A render of Faye Toogood's 'Drawing Room' at Somerset House. Courtesy of London Design Festival
A render of Faye Toogood’s ‘Drawing Room’ at Somerset House. Courtesy of the London Design Festival

While most of the London Design Festival is a showcase of products and furniture, there are a number of installations – casting new light on the city – that promise to make even locals see the capital’s buildings and spaces with fresh eyes.

Here we pull together 10 of the best.

Faye Toogood’s Drawing Room

As part of Somerset House’s Ten Designers in the West Wing, Faye Toogood will uproot a derelict country house and plant it in the heart of the city. Charcoal sketches evoking the house’s dilapidated interior will line the walls of the space, furnished with Toogood’s Roly-Poly collection remodelled in charcoal-coloured fibreglass, a hand-woven rug and ‘stray’ origami chickens and ducks.

21-27 September at the West Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA

The Tower of Babel

Barnaby Barford cycled over 1,000 miles, photographing shop facades in every London postcode to create 3,000 bone-china shops for his 6.5m Tower of Babel installation in the V&A. The artist says the piece is both a celebration of London’s trading history and a commentary on its population’s transformation from citizens into consumers.

19 September – 01 November 2015 at the V&A, Cromwell Rd, London SW7 2RL

Installation view of The Tower of Babel. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the V&A
Installation view of The Tower of Babel. Image: Courtesy of the artist and the V&A

41: a house for London

Carl Turner Architects has created a home from two shipping containers. ‘The use of shipping containers is a proven method for quickly constructing durable, adaptable buildings around the world,’ says the team. ‘However, it has not been seriously applied to how the London housing crisis calls for faster, more flexible solutions to inhabit under-used land.’

19 – 24 and 26 – 27 September at the Crescent outside The Building Centre, 26 Store St, London WC1E 7BT

ContainerHouse-Elevations-2
Sketches of Container House, courtesy of Carl Turner Architects

Colourful Crossings

Better Bankside has commissioned EXYZT, Adam Frank and Morgan Silk to transform a busy Southwark Street – which can be a barrier to people exploring the neighbourhood – into an ‘Avenue of Art’, by taking it out of the gallery and onto the streets. ‘We want to make Bankside a better place to live, work and visit,’ says chairman Donald Hyslop.

Runs until November 2015 at Southwark Street, London SE1

Gonzague Lacombe's proposal for Colourful Crossings. Courtesy of the London Design Festival
Gonzague Lacombe’s proposal for Colourful Crossings. Courtesy of the London Design Festival

Sounds Like Home

An audio installation in Made.com’s Soho showroom explores the changing meaning of the home. ‘I grew up in 17 homes in five countries,’ explains artist Haeyoun Kim. ‘Memories attached to each house melted together and got lost.’ To capture these memories, Kim translates user-interaction with domestic spaces into a melody, amassing a layered soundtrack of different dwellings over time.

19-27 September at 100 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H 0HG

Sounds like home GIF

Brixton Pleasure Garden

2MZ has collaborated with the Black Cultural Archives to transform the heritage centre’s courtyard in celebration of Black Georgians, a forthcoming exhibition challenging preconceptions of the black community in Georgian Britain. ‘Brixton is a vibrant place, so it made sense to look around us for inspiration,’ says 2MZ founder Lloyd Touwen. ‘Ghanian ‘kente’ cloth was the starting point for our colour combinations.’

22-26 September at the Black Cultural Archives, 1 Windrush Square, Brixton, London SW2 1EF

Courtesy of 2MZ
Courtesy of 2MZ

A Bullet From A Shooting Star by Alex Chinneck

Comprising 450 pieces of latticed steel, Alex Chinneck’s inverted replica of an electricity pylon leans precariously over a road on the Greenwich Peninsula. ‘I was inspired by the incredible history of industry and power generation on the site,’ he says. As well as referencing the past, the 15 tonne sculpture points to 15,000 new homes planned for the site.

Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0SQ

A Bullet from a Shooting Star by Alex Chinneck. Courtesy of the London Design Festival
A Bullet from a Shooting Star by Alex Chinneck. Courtesy of the London Design Festival

Connected Streets

Future Cities Catapult has curated prototypes and talks exploring how ‘smart’ objects, buildings and infrastructure might change London. ‘Whilst the dimensions of our streets remain the same, the dynamics of how we use and inhabit them evolves with changing technologies,’ says the team. ‘What might these dynamics feel like in the time of the Internet of Things?’

4-6pm on 22 September at the V&A, Cromwell Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2RL

Image courtesy of Connected Streets
Image courtesy of Connected Streets

Street Gallery

Following the successful launch of Brixton Design Week in 2014, architects Squire and Partners will create a ‘street gallery’ at the former Bon Marche department store. ‘We have pulled together a dynamic community of Brixton-based artists and designers to bring the store back to life and animate the surrounding streets and neighbourhood,’ says partner Tim Gledstone.

19-27 September at Bon Marche Centre, 241-251 Ferndale Road, Brixton, London SW9 8BJ

Courtesy of Squire & Partners
Courtesy of Squire and Partners

Odyssey

London Design Festival gets its first virtual design experience courtesy of designer Tino Schaedler of Optimist Designs and director Nabil. The duo have installed a interactive black turbine sculpture in Somerset House’s West Wing that pushes the boundary between the physical and virtual space.

21-27 September at the West Wing Galleries, Somerset House, Strand, WC2R 1LA

Odyssey-LDF-Optimist-Design-1
Courtesy of London Design Festival
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