The London Design Festival

For a relatively small nation, the UK has an incredible design heritage, from architecture and masonry to manufacturing, fine art and jewellery.

This history is celebrated each year at the London Design Festival, which takes place in the capital but draws in visitors and exhibitors from across the country. Running from 13th to 21st September, it will be based out of a host of prestigious venues, including the V&A Museum and Goldsmiths University.

More than 300 events are lined up for the 2014 festival, so architects and designers should find plenty of interest across the capital.

With such an array of possibilities, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so here are our picks for 2014.

Elements of Craft

At J Rotherham, we’re deeply aware of the links between our design heritage and the world of the future; combining traditional masonry techniques with state-of-the-art robotics has kept our brand relevant.

This connection will be examined in detail at the Elements of Craft exhibition, taking place for the course of the festival at the Mint interior design store.

“Lina Kanafani curates an exhibition focusing on the influence of craft in design. Pieces by Angelo Mangiarotti and Roy McMakin present classics from the 70s and 80s that are set against works by over 40 established and emerging designers to create a visual harmony of contrasts,” said the event’s organisers.

Mint, founded in 1998, is considered one of London’s most prestigious interior design stores and is dedicated to curating work by up-and-coming people in the field.

Decorex International

This trade show will feature the best in design, craftsmanship, new technology and talent from more than 300 companies.

It takes place between 21st and 24th September, with the first three days reserved for professional visitors and the final one open to the general public.

Tickets are £30 for the latter – although architects and other people in the industry do not need to pay, they are encouraged to book in advance, as the show is expected to be extremely busy.

A new venue has been named for 2014. Syon Park, a West London stately home belonging to the Duke of Northumberland, is one of the last properties of its kind in the capital and well worth a visit for anyone interested in heritage or building.

With international and domestic designers both exhibiting as part of the upcoming festival, there should be plenty of opportunity to find inspiration for an upcoming project or simply keep track of new trends within the industry.

Landmark projects

In addition to events, talks and showings, the 2014 edition of the London Design Festival has introduced a number of landmark projects that can be seen in venues across the capital.

Precision & Poetry in Motion is one such installation. A collaboration between BMW, Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, this will be showcased at the V&A’s Raphael Gallery.

Another project comes from booming tech start-up Airbnb, a community marketplace that allows people to list, book and find accommodation around the world.

They are taking over Trafalgar Square for the duration of the festival, providing a free exhibition in the centre of London. Their show is entitled ‘A Place Called Home’ and will offer four acclaimed designers the chance to create their own visions of domestic space as separate structures within the square.

Anyone looking for inspiration for their own home, or simply keen to see the innovative approach taken by Jasper Morrison, Patternity, Raw Edges and Studioilse, should mark their diary for September.

British design

The upcoming event has been welcomed by many British public figures, not least incumbent London mayor Boris Johnson.

“Design and creativity are embedded within our city’s DNA and critical to the future prosperity of London, as well as the whole country. In bringing together top design talent from across the world, the London Design Festival provides a snapshot of where we are now, but also importantly, it offers an insight into where we are going,” he declared.

A full listing of events is available on the website here if you wish to plan a trip.