junction2014 - page 5

The growth of the LondonDesign Festival
since its launch in 2003 has been remarkable.
What started as a small series of events in a
handful of the capital’smuseums and
galleries during September has slowly, but
inexorably, oozed across the city gaining
momentumyear on year, to the point that it
is now internationally recognised as one of
themost important in theworld and has, in
many respects, become amodel that other
cities have followed.
Indeed it has become so big that its
identity for 2014 – amaze – exhorts visitors
to: ‘Lose yourself in the LondonDesign
Festival’. ‘Themaze graphic is a visual
metaphor for the experience that visitors
havewhen they visit the Festival and the city
of London,’ explains its designer, Pentagram
partner Domenic Lippa. And sometimes
losing yourself is good – you bump intowork
by chance, stuff youmight not have seen
before. It’s a romantic, and perhaps slightly
edgy, notion.
On other occasions though it’s good to
knowwhere you are and understand that
when you get to your destination it will
contain exhibits thatmake the trip
worthwhile. That’s preciselywhere a show
comes into its own.
Because across the four floors of this old
postal building you’ll find things youwon’t
expect –whether that’s a fascinating
installation byMINI andDezeen on the
future of mobility, a talk onAfrican design,
or a barrage of newproduct launches – but
by the same token it comes with a guarantee
of quality. It’s a one-stop shop that combines
just the rightmix of commerce and culture.
Importantly too, it has always been a great
place to eat, drink and generally socialise:
this year is no exception, with a restaurant
on the second floor courtesy of Transport
for London, and a variety of bars and cafés
on the other levels.
The show’s influence is nowextending
well outside the confines of the Sorting
Office. Created inpartnershipwith
headline sponsor, Visa,
theWest EndDesignDistrict has been
transformed into an entireQuarter, swelling
in size to include 45 of London’s finest design
stores and fashionhouses that between
themtake visitors on a carefully-curated
trail through the capital’s retail heart (see
page 70 formore details).
You are, of course, completely entitled to
take the LondonDesign Festival’s official
advice, hit the pavement, and get lost in its
multitude of events, shows and installations
around the city. But before you do I’d
implore you to take your time and have
a good look around
Youwon’t regret it.
Grant Gibson
Junction | 2014
magazine is
published by the
magazine team,
which is part of the
Crafts Council
Editor: Grant Gibson
Assistant editor:
Teleri Lloyd-Jones
Sub editor: Mark Sinker
Design and art direction:
Stephen Coates
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