Culture24's guide to the London Design Festival 2013

By Sarah Jackson | 03 September 2013

Now in its 11th year, the London Design Festival will celebrate the city’s status as the creative capital of the world.

The World's Largest Lava Lamp, Mathmos, London Design Festival
A huge array of events ranging from big outdoor spectacles to hidden gems will be showing off London’s design delights; let us guide you through some of the highlights.

Endless Stair, Tate Modern, September 13 – October 10

Ever fancied climbing an Escher staircase or recreating the ending to David Bowie’s Labyrinth? Your chance has arrived, thanks to an ambitious project on the front lawns of Tate Modern.

Visitors will be able to climb to the top during the day to admire the view across the Thames and at night the structure will be lit by lighting scheme created by Seam Design.

Playing with your food, Sackler Centre at the V&A, September 17

For those who find the Great British Bake Off a little too tame, this practical workshop will explore the materiality of food.

Led by AVM Curiosities director Tasha Marks, you will learn about edible paint by numbers, ancient Egyptian chocolate funeral cakes and more. Silly but cerebral, this workshop may inspire you to explore food as an artistic medium – as well as a delicious one.

Zaha Hadid Design Gallery, September 14-22

See the studio’s latest product and furniture designs at their Clerkenwell Studios. Zaha Hadid’s bold and futuristic designs have previously won her the Pritzker Architecture Prize and the Stirling Prize twice.

The Zaha Hadid Design Gallery presents a wide variety of pieces from sculptural jewellery and shows to special edition furniture and small-scale architectural projects. Limited pre-booked tours will also offer access to an exhibition showcasing architectural models from the gallery.

God is in the Details, V&A, September 14-22

View objects from the V&A’s extensive collections as never before thanks to a collaboration between the London Design Festival and Swarovski.

A group of influential designers from around the world have selected an object from the V&A’s vast collections. Next to each of these chosen objects a Swarovski specialist lens has been installed to reveal that “God is in the Details”.

The World’s Largest Lava Lamp, Southbank Centre, September 11-30

This September marks the 50th birthday of the British firm Mathmos, the inventors of the lava lamp.

A visit to the shop in the Royal Festival Hall will not only give visitors the history of the psychedelic 60s icon but will also give them the chance to see the world’s largest lava lamp. Groovy, baby.

The Dinner Party/True to Life Design, V&A, September

Museum and gallery objects can usually only be viewed from behind red velvet ropes, pedestals and glass vitrines. In a rare opportunity to see objects in their intended environment whilst within a museum, Dutch studio Scholten & Baijing invites visitors to interrupt their Dinner Party.

The apparently lived-in but recently abandoned stage setting creates a more adventurous way to view glassware, ceramics, textiles and furniture.

Smart ebike design tour, 100% Design, Earl's Court Exhibition Centre, September 14-22

Bored of Boris Bikes? Take a ride on a Smart ebike and take (some of) the strain out of cycling. 100% Design is the festival’s commercial cornerstone and biggest single event. Staged at Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre it is the UK’s largest and longest running contemporary design event for industry professionals.

The ebike station is open throughout the festival at the main entrance to the Exhibition Centre and allows visitors to take a Smart ebike for a free test ride or to sign up for a free tour of selected design hotspots.

More pictures:

London Design Festival 2013, 14 – 22 September,
© dRMM

God is in the Details, London Design Festival at the V&A.
God is in the Details, London Design Festival at the V&A.

Zaha Hadid Design Studio, London Design Festival
Zaha Hadid Design Studio, London Design Festival

The Dinner Party, London Sesign Festival at the V&A. Tableware by Scholten & Baijing.
The Dinner Party, London Sesign Festival at the V&A. Tableware by Scholten & Baijing.

You might also like:

Celebrating 50 Years: From a Packet of Munchies to the Museum of Brands

The Future is Here: Design Museum declares A New Industrial Revolution

Design Museum poll suggests end of the garden shed ahead of The Future is Here show

Latest comment: >Make a comment
More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
  • Back to top
  • | Print this article
  • | Email this article
  • | Bookmark and Share
    Back to article
    Your comment:
    DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted at are the opinion of the comment writer, not Culture24. Culture24 reserves the right to withdraw or withhold from publication any comments that are deemed to be hearsay or potentially libellous, or make false or unsubstantiated allegations or are deemed to be spam or unrelated to the article at which they are posted.