Countdown to London Design Festival

Every year London goes design crazy for nine days as the London Design Festival rolls into town. And every year - like any good festival - while there is the inevitable feeling of excitement at so much being in one place at one time, there is also a looming sense of aghhh what do I see first? That anxious feeling of not wanting to miss anything can lead to paralysis - and you risk doing nothing. 

New designs at Tent London

A good place to start is the London Design Festival website which covers all the events - the mainstream things like the 100% Design trade show at Earl's Court - and the less obvious stuff too such as its hipper East End cousin Tent London which showcases contemporary and vintage design, architecture and interiors.

Trafalgar Square will be transformed by robots

You can find out about things like the crazy Outrace installation in Trafalgar Square by designers Clemens Weisshaar and Reed Kram. Eight industrial robots - on loan from Audi's car production line - will be set up in the square and will have LEDs attached to end of their mechanical tentacles. These robot arms can then be controlled by you from the Outrace website to make patterns of light in the darkness. It will be there from 16 - 23 September.

One way to grasp what is going on at the festival is to explore one geographical area at a time. The V&A in South Kensington is the hub of the whole festival - as it was last year when it increased visitor numbers by 30% - and will be hosting various events. Around town shops and galleries are staging their own events in the Brompton design district, on the South Bank, in Covent Garden, in Clerkenwell, and more.

Etch Light by Tom Dixon will be made and sold on site

One not-to-miss event is Global Industry at The Dock in West London - where Tom Dixon is rapidly establishing a design hub - and opening a permanent shop. Dutch design manufacturer Moooi is launching their first UK showroom and the Dock Kitchen is being relaunched as a permanent restaurant. It's always good to factor in a coffee break while trying to absorb cutting edge design. 

Over the next few weeks I will be covering more event highlights and posting more pictures.