Every year I’m astounded by how accessible the London Design Festival is for families. I visited with my daughter for the first time in 2015, since then I’ve made it my mission to get more families to support this inspirational event, which celebrates London as the design capital of the world. From light installations to typographic self portraits, here’s my top tips for families to enjoy at this year’s festival.
1. Enhance your mood at Villa Walala
Fresh from her immersive installation at Now Gallery this summer, graphic artist and textile designer Camille Walala is back, this time bringing her signature bright colours and bold stripes to an inflatable break-out space in the heart of Liverpool Street. Created with the help of Go Visual, this giant playful palace will liven up lunchtime for even the stuffiest of suited city workers.
Villa Walala, Exchange Square, Broadgate, 16-24 September, 7am-9pm, Admission Free.
2. Immerse yourself in Flynn Talbot’s Reflection Room
Originally home to over 30,000 textile samples, this is the first time the V&A Prince Consort Gallery has been transformed as part of the festival. Illuminating the space from floor to ceiling in orange and blue hues, this dramatic light installation takes up the entire length of the 35m gallery, creating a colourful walkway, reflected by 56 Barrisol panels.
Reflection Room by Flynn Talbot, Prince Consort Gallery Room 110, Victoria & Albert Museum, 16-24 September, 10am-5.45pm, Admission Free
3. Retreat inside Mini Living’s Urban Cabin
With a shiny mirrored outside to reflect London’s rich and ever-evolving cityscape, this urban retreat is designed to bring city dwellers together with aspects that they may be lacking in their daily lives. Complete with its own shared kitchen and micro library, visitors are invited into the space to explore the very best of London through historic literature, and to share their own stories and experiences of life in London town.
Mini Living – Urban Cabin, Oxo Tower Wharf Courtyard, 16-24 September, 11am-9pm, Admission Free.
4. Create your own typographic selfie
Nobody wants to be a Comic Sans right? This free workshop hosted by Type Tasting Director, Sarah Hyndman, provides visitors with an opportunity to escape the Arial Narrow choice of fonts we use in our day-to-day lives, and instead customise a font which they feel reflects their Superclarendon personality! Each of the fonts are then added to a public display, which over the weekend will create a Courier New and exciting collection of typographic self portraits.
Font Selfie Workshop: What’s your font? Design Studio, Sackler Centre for arts education, Victoria and Albert Museum, 16-17 September, 11am-5pm, Admission Free.
5. Marvel at the opulence of Transmission
Designer Ross Lovegrove’s brings the V&A’s Tapestries Gallery to life, through creating a spectacular 21 meter long free-standing piece, inspired by the folds in the red gown worn by a lady featured in one of the hunting scenes. As well as providing a different perspective with which to view the surrounding wall hangings, the work, produced by colouring and digital embroidery, has been created using a tactile sound absorbant material called Alcantara, complete with gold and silver threads which emulate the richness of the surrounding scenes and celebrating the opulence of the era.
Transmission, Tapestries, Room 94, Victoria and Albert Museum, Daily 10am-5.45pm (except Friday 10am-10pm). Admission Free.