining the importance of colour choice, experts delve into what it means to design for wellness across multiple industries with attention to context and culture.
Sustainability continues to cut through with urgency, as talks discussing circular design, restoration and future waste drew crowds. Discussions centred around the importance of awareness and innovation, urging designers and consumers alike to adopt sustainable practises and actively engage with the issues. A restoration talk urged consumers to value repair, as, in the UK, 20 million items are thrown away every year that could be repaired. Advocating for sustainable practices and helping consumers embrace a lower- consumption mindset were just some of the solutions panellists promoted.
Coal Drops Yard secured its standing as more than just a place to shop, with installations, talks and even an ‘ironic’ disco erected in its centre. A melting pot for culture and art, Martino Gamper’s disco installation took root in the fallibility of temporary installations, playing with the juxtaposition of sustainability and short-term design.
Meanwhile, the Tom Dixon flagship toyed with sensorial design and designjunction hosted talks anchored in sustainable practices and future planning. Visiting the new Samsung flagship was the icing on a very contemporary cake, its community ethos accentuated as they opened their doors to visitors and speakers (more on this gem in another blog!).
The overarching themes of London Design Festival were overwhelmingly obvious; sustainability, wellness and bold colours took centre stage, with smaller themes such as building communities, celebrating local artisans and incorporating heritage creeping in. The emphasis on community and culture is apparent, with sustainable invention set to take over aspects of our daily lives in the future.
Throughout Covid-19, the beauty industry has stepped up for its community and will continue to forge forward and reimagine the way we connect, commune and care for each other.
In a time of crisis, brands have a genuine role to play. Brands must show responsibility to their consumers, their employees and communities as they navigate uncertain times. Is a time for collective effort and creativity. It is a time for ‘we’, ‘us’ and ‘our’.