London Design Festival 2020

London Design Festival is at King’s Cross 12-20 September. The neighbourhood is one of the festival’s dedicated Design Districts – hosting the festival commission Unity by Marlene Huissoud, installations by architecture practice muf and more. The festival will see some of the biggest names in the area open their doors to the public – both physically and digitally – presenting exhibitions, installations and talks. Most of the activity is at Coal Drops Yard where there are more than 50 shops, bars and restaurants to discover in a gorgeous alfresco setting. There are festival specials at many of the neighbourhood’s restaurants and bars.

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King's Cross Design District

King's Cross Design District

King’s Cross is a London Design Festival Design District for the second year running. Home to some incredible design brands, the festival sees some of the neighbourhood’s biggest names open their doors – physically and virtually – to present a host of exhibitions, installations, talks and much more.

Unity by Marlène Huissoud

Unity by Marlène Huissoud

French designer Marlene Huissoud has created a headline Festival Commission at Coal Drops Yard which emphasises the notion of unity and the importance of working together to repurpose and reconsider our shared environments as we emerge from the pandemic. Only when socially-distanced visitors pump together as a group will the shape begin to transform: rippling, breathing and growing.

Win £3,000 of Tom Dixon products

Win £3,000 of Tom Dixon products

Tom Dixon unveils the exhibition OCTAGON at London Design Festival. To celebrate, they are offering the chance to win £3,000 worth of lighting, furniture and accessories from the AW20 collections. Prizes include the FAT lounge chair and SPRING light. Follow the link for details and to enter. The competition is open until 5 October.

Tree giveaway

Tree giveaway

As part of the ‘On their way’ project at Coal Drops Yard, we’re giving away 100 tree saplings. Rowans, willows, hazels, silver birches and cherry trees will be up for grabs. Just come to Coal Drops Yard at noon on Saturday 19th. First come first served!

Saturday 19 Sept, from 12 noon
The Misused presents The Hardware

The Misused presents The Hardware

Industrial designer Liang-Jung Chen turns Kiosk N1C into a pop-up hardware concept store – offering up ideas of ‘misusing’ everyday hardware. The exhibition celebrates the overlooked charm of common objects and invites the audience to reimagine hardware in an alternative context. The project is inspired by the ways in which older generations in the Taiwanese countryside found creative ways of improvising with common objects to complete everyday tasks.

12th - 20th Sept, Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 12pm-6pm
OCTAGON at Tom Dixon

OCTAGON at Tom Dixon

Renowned British designer Tom Dixon unveils OCTAGON at the Coal Office. This is an exhibition of eight different architectural spaces defined by the brand’s product collections. A whole series of physical and digital events are taking place throughout the week. Find out more and see the programme.

12th - 20th Sept, Mon - Sat 10-7pm, Sun 11-5pm
'Life' Drawing Class

'Life' Drawing Class

Join landscape architect Jo Gibbons and Liza Fior, partner at muf on Saturday 19th for a 30-minute drawing class with a tree as your ‘life’ model. The drawing class is part of the ‘On their way’ installation at the London Design Festival. There are three time slots available. Find out more and book here.

Saturday 19 Sept, from 12.15pm
On their way

On their way

The headliner installation ‘On their way’ is based on a series of interventions which double as a thoughtful wayfinding trail around the King’s Cross site. Mature trees have been carefully positioned in temporary resting places. Their crowns point visitors towards the next destination, from King’s Cross station to Coal Drops Yard via Granary Square. The trees are found in purposefully unexpected situations and angles, emphasising the transient nature of their time here at King’s Cross.

The headliner installation ‘On their way’ is based on a series of interventions which double as a thoughtful wayfinding trail around the King’s Cross site. Mature trees have been carefully positioned in temporary resting places. Their crowns point visitors towards the next destination, from King’s Cross station to Coal Drops Yard via Granary Square.

The trees are found in purposefully unexpected situations and angles, emphasising the transient nature of their time here at King’s Cross. They are, literally, on their way elsewhere: after serving as landmarks and meeting points for the duration of the Festival, the trees will be brought together in their permanent home at The Grove school in Tottenham for students with autism. There they will bring some shade and greenery to a currently treeless playground.

 

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Private tour of OCTAGON with Tom Dixon

Private tour of OCTAGON with Tom Dixon

Join Tom Dixon for a private tour of OCTAGON at the Coal Office. Be the first to see the exhibition. Book your place here.

14 Sept, 5pm-6pm
Planted

Planted

Planted, the first contemporary design show aimed at reconnecting cities with nature, will make its debut at King’s Cross for London Design Festival. From a purpose-built outdoor studio set amongst the trees on Granary Square, Planted will live stream Planted Unplugged – a talk series on how design, sustainability, food and nature can combine to create, cleaner, greener, healthier urban spaces. The backdrop is a large-scale living plant wall from Biotecture furnished with outdoor pieces from Vestre.

Planted, the first contemporary design show aimed at reconnecting cities with nature, will make its debut at King’s Cross for London Design Festival. From a purpose-built outdoor studio set amongst the trees on Granary Square, Planted will live stream Planted Unplugged – a talk series .on how design, sustainability, food and nature can combine to create, cleaner, greener, healthier urban spaces. The backdrop is a large-scale living plant wall from Biotecture furnished with outdoor pieces from Vestre.

Led by biophilic design expert and television personality Oliver Heath and former Sunday Times journalist Sam Peters, Planted Unplugged explores carbon capturing, the right to repair and blooming buildings with some of the leading experts in these fields.

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Planted Unplugged: Friday 18 Sept 11am – 4.30pm.
Central Saint Martins Offsite: Designing at a Distance

Central Saint Martins Offsite: Designing at a Distance

With the doors of Central Saint Martins closed during lockdown, the graduating students were challenged like never before. From across the globe, they responded with determination and ingenuity. This digital show celebrates their ability to adapt in an uncertain, dislocated world and design new ways of living. Explore the three collections curated for London Design Festival: Space, Material and Social/self. Shown here is Living Promenade by Blue Affleck, part of the Space collection.  The showcase launches on 12 September. See it here.

STORE STORE presents: Makers Manual exhibition & launch

STORE STORE presents: Makers Manual exhibition & launch

STORE STORE, the design school and shop at Coal Drops Yard, is launching the printed edition of its Makers Manual at the festival alongside an exhibition of works. The Makers Manual project was conceived in the early days of lockdown as a way to continue the exploration of creativity and learning. Between April and September STORE STORE commissioned 20 designers to create a series of downloadable manuals for objects to be made at home.

STORE STORE, the design school and shop at Coal Drops Yard, is launching the printed edition of its Makers Manual at the festival alongside an exhibition of works. The Makers Manual project was conceived in the early days of lockdown as a way to continue the exploration of creativity and learning. Between April and September STORE STORE commissioned 20 designers to create a series of downloadable manuals for objects to be made at home. The manuals are free to download digitally. The limited printed edition will include all 20 manuals, as well as a selection of imagery from participants during that time.

STORE STORE offers state school pupils the opportunity to design and manufacture high-quality products, with expert tutelage and unique access to innovative materials and processes. The project seeks to address the social imbalance within art, design and architecture education, by helping more young people into applied creative courses – especially those who might not have considered the pathway at all.

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Coal Drops Yard, 12-20 Sept, Mon-Sat: 11am-6pm Sun: 12-6pm *Wed: Late night open till 10pm
Wolf & Badger: 7 days of independent design

Wolf & Badger: 7 days of independent design

During the seven days of London Design Festival, Wolf & Badger is showcasing sustainable British designers focusing on homewares and interiors with some exciting collaborations to look forward to. You can take part in workshops, tutorials, expert-lead talks and creative competitions. See the listing here.

Highlights include an in-store sumptuous dried flower bouquet workshop with florist Edie Rose, a marvellous marbling workshop with sustainable fashion designer Manimekala, as well as an insight into the work of James Otter, founder of Otter Surfboards…

7 Days of Independent Design with Wolf & Badger will showcase a number of their sustainable British designers and concessions focusing upon homeware and interiors, with added access to some exciting external collaborators. Through craft workshops and tutorials, expert-lead talks, book launches and creative competitions the schedule will focus on highlighting and celebrating various areas of the design industry in an interactive and engaging multi-channel format. Any in-person sessions adhere to the latest government guidelines. See the listing here.

Highlights include an in-store sumptuous dried flower bouquet workshop with florist Edie Rose, a marvellous marbling workshop with sustainable fashion designer Manimekala, as well as an insight into the work of James Otter, founder of Otter Surfboards…and his newly launched book: ‘Do Make: The power of your own two hands’. All activity both in-store and digitally will be led by independent ethical creators.

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The Bartlett Media + Architecture

The Bartlett Media + Architecture

This digital event from The Bartlett School of Architecture showcases creative approaches to bringing media and architecture together in our cities. The event features the work of designers of Media and Architecture research and its Living Media Architecture Lab, led by Ava Fatah.

This digital event from The Bartlett School of Architecture showcases creative approaches to bringing media and architecture together in our cities. The event features the work of designers of Media and Architecture research and its Living Media Architecture Lab, led by Ava Fatah.

Selected projects include:
Framed therefore Real led by Ecem Ergin
Exploring Playful Urban Installations led by Andre Afonso
Hybrid Practices of Remembrance led by Efstathia Kostopoulou
Sentiment Cocoon led by Moritz Behrens and Konstantinos Mavromichalis
Likeways led by Martin Traunmueller

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Mon 14th Sept, 5pm- 7pm
Outsiders Store presents Heimplanet

Outsiders Store presents Heimplanet

Outsiders Store is hosting an installation of German brand Hemiplanet’s inflatable geodesic tents. This futuristic tent can be erected in a matter of minutes and without a tent pole in sight.

The Standard design talks

The Standard design talks

Tune in! The Standard Hotel has invited a selection of celebrated designers to discuss design and all things King’s Cross in an intimate conversation on Sometimes Radio which will be playing 24/7 for the duration of the festival. Housed in the former Camden Town Hall Annex, The Standard has design and architecture at its heart. The 1974 brutalist building was restored by architect Orms with interiors by Shawn Hausman Design and Archer Humphreys. The restaurants and rooms are open for booking throughout the festival.

In conversation with The Misused at Samsung KX

In conversation with The Misused at Samsung KX

Curator of The Misused Ironmongery Liang-Jung Chen invites industrial designer Emile Jones to select 15 pieces of hardware in his daily life. Together they will be discussing hardware culture and exchanging thoughts on the overlooked charm of some of these objects – how they can speak of the culture from which they originate, and their potential for reinterpretation and misuse.

Curator of The Misused Ironmongery Liang-Jung Chen invites industrial designer Emile Jones to select 15 pieces of hardware in his daily life. Together they will be discussing hardware culture and exchanging thoughts on the overlooked charm of some of these objects – how they can speak of the culture from which they originate, and their potential for reinterpretation and misuse.

About the Speakers:
Liang-Jung is an industrial designer and researcher. She co-founded The Misused project in 2018. Each year, the project observes and repurpose hardware in a different country.

Emile Jones is an industrial designer and design director based in London, working in multiple categories from furniture through to UX & UI. The basis for Emile’s work stems from a research-driven approach, focused around how people live and interact with design. He is currently the Design Director of Another Brand.

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12 Sept 4:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood

Restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood

Luckily there’s plenty of space to take the inside out at King’s Cross, while keeping everyone at a safe and comfortable distance. Here’s a listing of restaurants and bars in the neighbourhood where you can dine alfresco.

The ultimate alfresco shopping experience

The ultimate alfresco shopping experience

Set canal-side just a short walk from King’s Cross station, the restored railway arches of Coal Drops Yard are home to London’s most eclectic mix of stores from established names and emerging brands, alongside cafés, bars and dining spots. There are more than 50 stores, bars and restaurants to discover. Find out more here.

A guide to art & culture at King's Cross

A guide to art & culture at King's Cross

If you’re coming to King’s Cross for London Design Festival, why not explore some of the cultural highlights in the area. This guide takes you through the art programme at King’s Cross as well as architecture, landscape design and galleries in the neighbourhood.

The Coal Office offer

The Coal Office offer

This stylish restaurant is a collaboration between Tom Dixon and acclaimed chef Assaf Granit. Choose two dishes and add one glass of house wine for £15 at The Coal Office for the duration of the festival. Redeem by showing the festival guide.

Set on the banks of Regent’s Canal, this stylish restaurant is a collaboration between Tom Dixon and acclaimed chef Assaf Granit. Choose two dishes and add one glass of house wine for £15 at The Coal Office for the duration of the festival. Redeem by showing the festival guide.

The terrace offers uninterrupted views over Coal Drops Yard, Granary Square and the canal. In true Tom Dixon style, the interior has a chic, urban-industrial feel. Granit’s inventive cuisine features ingredients and family-style sharing plates largely influenced by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Jerusalem traditions.

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German Gymnasium offer

German Gymnasium offer

Designed by architect Edward Gruning in 1864, this striking building was the first purpose-built gymnasium in England. Today it is home to German Gymasium, which has been voted one of the most beautiful restaurants in the world. Show your festival guide and get 10% off lunch from the A La Carte menu (11:30am – 4pm) for the duration of the festival.

Vermuteria offer

Vermuteria offer

All-day café and bar opened by designer Michael Sodeau and Chef Anthony Demetre will be offering a seasonal dish of Merguez sausage, confit duck, bean casserole and salsa verde, plus a glass of House Vermouth for £15 for the duration of the festival.

Dr’s Orders at The Lighterman

Dr’s Orders at The Lighterman

The canalside bar and grill has created a special cocktail for the festival. Dr’s Orders blends Ilegal mezcal, gimber, ginger concentrate, agave syrup, pear and lemon juice.

Happy Face offer

Happy Face offer

Happy Face pizzeria is offering its slamming Negronis at £5 for the duration of the festival. Redeemable with LDF guide.

SUPERMAX offer

SUPERMAX offer

Underground cocktail bar SUPERMAX has a special LDF cocktail menu that runs all night with £6 cocktails. Redeemable with LDF guide.

Spiritland offer

Spiritland offer

Spiritland is the home of music at King’s Cross. Cafe by day, bar by night. Pay just £10 for a house cocktail plus a take away bottled cocktail for the duration of the festival by showing the LDF guide.

Longboys festival special

Longboys festival special

Longboys, the purveyors of gourmet finger doughnuts have come up with a special for London Design Festival. The Tropical Pandan has pineapple passion compote, pandan and white chocolate cremeux and tropical creme patisserie. Try it at Longboys on Lower Stable Street.

Mentivity Photography Exhibition

Mentivity Photography Exhibition

The award-winning mentoring organisation, Mentivity puts the spotlight on the quiet achievements of London’s youth with this exhibition on Lower Stable Street. Shot by photographer Leonn Ward, this outdoor exhibition of striking portraits tells an alternative story of success and teenage life in the capital.

Pattern Portraits

Pattern Portraits

Visit Coal Drops Yard this month and you’ll see Pattern Portraits by Lauren Godfrey – an installation of 120 patterned flags stretching between the iconic roofs of Coal Drops Yard. Godfrey worked with Central Saint Martins students and local young people during lockdown to create this ‘giant quilt in the sky’. The sustainable installation is made up of 120 patterned flags which will later be turned into a clothing collection.

Bagley Walk

Bagley Walk

This beautiful elevated park follows the curve of Regent’s Canal, connecting Granary Square with Gasholder Park. Built on what was an old railway viaduct, the park has lovely views over Coal Drops Yard, the canal and Camley Street Natural Park. Benches and seating areas are nestled amongst the greenery, which features both ornamental and edible plants. Look out for fig, strawberries and liquorice.

Take a stroll along Regent's Canal

Take a stroll along Regent's Canal

One of London’s best kept secrets, this charming waterway winds its way from Limehouse Basin to Little Venice. The journey is 8.5 miles in total with King’s Cross being the ideal stopping (or starting) point. Have lunch or drinks in one of the excellent canalside restaurants and watch the colourful narrowboats float by.

The Outside Art Project

The Outside Art Project

The all-new outdoor gallery in Kings Cross launches with an exhibition from The Photographers Gallery, ‘Games We Play‘. See the exhibition on the seating benches all around King’s Cross.

King's Cross Past, Present & Future

King's Cross Past, Present & Future

If you’re interested in the history of King’s Cross, how it’s been developed, and what’s in store in the future, then why not book into this free 45-minute talk at the King’s Cross Visitor Centre. You’ll learn how this historic 67-acre site has been transformed over the last 10 years from an industrial wasteland into an exciting new part of the city. Find out more and book your place.

My World and Your World

My World and Your World

Head to the top of Lewis Cubitt Park and you’ll find Eva Rothschild’s artwork, My World and Your World. The 16m-high steel sculpture resembles an inverted tree or lightning bolt. Descending from a single point, the structure splits and diverges into a tangle of branches which sink into the ground. You can move in and around the work – this is somewhere to meet, play, picnic and relax.

Reconnect with nature

Reconnect with nature

Explore the wilder side of the city with these wellness walks from Global Generation. When you slow down and take a closer look, you’ll discover nature in some unlikely places. Download the map here to follow the walks at your own pace. Or why not join one of the guided walks.

Semaphores

Semaphores

Semaphores’ is a series of three sculptures by British-Argentinian artist Amalia Pica. Semaphore is a code that was used in early telegraphy to send text-based messages across long distances in visual form. You can read more about the work, how to use it and decode it on the brightly coloured information signs near the steps at Granary Square.

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