I've been attending London Design Festival for a number of years now, and as it grows bigger and bigger each year the question on everyone's lips is always 'what are this year's must see designs and events'?
There are maps and apps to help, and instagrammers and editorials to point the way, but phew... sometimes it can all get a bit overwhelming. Rather than attempting to see everything, which inevitably leads to a feeling of design-junkie overload, Graham and I prefer to focus on a different area each year. That way we get to slow everything down a bit and can really enjoy discovering selected designs and soaking up everything a specific district has to offer.
This year we focused on the Kings Cross Creative Quarter. Still relatively new to the LDF scene, it's an area that's been experiencing significant redevelopment over the past few years. When we arrived at Granary Square for the opening day of designjunction last week the whole area was busy with a youthful creative buzz. Surrounding the canal waterways and public fountains were room-sized monopoly style pop-ups, alongside mobile eateries and coffee shops and accompanying musical performances.
Then it was over to Cubitt House, a temporary exhibition space with an impressive façade of hundreds of black and white grid modules enclosing tall trees, and a great range of design to discover inside.
We loved Verena Hennig's Roll furniture, which she was presenting alongside her new debut lighting product, the ethereal rope light. The Roll chairs and benches feature rotating aluminium rods that massage you as you slide from left to right. Aside from being great fun this also apparently helps to improve blood circulation by activating muscle groups and relieving tension in the body. These were featured in the VIP room alongside designs from ByAlex, who I've written about previously here.
Sony's Life Space UX stand (styled by The Conran Shop and also pictured in the top image) seemed to be attracting a lot of attention. We chatted to Sony's chief creative art director and other members of the team about the company's latest design and lifestyle offerings which are geared towards creating moments of ambience in the home. They include the seriously sleek 4K Ultra Short Throw Projector for the ultimate living room experience and the smaller Portable Ultra Short Throw Projector - a beautiful, clever and highly covetable design that offers flexibility, fun, information and entertainment. You can see more of how this works in my designjunction highlights video at the end of this post.
Sony also presented their new illuminated Glass Sound Speaker, which delivers ambient lighting alongside crystal clear sound that evokes the sensation of music played live in the room. I'll be sharing my impressions of this in a separate post as they've very kindly sent one over for me to try out.
Technology can sometimes be very obsessed with function, but with these new designs Sony have proved that emotion and style are just as important.
The range is currently available at The Conran Shop and also at Harrods.
After all that design at Cubitt House we needed to refuel, so it was a quick lunch at The Grain Store Store (yum) before heading over to the other side of the Granary Building for a good look around the Brain Waves exhibition - a feast of thought provoking conceptual design from their students at Central Saint Martins.
Then it was a quick look around the designjunction marketplace which offered everything from flowers to furniture, lighting and stationery before returning to the square for a well earned sit down to enjoy a live musical performance from the Tapestry string quartet as part of the Dornbracht water experience - the perfect way to end the day.
I thought it would be fun to share a few of our favourite moments from the day in this short film if you'd like to see what else we got up to.
This post is supported by Sony. All views and opinions my own.