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London Design Festival 2012: What to expect

The London Design Festival is celebrating its tenth year with a series of initiatives, including new exhibition spaces, the launch of the Global Design Forum and an app to make navigating the festival easier

The festival will again be hubbed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where an installation called Mimicry Chairs by Nendo will see chair installations in 10 locations throughout the museum, each of which has been modified to mimic the surrounding space. Meanwhile, the V&A’s cupola, usually closed to the public, will house Prism by Keiichi Matsuda, a giant lantern-style structure which will relay information from various unseen data flows in the capital.

The entrance to the museum will also house a lighting intervention designed by Dominic Harris of Cinimod Studio. This is the first dedicated lighting project by the festival, and will be complemented by a series of temporary lighting installations in South Kensington.

But much is also happening away from the V&A. The festival’s landmark project, the BE OPEN Sound Portal will see a soundproof chamber, designed by Arup, being set up in Trafalgar Square where visitors will hear a series of specially-commissioned soundscapes. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners are collaborating with Cox Bench to create The Manufactured Home – a fabricated timber house which will be used as an exhibition space for the festival and then offered to a housing association to create an energy-efficient family home in London.

The launch of the Global Design Forum at Central St Martins on 18 September is one of the most interesting new developments this year. Supported by UK Trade and Investment, the forum will gather designers, business leaders and emerging talent to discuss the design agenda and to create ten mini manifestos for future conferences.

Finally, alongside the purely creative installations, numerous design destinations will provide a more business-oriented environment for designers and product manufacturers. These include 100% Design at Earls Court, which will have a new layout encompassing four distinct zones: Kitchens & Bathrooms, Office, Eco Design and Build; Decorex at the Royal Hospital Chelsea, focusing on interior design products and crafts; and Super Brands and Tent London, both at the Truman Brewery, which will focus on global brands and contemporary interior design products for products from over 40 global brands.

Venue: Hubbed at the Victoria and Albert Museum, but with numerous events taking place across London
Admission: Check individual events - most free.
Dates: 14-23 September 2012

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