#LDF2013 kicks-off in style

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Endless Stair‘ by dRMM  - this year’s landmark installation for the London Design Festival. Caught here under construction. Very Escher. Very beautiful. Hope it holds up under this terrible weather!

A Love-in at the Penguin Pool with Mark Miodownik

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The perfect pewter penguin! Cast out of cuttlefish at Arup’s best Penguin Pool event yet. Material scientist Mark and his team at the pioneering Institute of Making thoroughly entertained us all with their tales of materials, now and in the future.

Imagine a time when structures will heal themselves? Bridges won’t crack, power stations won’t melt and we can all live a little safer in the knowledge. Well, that time is now. Almost. R&D currently underway with organisms inserted into concrete, that when fed, excrete a substance to repair the damage. If you get the chance to hear him speak, make it so.


The Shard: flops

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Large erection of light spits out delight…! Or so we were promised.

The Shard fired lasers from some of its 95 stories at eleven of London’s best known landmarks including  St Paul’s Catherdral, Canary Wharf, the Houses of Parliament and the Tower of London. The thing is, nobody could see them! What a letdown.


MONA, Hobart – a superb anti-museum



Over the Bass Strait, lies Australia’s answer to the Tate Modern. Only darker, dirtier and joyously more disconcerting. A unique museum experience, its owner the multi-millionaire and local man David Walsh has decided to share his private collection of art for all to see.

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The best of 100%design and Designersblock

Australian Jay Watson’s table coated in a thermochromic varnish, leaves a lasting impression

We all know the Argentinians love their meat. It is heartening to see that something useful is being made from the vast quantities of leather scraps generated each year.

As always, there is a cornucopia of talks, events, exhibitions, trade shows and parties spread across town – more conservative in the west and a little more daring in the east. This year, 100%design feels much more like a trade show than the healthy mix of established and emerging, as has been customary in recent years.

Striking chairs by Zhang Zhoujie

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And we’re off! The 9th LDF gets underway…

This year’s nine-day London Design Festival programme is made up of over 280 events and exhibitions – the largest and most significant yet. Showcasing the city’s pivotal role in global design, there are events across design disciplines, from East to West. There is a real buzz in the air this year, with London Fashion Week, the Frieze Art Fair  and the London Film Festival running alongside. It is tricky to know where to start!

Highlights from yesterday include the 12m Timber Wave designed by Amanda Levete and her team, with Arup. Cascading down the steps of the V&A, this complex form made from America red oak has been made possible through cutting edge digital tools, 3D modelling and precision engineering. It reflects the interest in design and making that is at the heart of London’s creative industries.

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