London Design Festival 2022 is now on across London (until 25 September 2022), with a new programme of installations, exhibitions and events throughout the city. 

‘We consciously founded the London Design Festival to be public spirited,’ says London Design Festival chairman Sir John Sorrell. ‘Over the last 20 years, the Festival has had incredible depth of penetration and success in bringing people together and distilling new ideas.’

London Design Festival 2022 Landmark Projects

MArble chairs part of the Swivel installation by Sabine Marcelis at Centrepoint
Swivel by Sabine Marcelis. Photography: Ed Reeve

Every year, the London Design Festival Landmark Projects let the public discover design through the city’s key locations. This year, Sabine Marcelis takes over St Giles Square with an interactive installation featuring swivelling seats in contrasting stones and marbles. With the brutalist architecture of Centrepoint as the backdrop, Marcelis’ pieces invite people to stop and play, using the public space in new ways. 

‘This project, as with most of my work, is a celebration of materials. I wanted to respond to the space by injecting a bit of colour and fun into this urban environment. Being an interactive piece, it welcomes audiences to decide how they would like to experience the space. It could encourage strangers to interact with each other, for friends to sit together or even allow people to create a moment of pause for themselves,’ says Marcelis. 

Sony installation at London Design Festival 2022
Into Sight by Sony Design. Photography: Ed Reeve

Across town, at Cromwell Place is Into Sight, a ‘life-sized media platform’ presented by Sony Design inviting visitors through a journey across visual and audio. 

Special commissions and V&A Festival Hub

henge in canary wharf
Henge. Potography: Mark Cocksedge

Over the past few years, the festival’s reach has expanded across the city: at Canary Wharf, architects Stanton Williams and engineering firm Webb Yates present Henge, a neolithic-inspired stone structure designed as a circular meeting place (Wren Landing, Canary Wharf). 

At the V&A, the festival’s traditional hub, DesignSingapore Council and National Design Centre (Singapore) present a new edition of ‘R for Repair’, co-curated by Hans Tan and Jane Withers and featuring designers from the UK and Singapore offering imaginative takes on fixing broken objects. 

Plasticity at the V&A for London Design Festival 2022
Plasticity by Niccolo Casas

At the same location, Bocci’s creative director Omer Arbel presents Material Experiments in the John Madejski Garden, featuring live-glassblowing throughout the week, creating a series of sculptures made of glass and molten copper. 

Says LDF director Ben Evans: ‘The design and creative sector in London and the UK has enjoyed a golden period this century. On our 20th anniversary, we want to take stock and move forward to ensure the festival continues to support the design community, commissions and showcases new ideas, and reflects on the key issues, from technology to sustainability to wellbeing, so that the next 20 years are as fruitful as the past 20.’ 

Design Fairs

Design London returns to North Greenwich with an expanded exhibition space, with brands including Eilersen, L Ercolani, Artemide, Zeitraum and Ton. The fair includes a talk series sponsored by Kohler. 

Over in Southbank, the Material Matters fair makes its debut, taking over the Bargehouse at Oxo Tower. A concept developed from Grant Gibson’s popular design podcast of the same name, the new fair includes a celebration of Layer’s cutting-edge projects (now also the subject of a new Phaidon monograph), and a site-specific installation by Ruup & Form.

London Design Districts: what to see in London during LDF

Clerkenwell

Fritz Hansen exhibition as part of London Design Festival 2022, recreating SAS hotel interiors
Fritz Hansen’s installation recreates Arne Jacobsen’s SAS hotel interiors. Photography: Mark Cocksedge

Clerkenwell is home to a cluster of showrooms representing several international brands in the city. Carl Hansen & Søn presents an exhibition celebrating the 100th anniversary of Vilhelm Lauritzen Architects. Authors of some of Copenhagen’s most iconic buildings, the architects have also created furniture, including the ‘Vega’ chair and ‘Foyer Series’, now reissued by the Danish company. 

Fritz Hansen has staged an installation replicating Arne Jacobsen’s iconic SAS hotel interiors, featuring new reissues from the brand and original pieces. 

VitrA has created an immersive experience in collaboration with art and design duo Carnovsky, who have transformed a space in the VitrA showroom into a colourful, multilayered illustration to be discovered. 

Also in the area are Knoll, Arper and Moroso, the last hosting the London launch of the Hidden Sound speaker alongside the nature-inspired furniture by Front, while Fredericia unveils the ‘Plan’ collection by Barber Osgerby.

MDF Italia shining furniture
MDF Italia’s ‘The Principle of Lightness’ collection is on view at Aram. Photography: Jonas Marguet

Architecture practice Holloway Li has partnered with Turkish manufacturer Uma to launch a series of modular seats in candy hues, showcased in its Rosebery Avenue showroom. 

At Viaduct, an exhibition celebrates ten years of Muller Van Severen, also presenting he Belgian designers’ new launches for Hay and CC-Tapis. 

Nearby, furniture store Aram hosts a celebration of MDF Italia’s 30th anniversary, presenting ‘The Principle of Lightness’ collection. 

Brompton

Martino Gamper and Friends
Martino Gamper & Friends

Across the South Kensington district, exhibitions explore the theme of ‘Make Yourself at Home’ (curated by Jane Withers Studio), with designers, creatives and makers exploring design for the domestic realm. 

Seeds gallery cromwell place
‘Two Kettles, No Sofa’ at Seeds Gallery

Cromwell Place acts as the district’s hub, with a diverse range of displays that include ‘No Ordinary Home’, an exhibition of ‘objects to hold a plant’ by Martino Gamper & Friends (such friends including Attua Aparicio, Max Frommeld, Jochen Holz, Max Lamb and Bethan Laura Wood among others), and ‘Two Kettles, No Sofa’ at Seeds Gallery, an exploration of moving in together by creative couple, designer James Shaw and writer Lou Stoppard.

Cozmo sofa by Raw Edges
Cozmo at Cromwell Place. Photography: Tom Mannion

Modular sofa brand Cozmo presents a special edition of its sofa by Raw-Edges, featuring a removable cover made of digitally printed textile by Kornit, and 1882 Ltd presents ‘Disco Gourds’, a collection of ceramic objects by Bethan Laura Wood. Also on Cromwell Place is the collaboration between Spanish cement terrazzo producer Huguet Mallorca and Pentagram, with seven objects designed by the creative firm’s partners and curated by Astrid Stavro. 

conran shop window
‘Meet Me in the Metaverse’ at The Conran Shop

Elsewhere, The Conran Shop (81 Fulham Road) presents ‘Meet Me in the Metaverse’, exploring future classics and how they will exist in the new virtual landscapes. 

The district is also home to some of London’s furniture showrooms, with several Italian brands grouped in the area. These include Molteni, presenting a reissue of Ignazio Gardella’s Blevio Table, B&B Italia with a display of Mario Bellini’s Le Bambole, and new products including Foster & Partners’ Cordoba chair and a special edition of Barber Osgerby Tobi-Ishi table. Also in the area is Cassina, Kartell, Meridiani, Poliform, Boffi and De Padova, Tai Ping and Poltrona Frau, the latter unveiling a collaboration with yacht design experts Winch Design.

Mayfair

sketch mayfair interior
Bethan Gray at Sketch

The cluster of design galleries in Mayfair includes Gallery Fumi (Hay Hill), presenting ‘Haptic Nature’ by New York- and Athens-based duo Voukenas Petrides. Atelier Achille Salvagni (1A Grafton St) debuts ‘The Wonder Room’, a collaboration with Toyine Sellers featuring a ten-piece collection of furniture designed by Salvagni and upholstered in textiles by Sellers, as well as a cabinet of curiosities including objects collected by the two creatives. 

At The New Craftsmen (34 North Row), 15 artisans present pieces created as a result of a mudlarking trip to the banks of the River Thames, offering a new interpretation of the history of objects and craftsmanship. 

Curio in Mayfair at London Design Festival 2022
Curio

A new online destination for collectible design, Curio makes its debut during London Design Festival 2022 with an exhibition at the Nehru Centre (8 South Audley Street), titled ‘Hand in Hand – Making in the Modern Age’, with a display of new works across different disciplines. 

max clendinning furniture
Furniture by Max Clendinning

After undergoing a makeover earlier in the year, Mayfair institution Sketch (9 Conduit St) offers a display of newly commissioned, site-specific installations by Bethan Gray, Moritz Waldemeyer and Tannaz Oroumchi, accompanied by specially-crafted cocktails. 

Gallerist Sadie Coles (8 Bury Street) hosts ‘Interior Eulogies’, an exhibition curated by Simon Andrews featuring works by architect and designer Max Clendinning.

Shoreditch Design Triangle and East London

Vitra at Tramshed
Vitra showroom at Tramshed, Rivington street

Over in east London, the district is packed with action: historical venue Tramshed (32 Rivington Street,) is given a discreet makeover and opens as the new London home of furniture company Vitra, in an area rich with design and history. 

Nearby, design store SCP (135-139 Curtain Road) unveils The One Tree project, featuring ten British designers creating new pieces from a single felled ash tree. 

Jasper Morrison early works
Early Works by Jasper Morrison

Designers based in the area include Jasper Morrison, who at his store (24b Kingsland Rd) opens ‘Early Works’, an exhibition that opens up his archives for visitors to discover pieces he made in his workshop in the early days of his practice. Lee Broom (93 Rivington Street) presents his new collections (which made their debut in Milan through a series of theatrical installations) in the setting of his showroom. 

Further east, Pearson Lloyd (1-3 Yorkton Street) presents ‘Change Making’, an exhibition celebrating its 25th anniversary that explores how its practice has evolved in parallel with a changing design landscape. 

Bethnal green town hall hotel
Furniture by Jan Hendzel at the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel. Photography: Fergus Coyle

At the Bethnal Green Town Hall Hotel (Patriot Square) designer and maker Jan Hendzel takes over a suite, which he furnished with his distinctive furniture designs. 

The house by MAH at London Design Festival 2022
The house by MAH

The House (2B Vyner street) is a new concept store and online by MAH Gallery, stemming from the gallery’s collection of emerging craft and design for hire

jelly salad rug by bethan laura wood for christopher farr
Jelly Salad by Bethan Laura Wood for Christopher Farr

Meanwhile Christopher Farr (18 Calvin Street) unveils new rug designs by Bethan Laura Wood, with a collection dubbed Jelly Salad, which the brand describes as ’a joyous gathering of abstracted vegetables suspended in a jelly sea.’

Kings Cross

Biorock chair
Biorock chair by Tom Dixon, created by submerging the structure in the sea near Barbados for two years

The area around Coal Drops Yard this year centers around Tom Dixon’s monumental Twenty exhibition. A celebration of the designers’ two decades of work and at the same time an overview of his current and future experiments with bio materials, the show forms a panorama of Dixon’s creative experimentation and enthusiasm to dig deeper into what design manufacturing can achieve. 

Within Dixon’s Coal Office is also the new Porro showroom, a space that combines the building’s rough industrial architecture with the Italian brand’s precise geometries. 

Park Royal

Bill Amberg chair for Knepp estate
Bill Amberg. Photography: David Cleveland

One of London’s youngest design districts, Park Royal is home to Bill Amberg’s studio (Minerva Rd, London NW10). This year, Amberg has collaborated with Knepp Estate, in Sussex, renowned for its rewilding project, to create a furniture collection for its new café and farm shop, opening in Spring 2023.

Islington

mirror installation at LDF2022
Photography: Mark Cocksedge

Celestial Nest, part of Islington Design District, is an immersive installation by India-based design studio The Architecture Story, ‘tracing the multigenerational journey of Indian craft’. For the occasion, the studio transforms Islington Square using an ancient mirror-making technique, with a cluster of mirrors suspended on a floating structure and accompanied by a specially curated soundscape.  §