Postcards from London Design Festival 2020


Written by Trend Bible

25 September 2020

With the cancellation of so many design shows around the world in 2020, London Design Festival is one of the first major events to take place on the international design calendar this year. In a year unlike any other, LDF 2020 incorporated both virtual and physical elements following lockdown restrictions with the aim to promote London as the design capital of the world and showcase the best creative talent.

“The format of the 9 day festival, was a feat of innovation in itself. Stretching beyond it’s usual audience and partnering Virtual Design Destination by Adorno, showcasing theatrical portfolios of the latest tech from 3D video, music, social media and gaming from 14 countries.” Rhiannon Jones, Senior Trend Strategist

We have gathered our highlights in line with three of our Pandemic Lens macro themes we have seen accelerated in 2020; The Great Slowdown, Conscious Choices and Blurred Spaces. We’ve also included our LDF20 postcard pack as a free download featuring more coverage and curated trends to share with and inspire your colleagues.

The Great Slowdown

Video: Joost van Bleiswijk

A key theme at LDF20, we saw how good design can help us to appreciate the world around us. The indulgence of a slower pace was evident, not only in the design itself, but in the creative approach.  There was a deep resonance with design which was intuitive to the behaviours we have increasingly valued in lockdown; walking, reconnecting, tinkering. Designers hone in on simple pleasures of domesticity and create designs which are beautifully simplistic.

Dutch designer Joost van Bleiswijk, gives great value to the process of making. His latest work, Tinkering, exemplifies how an instinctive and gestural approach can reflect in the final design.

Conscious Choices

Image: The Fandangoe Kid

A collective drive towards change was evident in many of the designs, installations and workshops. Some spoke to the urgency for creative activism, celebrating and highlighting the role of design in creating a better future. Others focused on making the design world a more inclusive place; embracing new digital formats, supporting freelancers who have struggled as a direct result of the pandemic and taking steps to support recent graduates and students entering the design world.

British artist The Fandangoe Kid worked together with students via Zoom workshops this summer, deciding the concept and developing the final design for “Towards a new normal” a public artwork in East London.

Blurred Spaces

Images: Khyati Bawej 

A theme accelerated by the unfolding pandemic and resulting uncertainty, designers explore the need for transient design. Working across mediums – playing with the boundaries of physical and digital – we see an increase in design which adapts and moves with both us and the world, our changing needs and indeed changing moods. There is a focus on finding ways to recreate comfort and familiarity, embracing tech not for tech sake but to help us stay grounded in our shared values, creating a mirage of normality.

2020 graduate Khyati Bawej seeks to recreate a feeling of “home” through design. The target audience is people who often switch places and lack the feeling of comfort and familiarity in those temporary spaces.

Didn’t make it to London Design Festival 2020? Download our LDF20 postcard pack for more curated trends and inspiring coverage from the show.


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