The Autumn marks an exciting period of events in London - from art fairs to fashion shows, design festivals and celebrations of international culture. One of the main events in the calendar is the London Design Festival. Founded in 2003, this annual event takes place in venues all over the city, promoting itself as a ‘Festival of contemporary design, celebrating London as the creative capital of the world.’
To celebrate London Design Festival 2015, Artfinder’s very own Liz Hipkins speaks with Victoria Broackes, Head of London Design Festival at the Victoria & Albert Museum, which serves as the main hub for the festival.
How do you feel the V&A’s involvement in the festival supports LDF’s aims?
One of the main reasons that the V&A was chosen to represent the festival is because the V&A opens its doors to people of all walks of life, much like LDF appeals to a large audience of people.
Given the breadth of organisations involved and the number of different disciplines that will be joining together to create something new and inspiring, the V&A is the best place to encourage the greatest number of people to enhance their knowledge of art and design.
How do you bring contemporary design into a 150-year-old museum and make it work?
This is one of the most interesting elements of LDF, since old and new exist alongside each other. When discussing particular areas or rooms with designers, they get really excited about the prospect of having their work in situ next to a unique antique piece. Most of the designs that form part of the festival have taken inspiration from the unique surroundings of the Museum. In fact, many of the design pieces work so well, they almost look like they are permanent fixtures!
What are the themes for LDF 2015?
Each day of the festival is themed to enable visitors to decide which day will be of most interest to them so that they can make the most of the festival. This year, the themes are: Graphic, Luxury, Future, Maker, International, Industry and Digital Design, all of which were chosen to attract and inspire a large array of people, both regular visitors to the museum and those who haven’t visited before.
Can you tell us more about the designers involved?
Most of the designers displaying work are established designers in the industry. What's great, however, is that we invite emerging artists at the V&A to be involved in LDF at the museum as part of the Artists-in-Residence programme.
How international is the scope of LDF?
The festival attracts designers from all over the UK as well as the rest of the world, bringing a huge variety of different design cultures together in one place.
For example ‘Curiosity Cloud’ is by the Austria-based design team mischer’traxler and ‘The Ogham Wall’ is designed by the Irish Grafton Architects.
The festival also attracts industry professionals and members of the general public from all over the world. In fact, last year’s festival brought an estimated 111,000 visitors to the museum during that week alone!
How does technology play a part in installations?
As mentioned before, collaboration is a large part of the festival and so it is possible to have several mediums combine together for example ceramics and digital.
This is really popular with visitors, as technology is all around us and is therefore meaningful to most people. Because they can relate to the design piece, they are more attracted to find out more.
The London Design Festival takes place from Saturday 19th - Sunday 27th September 2015 in the V&A and various venues across London. The Victoria and Albert Museum will be hosting 14 installation pieces, alongside a series of talks, events and workshops.
Special thanks go to Victoria Broackes at the V&A. Image credits go to the London Design Festival 2015, 19th – 27th September, www.londondesignfestival.com.
Hero image 'Curiosity Cloud' by mischer’traxler for Champagne Perrier.