One of the great privileges the London Design Festival affords is to look into the minds of brilliant creatives from so many disciplines. Many of the exhibits and works throughout the City are visually arresting but my personal interest lies in thought process and the future of ideas. They say with design the future never comes, which I agree with - there are no jet packs - and designing for the future just does not work. It is now that matters. But seeing how people see and hearing how they think can make us feel part of a movement towards betterment, which is what design should be, what it embodies.
For this reason I have selected elements from the Festival designed to make us think and bear witness. God is in the Details at the V&A is an empathetic project in its exploration - existing elements within the museum are enhanced through optical lenses from the viewpoint of a collection of fascinating people. I am interested in where old meets new, so enjoy Em Johnson’s collaboration with designers in 1882 Ltd and her quest to keep some manufacturing alive in this country, and I look to graphic work since presentation and the written word is so universal in our lives and its appearance and mindfulness truly affects the way we see and feel.
It is said that when you look at something long enough you elevate it to some importance and the Festival not only highlights good international design, bringing a commercial enterprise to London, but has become a key moment for a global audience to be shown the rich heritage of the City through new eyes. Installations, talks and the associated bodies of people who move through London for this ten day period are guided through the depths of museums they may not typically visit. The Science Museum is one destination not usually on the list but the agility of Universal Everything & You in the Media Space there should be an articulate encounter and additionally serves to show the modern approach the museum has today.
The talk by Marloes ten Bhomer which is a free at the V&A and addresses the complex constructs of a high-heeled woman certainly appeals, the notion of the design of a woman on high-heels is clearly relevant and will be an insight into the mind of a woman who explores everyday issues with design as a starting point.
I have included an old favourite and a place where the design bar has consistently been raised, such as Aram. Zeev Aram and family have so altered our perceptions of design throughout the decades they have been on Drury Lane and continue to inspire.
Design schools are so vital to this country’s future and it is always of interest to see the mentoring and developments within these environs. This year there is more cross-pollination with international schools.
Visitors to the Festival will no doubt explore the variety of installations, districts and destinations and designers will hopefully sell. A Londoner who has been away more than here, my very keen interest is in what makes us tick.