Rather than trudging woefully home from summer holidays, September is a time to get re-energized for the tasks ahead. Whether that means starting a new design project or re-addressing an old one, I can’t think of a better way to fan the flames of motivation than immersing yourself in London’s annual Design Festival. The city is chockablock with excitement! The major shows are scattered from end to end, incorporating venues like Somerset House and The Victoria & Albert Museum, but there’s also a slew of inspiring satellite exhibits and pop-up shops in every corner of the city. Here are a few on our radar:
The Dorset Series at Another Country, 18 Crawford Street, W1H 1BT
In celebration of their 5th anniversary, Another Country has commissioned a group of designers to interpret the picturesque landscape surrounding their Dorset workshop. Five limited-edition pieces will be shown along with a series of captivating photographs of the region by Cereal Magazine’s creative director, Rich Stapleton.
Faux Florist by Abigail Ahern at Heals, 196 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7LQ
After years of selling out of their hugely popular faux flowers, Abigail Ahern has expanded the range, not only opening a stand-alone shop attached to Heals but filling it with blooms she’s now having specially made. That means you’ll find more varieties, from rare breed English roses to feathery ferns and wild foliage, curated for seasonality and housed in a veritable log cabin.
The Oak Chamber at Retrouvius, 1016 Harrow Road, NW10 5NS
Reclamation and design firm Retrouvius have partnered up with Lyn Harris of Perfumer H to celebrate the heady scent and texture of oak. The chamber is a site-specific room installation crafted with oak surfaces and furnishings that have been infused with Harris’ new Oak fragrance. The scent, available in small batch candles and as a furniture wax, embodies the earthy aroma of an autumnal British forest.
White on White at Viaduct, 1-10 Summers Street, EC1R 5BD
Balineum’s founder Sarah Watson returned from a recent trip to Stockholm bursting with ideas. That’s reason enough to swing by Viaduct for this exhibit on the next generation of Scandinavian design. As an added bonus, spreading the love for craft, they will also host father/son duo Apparatu from Spain, who will be throwing pottery in house daily.
Marianna Kennedy Pop-Up Shop at Pentreath & Hall, 17 Rugby St, WC1N 3QT
Beloved for her sculptural accessories, Marianna Kennedy has something of a cult following.
Until the end of the month, fans can snatch up her iconic Spring table lamp at Ben Pentreath and Bridie Hall’s Bloomsbury shop. Choose among translucent resin bases and book-cloth shades in an array of brilliant new hues. You can also order her book-cloth blinds, perfect for adding a pop of colour to bathroom windows.
Buster + Punch Open Studio at Bankside, 24 Southwark Street, SE1 1TY
This is the first year the festival officially heads south of the river with the Bankside design district. Industrial design label Buster + Punch opens up their showroom to debut a new hardware collection that’s perfect for upgrading bathroom cabinets. Not to mention cool socket covers, light switch plates and motorcycles (yes, motorcycles).
Photograph © Abigail Ahern, Rich Stapleton