London Design Festival 2012

The London Design Festival is back for another year and it opens tomorrow.

But what does this mean for you and me? With over 200 events spread over nine days it is the largest event of its kind in Europe and many of the events are open to the public, for free.

If you like new things and you want to see what's going on in the world of design - ie the stuff that surrounds you - then go see something. There are several key venues, or hubs, across the capital and these are the ones I plan to check out next week.

Central: Designjunction
Designjunction takes place in an old sorting office on New Oxford Street over three floors in a 120,000 sq. ft space and will host international brands, pop-up shops, temporary restaurants, working flash factories, cutting-edge labels. It sounds like it will a buzzing hive of activity; I'll definitely be taking my camera.

With a sleek new entrance on Hanbury Street these two events are located on separate floors in the same building. The clue is in the name as to the differences between them: Super Brands does not undersell itself in the title, this is where you'll find the big international players on the design scene. Whereas Tent London offers temporary shelter to established independent brands and new international finds. There will be a LOT to look at.

Once again the V&A will be the official hub of the London Design Festival and is hosting several exhibitions including Heatherwick Studio: Designing the Extraordinary (as in Thomas 'Olympic cauldron' Heatherwick) and the sculptural and digital installation (pictured above) called Prism by Keiichi Matsuda, both of which I really want to see. Around the corner is the Brompton Design District - the collective name for shops located around Brompton Road - which will all be open and active during the festival.

For further reading on the festival I suggest these links: Barbara Chandler for Homes & Property, The Independent and The FT