London Design Festival – What I get to see!

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“Can’t you just view what is presented in this festival online?” My father asked me while he was driving me to the airport to catch the flight to London to attend the festival.
I paused for a minute thinking, may be he is right. Do I really need to pay a very expensive ticket for a greedy airline company that decided to take $800 extra charge than usual because it is seasonal Eid break? Or to spend few days in one of the most expensive cities in the world to view the collective creative outcome of many many designer? Can I really just skim through it online while I am setting in my warm bed?

“No” I answered firmly. “The internet can’t definitely show you every detail online.”

I am not sure my explanation made any sense to him. The good thing that I was right about it. It worth it! The bad thing was, I should have catch the festival from the first day.

I only had few days to visit more than 200 locations which were variant between exhibitions, workshops and talks. I only had four days, that’s why I had to filter what can be visited as per my personal and professional preference.

For people who are not familiar with London Design Festival, let me tell you something. It is HUGE! I am honestly never had the chance in my life to witness such a rich and numerous creative carnival in my life. This festival has to be on every designer’s agenda for the year from all over the world.

The Cloakroom in V&A museum
The Cloakroom in V&A museum

I only had few days to visit more than 200 locations which were variant between exhibitions, workshops and talks. I only had four days, that’s why I had to filter what can be visited as per my personal and professional preference.  I was fascinated by few and disappointed by others. Some seemed to be quite fun like the ‘The Cloakroom’ displayed in V&A museum. The art of manufacturing coats using different materials that you would ever imagined. Wearing one with a painted face on the back, and roam around in the museum following a map to discover the other displayed coats.

I have few which, unfortunately, were a total waste of time. One which was located in east of London, suppose to talk about chaos and its way to creative prototype of harmony. The only good thing about it was losing my way to the studio and stumbling by a lovely flower market on a Sunday morning.

I am going to list few displays and information I have picked up from the festival and found interesting:

– Curiosity Cloud
This was one of the amazingly appealing projects I have seen across the festival. The vibe it leaves is quite positive. It shows interaction between humans and nature. Each one of those lamps contain a fabricated flying insect that interact with the person as soon as he/she get near the containing lamp and starts to fly inside. The circular movement will cause the lamp to light up as it shows within the below video. The experience is fascinating. I did not want to leave that room.

– Moments of Reflection by Dominic Harris

This is yet another interactive and brilliant display in a small gallery located near bond street station. I was not sure first what I was expecting to see, however, it turned to be a real fun! Not to mention the creative aspect.

The main display at the heart of the room ‘Ice Angel’ is a while board simulating your arm and body movements as soon as you step close to it. Your arms suddenly will be replaced by giant angel wings on the board. What irritated me about it was the super closeness to the simulating board which prevent you from actually seeing the results and feel it in a proper way.

A set of white small boards “Baby Angel” will record the reflection of your and others movement and save them for you as a souvenir for this experience. This will cost you thousands of pounds.

The fun part was the ‘Conductor’. A galactic display that sensor your movement as shown in the below video. Couple of shiny planets will follow your indications and moves while orbiting the main star at the middle of the screen.

All of that can be used a great tool and point of attraction at product and exhibition lunches.

– Real Dandelion Chandelier

I was truly amazed by this piece. The whole idea of using such a fragile and delicate object as dandelion seed heads before opening into ‘clocks’ blow my mind! This fascinating chandelier with individual dandelion heads applied to LED lights was part of ‘What is Luxury?’ exhibition. It show case many example of luxurious products and how the concept changed through history. However, this particular display was the best in my opinion.

“To avoid wiring, the lights were powered by an innovative 3D bronze circuit which conducts eletricity. This fusion of nature and technology is a peotic comment on the possibilities of uniting two seeminly opposite systems.”

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– Capco Covent Garden Heartbeat by Charles Pétillon

Have you ever felt as if you are so close to touch the clouds above your head? This lovely experience in Covent Garden will summarize that!

The installation started almost a month before the beginning of LDF. However, I am glad it was still feature by the time I came to London to have the chance to admire this master piece.

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-Wolfgang Buttress talk about Milan Expo 2015

I was fortuned to have the chance to be lectured by Wolfgang Buttress talking about his last project the ‘UK Pavilion Milan Expo 2015’ in depth, from first sketch till completion through out the whole process.

To be honest, I have never heard about this project before. Learning about the conceptual idea and scientific analysing behind about bees nature will require me to write about it separately.

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Talking about all exhibitions and experiences will never be enough to mention here. I wish I had more time to spend in this festival, and I wish it would write about it all. I will share with you some of the images I have taken over the journey.

A colorful glassy installation in V&A by Designers Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale.
A colorful glassy installation in V&A by Designers Laetitia de Allegri and Matteo Fogale.

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Part of 'What is Luxury' exhibition. A necklace made of 'Bubble Bath'!
Part of ‘What is Luxury’ exhibition. A necklace made of ‘Bubble Bath’!

 

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Mini Theater experience.
Mini Theater experience.

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