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8 bloody great installations to see at London Design Festival 2018

8 bloody great installations to see at London Design Festival 2018

Alphabet chairs, a life-size flip book and a talking red lion: just a few of the eye-popping installations at this year’s LDF

1 Es Devlin: ‘Please Feed the Lions’

A fifth fluorescent lion will join the other four beasts that call Trafalgar Square home during the LDF. As well as being decidedly different in colour to the rest, this king of the jungle will also be a lot louder thanks to the poetry it’ll roar out. The words it speaks will be chosen by the public and shown on LEDs embedded within its mouth during the day, while at night the poems will be projection-mapped over the lion and on to Nelson’s Column. Landseer Lions. Tube: Charing Cross. Sep 18-23. Free.

‘Out of Character’: A Project by Studio Mutt

Inspired in part by a piece of text written by Sir John Soane in 1812 and the never-ending stream of source material flowing within his museum, Studio Mutt has crafted four architectural ‘characters’ which will inhabit Sir John Soane’s Museum. Marrying ornament, rich colour and shape, these 3D forms will breathe playful life into a space which has remained untouched since its creator died 180 years ago. Sir John Soane’s Museum. Tube: Holborn. Sat Sep 15-Sun Sep 16, Sep 19-23. Free entry.

3 Architecture Social Club: ‘Trace’

Flanked by Regent Street’s impressive Grade II-listed façades, this swarm-like installation calls on wind power to spark it into motion. The iconic curve of the street and the height of the buildings will create unique wind patterns, sending ripples through a structure of aluminium and mesh that responds to the daylight. Don’t forget to look up! Regent St. Tube: Oxford Circus. Sat Sep 15-Sep 23. Free.

 4 33’ at The Central Park Design Walk

Elements from Georgian, Victorian and  Edwardian styles are fused together in this three-storey folly designed by Studio Weave, Hato and illustrator Jay Cover. Climb the punchy yellow stairs within the timber frame and you’ll find stencilled graphics that toy with the concept of home. Join the design walk to explore the structure and three other artworks close by. Now Gallery. Tube: North Greenwich. Sep 20. Free.

5 Kellenberger-White: ‘Alphabet’

Move, muddle and clamber over this 26-strong collection of chairs created by design studio Kellenberger-White just for the LDF. Each letter of the alphabet has been constructed using folded metal and licked with a different colour of paint to form a typographic rainbow. One of the influences for this metallic alphabet soup was Bruno Munari’s photo series ‘Seeking Comfort in an Uncomfortable Chair’.  Park your arse on the ‘R’ and you’ll find out why. Broadgate. Tube: Liverpool St. Sat Sep 15-Sep 23. Free.

6 The Paddington Central Flip Book Garden

Make a beeline for the Regent’s Canal during LDF and you’ll find an ever-changing installation created by Studio Appétit founder, Ido Garini. It takes the form of a life-size pop-up book and flips throughout the day to unveil totally different atmospheres. Kick back by the water for an afternoon and watch the story unfold. Sheldon Square. Tube: Paddington. Sat Sep 15-Sep 23. Free.

 Pentagram x 14-18 Now: ‘Dazzle’

Enter the Creative Studio at the V&A to find a room consumed by abstract design, typography and dazzling ‘camouflage’. This specially commissioned project created by Pentagram is inspired by the First World War concept of ‘dazzle’ which saw the surface of ships covered in experimental painting. Influenced by cubism, vorticism and animal camouflage, the wild shapes and angles rendered on to the ships were designed to confuse the enemy. V&A. Tube: South Kensington. Sat Sep 15-Sep 23. Free.


Got wood? The V&A does. Sixty cubic metres of American tulipwood, to be exact, all shape-shifted into a massive 3D puzzle in the Sackler Courtyard. Make your way through a modular maze of staircases and bridges made out of re-usable panels. It’s designed to intertwine and help us rethink how we build our homes. Throw out the floorplan for the new kitchen, lads, it’s time to go MC Escher on your architecture. Sackler Courtyard, V&A. Tube: South Kensington. Sat Sep 15-Sep 23. Free.

The London Design Festival runs from Sat Sep 15-Sep 23. Find the best bits to see here

Not enough for you? Have a whiff of the scratch ‘n’ sniff wallpaper at the London Design Biennale  


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