LONDON DESIGN WEEK 2011
2010 was the first time for Scicche visiting the London Design Festival, and the experience was so interesting that Scicche has visited this event also in 2011. For those that had the chance to visit London, are already aware of the great amount of innovation, creativity and excitement that goes all around the town, and of course during the LDF everything is at the maximum level. The LDF usually takes place in mid September just at the end of the London Fashion Week so that these two events serve as spin off to each other (definitely something that cities like Milan or Paris should learn and apply as well).
The festival takes place all around the town from East to West including a lot of surroundings that are usually not in the classical touristic routes. In 2011 the watchword in London was “pop up”: cafe, retail outlets, new designers small shops and exhibition spaces were springing up for a temporary period all over London. It was fun to see some new upcoming designers experiencing for the first time the selling and promoting experience. Scicche had the chance to meet some of them! As written before the LDF revolves around the whole town and it is easy to find the different venues that are always advertised with yellow or red signals in the streets, and basically everywhere you can find the booklet with maps and information. It is not just about exhibitions though, there are also many seminars and talks organized all over the city.
East London, just above the Financial district, truly deserves a visit. It has grown in significance over the past years: reflected in the number of design venue of this 2011 edition. The most interesting store in that area is the SCP: a department store concept that has been an essential stop off point of fans of contemporary design. One of the most important event of the whole Festival is the “Tent London” that takes place at the old Truman Brewery, nowadays a well established hub for the LDF. There is easy to find new designers and new companies that explore the market for the first time.
West London revolves all around Brompton Road where design shops and exhibition can easily be found. The main venue of Festival is the ” 100% Design”, let’s call it the real fair, at Earl’s Court 2. That is a concentrate of new designers and well established companies, and this year contained also the “100% Materials” and the “100% Future”. But the most interesting part, as last year, are the big zones dedicated to designers coming from specific countries: France, Norway, Korea and Taiwan – of course they are called “100% Norway” and so on. Still in the West part of the town is interesting to visit the exhibition organized by the Royal College of Art of London, where graduated and not students present their prototypes following a specific theme, that this last year was Recicling.
What deserves a note is the great entrance of the Victoria & Albert museum that the architects AL_A and the company Arup transformed thanks to the installation of a giant timber wave cascading down the steps. Built from oil treated American red oak, “timber
wave”, that’s how it is called, is a tri dimensional lattice work spiral whose diameter arrives at 12 meter.