LDF 2020

LDF 2020

This year the London Design Festival ran from 12-20 September. The festival aims to promote London as a design capital, giving a platform to creative talent in the city. This year was a little different, with everything happening in the world there may have seemed less going on. But large site-specific outdoor commissions, many with an emphasis on the planet, were found around the city. There was also a move to online. Virtual shows, tours, events, and talks, allowed for people all over the world to take part, not only allowing people to view projects but also take part remotely. This year the festival also launched the Freelancer Portal, giving creatives a platform to share portfolios and content globally, helping those affected by the pandemic.

We have put together a selection of some of the projects which caught our attention, as we know some of you may not have been able to go and see them. We have also included some links so you can find out more about them, and view them virtually.


Unity by Marlene Huissoud


Designer Marlene Huissoud created an interactional piece for Coal Drops Yard in King’s Cross. The piece looked at unity and the importance of working together, while reconsidering our shared environments. ‘Unity’ invited people to stand 2 metres apart in a circle around the piece. Then working together they breathe life into the piece by pressing on foot pumps. The form transformed while it grew, but if nobody was pumping the air was slowly released and the piece deflated. 

The designer Marlene Huissoud said, “We completely changed the original project concept planned – as the pandemic urged us as humans to make a ‘last’ call for action. More than ever, artists and designers need to redefine their roles and use their skills to shake society. This installation is more than an interactive piece, it is for society to wake up and realise how vital it is for us to be united and act as a whole.”

Huissound is a French designer, based in London, whose work focuses on the process of research and experimentation. Many of her pieces are based on insects, creating new materials in relation to them, while also creating designs that allow them to flourish within urban environments.


On Their Way by MUF Architecture/Art


Also found in and around Coal Drops Yard, in the Kings Cross Design District, were five large mature trees. These together created a wayfinding trail which lead visitors to the area. MUF Architecture/Art collaborated with Atelier One to design supports for the trees, acting as street furniture. The positioning of the trees was important, with the crowns pointing to the next destination. They also acted as temporary spaces and landmarks for the festival, and even acted as outdoor classrooms. A number of socially distanced activities also took place around the trees, this included the launch of Conversations on Urban Forestry by landscape architect Johanna Gibbons. Now that the festival has finished, the trees will be planted at The Grove school in Tottenham for students with autism. 

MUF is a London-based collective who create sustainability-driven public projects, with an interest in making genuinely public multifunctional spaces.


Designing London National Park City by There Project


An audio journey created by There Projects was created to explore habitats within the city, taking a walk down Regent’s Canal. Not only is the audio relaxing, and allows you to take a trip outside if you are unable to, but it also talks about interesting and important topics. They question whether cities can be designed for both people and wildlife to survive. Designers, thinkers and conservationists talk about the future of Regent’s Canal, as it has now reached its 200 year anniversary, seeing how we can design all of nature. The audio features Kabir Kaul, a young conservationist, Rotterdam-based Studio Ossidiana, Bridget Mckenzie of Climate Museum UK and many more. 

Listen here – thereproject.org


The Virtual Design Destination by Adorno


Designers across the globe have come together to showcase their work virtually. Curated by Adorno, fourteen countries have created virtual pavilions where 100 designers and studios presented new work. Although this was ‘London Design Festival’ this project allowed creatives to support each other in such uncertain times, pulling together to allow everyone to show their work. 

Every piece shown exists, but to bring them into the virtual world they were 3D modelled and set in an environment to represent where they come from. Different themes were created during the pandemic which asked for reflection on experiences, thoughts, and themes from the time of lockdown. The designers looked at topics including; gender, urbanisation, climate, isolation, and healing. Adorno worked with skilled developers to create the exhibition, which uses state of the art interactive technology. They hope this will revolutionise the way we experience art and design online. These exhibitions are also available in VR, featuring real-time rendering so that the spaces are fully immersive. While a series of videos have been created where the featured designers walk through the environments, talking about their work. 

Experience the Virtual Exhibitions Here – adorno.design

London Design Festival
Marlene Huissoud
MUF Architecture/Art
There Projects