An homage to creativity and culture in the capital, London Design Festival returns this September for a week-long celebration of the city’s leading designers, makers, artists and brands. Running from 16th to 24th September, the event positions London as the design capital of the world, spotlighting the work of established and emerging creatives with an exciting roster of exhibitions, talks and installations spread across 13 dedicated London Design Festival districts. We’re delighted to be a part of the Brompton Design District in South Kensington, which this year focuses on the theme of conviviality – the art of living together. A celebration of design’s ability to connect us with the people and places around us, the theme explores how design can help us to live collaboratively. Here are our must-see events this year.
Here at OKA, our mission is to inspire people to create a home filled with personality, where nothing is too precious or too perfect to be enjoyed with family and friends. Our recently launched Autumn Collection is no exception, with furniture and homeware designed to create spaces that encourage conviviality, from sink-in sofas for TV marathons to dining tables for family get-togethers. To celebrate LDF 2023, our Co-Founder Sue Jones will be hosting an evening of styling workshops on 21st September, allowing you a first look at the new range, as well as a chance to receive expert advice from our interior designs experts, who will share their tips for creating a harmonious home for enjoying everyday life together.
Thursday 21st September, 6-8pm at OKA Chelsea. Book now.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has one of the highest numbers of single-person households in the country, and one of the largest economic disparities in the UK. Non-profit organisation All in Awe has been inspired by these revelations to create ‘All Together’, an installation in Egerton Gardens themed around loneliness. Working with several local charities on a programme of creative community workshops, the All in Awe team asked local people to explore and express the themes of loneliness and togetherness. The workshop results were reinterpreted by All in Awe members Stinsensqueeze and Sarah Boris, who created a series of flags that make up the ‘All Together’ installation.
16th–21st September, Egerton Gardens, London, SW3 2DA
This group exhibition on Brompton Road spotlights the work of emerging artists, architects and designers. An exploration of how power can shift when people work together, this collaborative display provides a platform for the next generation of creatives, who’ve used different mediums – from paint to sculpture to film – to express their take on the theme of conviviality.
16th–24th September, 219 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2EJ
This collaborative project brings together a group of 15 designers, architects and studios, who each took part in residencies at Grymsdyke Farm in Buckinghamshire and were asked to produce one element of a dining collection that answered the question ‘Why do we live with the things we live with?’ By engaging with the farm’s local community and materials, the creatives explored how our surroundings and communities inform design. The exhibition spotlights the results of these residences.
16th–24th September, 209 Brompton Road, London, SW3 2EJ
For his first solo exhibition, maker and designer Rio Kobayashi showcases his deep sense for relationships, with a display of works that have been created as a result of a series of collaborations. The gallery space will act partly as an exhibition, and partly as a living room for people to relax and enjoy the maker’s designs. These include a series of fish tables created in partnership with painter James Hague, exhibition posters made with graphic design collective Åbäke, and a new speaker designed with Austrian audio manufacturer WLM.
16th–24th September, 4 Cromwell Place, London, SW7 2JE
Inspired by an annual exhibition in Tokyo of the same name, 'WAVE: Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts' presents the work of more than 60 Japanese artists, exploring the diversity of Japanese illustration in one place. Featuring late 20th-century artists such as Tnaami Keiichi and Yamaguchi Harumi, alongside emerging artists – many of whom are being exhibited in the UK for the first time – the display includes a mix of styles, from pop art to surrealism. Look out for pieces showcasing heta-uma, an underground Manga movement that translates to “bad, but good,” and refers to artwork that appears poorly drawn but in fact has taken great consideration and skill to produce.
16th–24th September, 101-111 Kensington High Street, London, W8 5SA