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8 must-see installations at the 2021 London Design Festival

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The London Design Festival 2021 starts tomorrow with the latest design innovations installed in locations across the capital. This year, Yinka Ilori calls for volunteers to paint one of his flamboyant designs on a London road; Fortum & Mason showcases their new 3D printed beehives, and Sou Fujimoto unveils a revolutionary installation with Tin Drum at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The festival runs until September 26.

The Cube by Velux®

Image: Velux®

Window manufacturer Velux® chose Danish architects Henning Larsen to design a relaxation area for weary festival-goers at the observation point on the south shore. The wood-clad Cube has an asymmetrical flat roof with a mosaic of skylights that visitors can control with an app to change the pattern of light in the space. Kasper Bjørke composed a personalized soundtrack.
Cromwell Road

Jellyfish by Tin Drum and Sou Fujimoto

Image: Tin drum

Nature and architecture intertwine in Tin Drum’s mixed reality installation at the V&A. Situated under expansive arches between the museum’s 16th-century Raphael cartoons, Medusa is only visible with a helmet. Architect Sou Fujimoto’s contribution is the virtual semi-transparent tubular form based, in part, on the Northern Lights and underwater bioluminescence.
Cromwell Road

Between Forests and Heavens by Nebbia Works

Image: Nebbia Works

Stroll through this aluminum sheet pavilion in the V&A’s John Madejski Garden to witness a forest of reflections suspended between the sky and the water. Nebbia Works created a self-supporting structure with minimal cuts and bends in the material. The intricate cut-and-fold shape results in a space that is both strong and slim, the reflective quality of which offers a new perspective on the landscape.
Cromwell Road

Campbell Hay X Art of ping-pong

Image: Campbell Hay

Gaming table brand Art of Ping Pong collaborated with branding consultancy Campbell Hay on a series of bold and bright table tennis tables featuring lively typography. The design captures the dynamic and fast-paced nature of the game in action.
Islington Square Gallery

‘Diaspora’ by Creative Visionaries Studio

Image: Creative Visionaries Studio

Scottish-Egyptian designer-artist Sara Abdalla hand-painted the geometric patterns of this vibrant mural designed by Creative Visionaries in a red brick housing estate in Holborn. The six individual panels bring positivity and joy, she says, and reflect “the community, diversity and multiculturalism that makes London and Britain so great.”
Tybalds Estate, Bloomsbury, Holborn

Sonic Boom by Yuri Suzuki

Image: Alberto Balazs

Japanese sound artist Yuri Suzuki worked with multidisciplinary designers Alter-Projects on the wild floral display of these colorful metal pipes. The horn-shaped conduits absorb street sounds and carry voice recordings through their rods, so they can be used as a communication tool. The accompanying Digital Sound Garden transforms vocal recordings into floral animations and “plants” them on a map of Mayfair.
Brown Hart Gardens, Mayfair

The illuminated garden with Super Nature television

Image: John Sturrock

Sustainability is at the heart of Space Frames, a reusable light arch installation near King’s Cross Station. Studio Mieke Meijer constructed the Illuminated Garden using a lightweight aluminum skeleton covered with an industrial polyester fabric more commonly used in the aviation industry. It will house a new film commission on the theme of circularity, reuse and sustainable systems.
Central courtyard, Coal yard

The Conran X Damien Poulain store

Image: Damien Poulain / Conran Shop

French designer, muralist and illustrator Damien Poulain put his vibrant geometric mark on the window of Conran Shop’s flagship store in Chelsea. Her multi-perspective piece has a steel grid frame filled with vivid abstract shapes found around the Michelin House and the natural landscape beyond. It provides a striking backdrop for Conran’s furniture offering.
Michelin House, 81 Fulham Road

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