London Design Festival 2021: Key Highlights

This year’s London Design Festival took place from the 18th-26th September 2021 and addressed some of the biggest challenges facing society today. Even though the event was a quieter affair, with small events spread across the city and greater online activity, our team were still able to immerse themselves in the design community and spot and monitor emerging trends. Here we share our top 3 highlights from the festival; Circularity in Design, Brave and Bold and Interchangeable Design. 

Circularity in Design

At London Design Festival, the ‘Designing for Circularity’ section presented a curation of brave and forward-looking Danish brands, who dare to take drastic and experimental steps towards change.

Genfärd, Dansk Wilton

Genfärd is a circular business concept, that aims to challenge the way in which we consider furniture, to improve sustainable consumption within the furniture and lifestyle industry. Their newly launched Gast coffee table is designed in line with a circular business model. The handmade tabletop is moulded using leftover materials, bricks from demolished buildings and stone leftovers from local stonemasons.

Dansk Wilton exhibited their ‘Reuse Cruise’ pilot project, with the aim to explore the possibilities of converting carpet waste into new materials and products. They have designed a number of interior solutions, from acoustic elements to small furniture but this is just the beginning.

Brave and Bold

To celebrate the reopening of commercial spaces, designers and brands used bold colour to create exciting spaces to entice people back in.

Yinka llori, Damien Poulain x Conran

British Nigerian artist, Yinka llori, was the headline speaker at Design London, welcoming guests through a tunnel of colour and inviting them to take a seat in his joyfully designed ‘Transparency of Colour’. Yinka stated “It’s the perfect environment to unite, celebrate and uplift one another.”

The Conran Shop displayed ‘The Magical value of Shapes’, an art installation by Damien Poulain. The graphically led, three-dimensional canvas of colourful geometric shapes invites you to consider the new-season exclusives.

Interchangeable Design

At London Design Festival, there was an emergence of innovations for stow away furniture solutions; products that are as elegant when stowed away as when in use.

Less is Better, Icons of Denmark

Less is Better is a sustainable furniture brand with a passion for creating simple, elegant and functional alternatives to the mass-produced items that fill our homes. With a focus on space-saving and flexible solutions, their shelves and desks neatly fold away when not in use, and as they only require a wall to lean against, they are easily transferrable to other rooms.

Danish furniture brand, Icons of Denmark create products to support activities and behaviours of modern work. Their interchangeable wall units are designed to adapt to changing needs and experiences, offering limitless opportunities to zone rooms, provide privacy and create extra space. Home workers can accessorise the wall with whiteboards, planters, shelving, soundproofing panels or pin-boards, all adaptable to suit the activities within the space.

Key Takeaways:

  • Circular design and wasteless lifestyles will be paramount in the coming years. To stay relevant, make sure your products can either last a lifetime or decompose leaving no trace.
  • As hybrid working becomes a more permanent feature in our homes, consider the multi-purpose functionality and adaptability of products.
  • Increased dialogue around the unique and imperfect will be essential in helping consumers accept the new aesthetics of waste materials.
  • Don’t be afraid to play with colour and shape in a bolder application.