News, Technology

Get ready for the London Design Festival 2019!

Anna Wall

Amie Haven, Journalist

From the 14-22 September, London Design Festival 2019 will be showcasing the city’s finest design talent in a sprawling creative event.

All across London a design extravaganza is set to descend and promises to intrigue, enthral, challenge, and delight. From projects that harness artificial intelligence and augmented reality to bamboo structures and meditative spaces, London Design Festival 2019 will be presenting a collection of extraordinary design talent.

Striking displays and engaging talks will take place across the city in an array of open spaces and institutions. Some of the emerging themes include artificial intelligence (AI), climate change, and sustainability. Visitors can expect to fully immerse themselves in creative projects that inspire debates around not only the future and power of design but the societal changes that design illuminates.

The V&A will be one of the feature venues, hosting an array of projects like Sony Design’s Affinity in Autonomy and Non-Pavilion by Studio MICAT, There Project, and Proud Studio.

The Sony Design project, Affinity in Autonomy, is an experiment in what our future interactions with AI and robots might look and feel like. The immersive experience encourages visitors to notice how they feel in response to the spontaneous movements and interactive elements of the robotic displays. Knowing how individuals, communities, and wider societies are likely to respond to robots is important to designers. The knowledge helps them understand what evokes affinity for – or aversion to – this ever more lifelike form of technology.

Studio MICAT, There Project, and Proud Studio present the project Non-Pavilion, which is a challenge to the Western consumerist lifestyle. Non-Pavilion highlights the unsustainability of pursuing eternal economic growth. It encourages discussions around the idea of “sufficiency for all instead of excess for a few.” The project uses augmented reality (AR) to create digital pavilions, so visitors can explore potential developments and their impact. Visitors are also encouraged to consider the possibility of a minimalist lifestyle being enriching rather than associating less with loss. 

The London Design Festival doesn’t just serve up a feast of design displays. As part of the festival, the Global Design Forum will host a series of workshops and talks. One such talk, The Personalisation Process, invites 4 speakers to discuss the closing gap between designers and consumers. With technology now supporting the possibility of mass customisation, the speakers will explore what this means for the future of design. Heading up the list of speakers is chairperson Daniel Charney, Co-Founder, From Now On. Other speakers include Triambak Saxena, Co-Founder, Kniterate; Natalie Melton, Co-Founder, The New Craftsmen; Peter Griffith, Vice-President Product and Design, Kano Computers.

But if all the tech talk and digital realities gets too much, visitors can retreat into projects that celebrate the inner world or the natural elements of our material world. 

The design project Life Labyrinth by PATTERNITY offers the chance to unwind in a unique setting of shape, pattern, colour, sound, and nature. The commissioned project associates design and sanctuary, providing a calming external environment whilst encouraging meditative and reflective practices. 

And then there is the designer Elora Hardy and the team at IBUKU, who have sustainability at the heart of their work. Using bamboo in the construction of sustainable buildings, the project Bamboo Futures displays model versions of the buildings and demonstrates how sustainability can be beautiful and luxurious as well as ethical.

The London Design Festival 2019 is set to make London come alive with creativity this autumn. The heady mix of nature and technology makes for a veritable design smorgasbord. And with a multitude of free and paid events, there is indeed something for every design aficionado.

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