Endless Stair: kicks off LDF 2013

The London Design Festival (LDF) rolls into town later this week (14-22 Sept) for 9 days of shows, talks and new products a plenty. It's astonishing how this event has grown in popularity and scale over the past 10 years to become an internationally significant event which attracts global attention.

And the shows, my god, the shows, they keep on growing... I've been sitting at my computer for the last few days in a state of too-much-to-process-paralysis as I try and decide what to go and see. Most of the events are free to attend, you just need to register online, so even if you're not a member of the press you can still go along. It's very democratic in design-world (unlike fashion-world which is only open to the very select few, just sayin).

The one very big not-to-miss thing, well you can't miss it as it's LIFE SIZE, is the Endless Stair pictured above. It's in pride of place outside Tate Modern and is - yes, you guessed it - inspired by that trippy MC Escher picture of old. Some crazy people at dRMM Architects decided it would be a brilliant idea to try and build one [15 interlocking staircases using 44 cubic metres of tulip wood "it's the new concrete" donated by AHEC] and I am dying to see - and have a go on - the result. Climbing up it is encouraged. So that's the big wow-factor eye-catching thing that you'll probably see in the papers next week, if you've not done so already. 

LDF itself centres on the V&A, it's the hub of the show with some interesting things happening such as an eight-storey lighting installation in the main entrance, so I'll definitely go there. I'll also head to the three big trade shows: Design Junction at The (old postal) Sorting Office on Oxford Street;  Tent London and Superbrands off Brick Lane; and 100% Design which 10 years ago was pretty much all this whole design week thing was.

There is a lot more going on, like the fact that there are specific Design Districts covering East, West, Central... where local streets and businesses have got together to do something for the festival. These are great to visit in a not really sure what I'm doing here but it seems a good place to mooch about capacity.

I did a preview of LDF for The London Magazine's September issue (with ooooh Tom Ford on the cover) so when that goes online I will put up a link.

In the meantime here's a link the official online LDF guide to whet your appetite - I warn you, it is DAUNTING.