The London Design Festival at the V & A

The London Design Festival has begun.

Nine days of shows, events and exhibitions from 17th to 25th September and a chance for London to show off and establish itself as the creative capital of the world.

The Victoria and Albert museum is a good place to start, to meet friends and to pick up information but it also has some very inspiring installations commissioned especially for the festival and events itself.  I popped along on Friday and these are my own favourites.

‘Timber Wave’ is a unique installation by Amanda Levete Architects and Arup at the Cromwell Road entrance to the museum.  Made of American red oak it is a three-dimensional latticework spiral that is 3 storeys high and quite breathtaking.

‘The Textile Field’ by the Bouroullec brothers is 240 square metres of soft undulating fabric and probably the only exhibit that the V & A positively encourage visitors to walk on.  ‘We have decided to provide a kind of furniture element that helps people to relax their bodies and so relax their minds,’ says Erwan Bouroullec. Watch out you don’t fall asleep!

‘Beyond the Valley’ is an interactive experience in the British Galleries section of the museum.  Here you can change patterns, add gold leaf, create new shapes and share creations on your own ipad on iphone.  The wallpapers, fabrics and prints, also on display, are beautiful fantasies of flowers, living creatures and forests just waiting for the imagination of the visitor. I loved this and intend to go back for a play.

I was also very taken with the ‘Designer Maps’ by Johnson Banks.  The museum were mindful of the fact that it can be a large and daunting place to visit so they asked five individuals (Annie Lennox, A S Byatt, Judi Dench, Lulu Guinness and Tom Dixon) to chose their favourite aspects of the V&A and the resulting exclusive ‘tour maps’ can be used to follow a special, personal tour through the Museum. They also look very pretty.

If you would like to see more information about the London Design Festival have a look at the guide from page 55 in Heart Home magazine.  Shameful plug I know!

Images 1 and 4 from the V&A website.  2 and 3 my own.

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