September 20th, 2023

Cara Turnbull

Here at D4R design is the core of what we do, and we always want to support other creatives and their work. Exploring LDF is a great way to find new and existing artists and learning new skills used within the design industry.

London Design Festival (LDF) was created as an event to celebrate the design which is encapsulated in the city and attract the greatest thinkers, designers, and educators from around the country. Over 20 years later, the festival still has a strong presence within the heart of London, celebrating itself being a global destination for great design, business, culture, and innovation. Contributing to not only the economy but also the creative powerhouse.

Day one at London Design Festival allowed us to celebrate all the forms in which design exists. From handcrafted artifacts to unique artworks, there was an abundance of craft to explore. Within London there are several districts which are home to countless designers and creative businesses, altogether within the design world they are distinguishes as the Design Districts. For our first day we explored the Mayfair Design District which host’s a large collection of contemporary art galleries, fashion houses, restaurants and cultural institutions which all possess alike characteristics which contribute to the community. Over the day we visited 12 installations within the district which inspired and influenced us in more ways than one. It demonstrated an array of artisan techniques and fostered a new perspective.

[All images sourced from LDF 2023]

Here are our top 5 installations from the day:

Invisible | Found

Found are a 3D creative agency who use digital craft to create content that exemplifies our senses and brings them to life in a whole new dimension. They have worked with some world-renowned brands to curate imaginative, innovative, and impactful content to promote their brands narrative.

Their exhibition at London Design Festival, INVISIBLE, consisted of a series of digital artworks that challenge our perception of the world and visualise sensation, feeling and emotion. It recognises the curiosity we obtain as human-beings and our inquisitiveness as a natural trait; it exhibits that there is more than what we may think on the surface.

The visual disruption of the exhibition explores the deeper understanding of materials, products and subject matters and encourages us to look at this with a more critical analysis and alter perspective. Provoking emotion within the audience allows for a clearer relationship to what we already know and allows them to connect with message being reflected.

Create From Waste | Are You Mad

Are You Mad, a conscious creative agency, look deeper into the issues with non-biodegradable plastic. They use local waste within the district to repurpose it into something much greater than imagination. With sustainability at the heart of their brand they host a variety of workshops and activations to educate people on the impact of single-use plastic and how there is opportunity to push the boundaries and produce high-quality recycled products.

From the Carnaby street sign to incense holders and drinks bottles, Are You Mad collects their waste from a 250m radius surrounding their recycling centre. Their open door during LDF allowed you to enter their world and see the processes behind their craft. This year they displayed furniture and speakers which were made purely out of the wate generated within Soho, London and highlighted the creative solutions and possibilities that can be done if single-use plastic is recycled correctly. The bespoke pieces allow for a new level of recrafted luxury through consumers caring more about the purchase history rather than the timeless status behind it.

With sustainability being a big issue within the current climate it creates conversation and allows for debate within the topic itself. Educating a wider audience whilst supporting such a large societal issue within the design industry.

‘A Midsummer night’s Dream | Barnaby Barford

Barnaby Barford displays his journey of time through Epping Forest in a technology assisted artform. The living paintings capture the essence of time through the thousands of photographs that Barford collected from his endeavours through the forest and his intense walks. The purpose of the artwork is to create a sense of calm contrasting against the velocity of the 21st Century life.

Alongside the paintings, hangs a large light sculpture made entirely out of 9,000 individually crafted, porcelain ivy leaves. Each leaf reflects the light around the gallery, and capture the structurally engineered benches cut from steel, mirroring the likes of entangled branches within the forest’s landscape.  The exhibition recognises the natural beauty within our world and allows us to become captivated and embrace our surroundings. It stems from a time of uncertainty within the pandemic and shows how the artist reflected on his personal experience throughout a time of isolation.

The beauty of the installation gives us space to appreciate the world in standstill as time passes by. From a design perspective we feel it is important to recognise momentous events which have shaped the current landscape to connect with the audience and their raw emotions which reflect their current state if mind. Interacting with the consumer in this way creates a wholeheartedly immersive experience, capturing conscious relationships.

On Purple: The purpose of Hue | London Art Collective

‘On Purple: The purpose of hue’ explores the depth of colour and curates a sensorial experience which fuels the mind. Taking a step back to indulge into the hue and create art pieces that embrace the differentiating cultural connotations of the colour. From luxury and power to mystery and wisdom. The exhibition hosted by London Art Collective features over 50 international and local artists in a range of mediums which carefully suggests symbolic meaning.

The space engulfs your attention by the delicacy of the works displayed. From woven materials to handmade candles and acrylic paintings. Artists have joined forces to execute artesian techniques used within art to inspire and emotionally engage the audience. Transcending our perception of purple hues into new and deeper levels.

We believe that the installation captivated curiosity beyond what meets the eye, it left viewers feeling astonished with a breath of fresh air into conceptual art and design. The contrast of white space against the forms of art draws your attention to what is most important and converts your attention to the detail within the artistry.

Alchemy of Form | MINT

Mint is a design gallery based in central London which is home to a multitude of contemporary interior collections offering innovative and unique pieces. Working with an international client base, showcasing a large portfolio of poetic and timeless pieces.

The Alchemy of Form dedicates its exhibition to a playful approach to design through transformative materials and pioneering techniques. The experimentation situates itself within handcrafted adornments using celebrated techniques whilst highlighting slow living. Materials are fused together to explore new innovations and push creative boundaries.

Each artefact displaying true craftmanship and captivating a thought-provoking yet harmonious perspective into product design. Utilising artisanal skills allows for eye-opening subliminal conceptual creations and celebrates a wide range of practices.

London Design Festival successfully caught our attention on day one and we left with huge amounts of inspiration. Learning about artists based across the globe and new techniques implemented to drive curiosity and push boundaries. The immersive content from the festival opened our eye to the wider perception of craft and helped us celebrate the way design can embody a range of mediums. Our appreciation of these artists widens to not only their craftmanship but also the work they do to fascinate their audiences.

Keep your eye out for more on London Design Festival here!

[All images sourced from LDF 2023]

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