Background to the London Design Festival
The first London Design Festival was small – there were only 32 venues, and included some big shows such as 100% Design and a Forum, which I was fortunate enough to attend.
Over the years it grew and in 2007 Landmark Projects were introduced, matching leading architects and designers to iconic spaces in London. This included for instance the Tournament by Jaime Hayon at Trafalgar Square in 2010, and Perspectives by John Pawson at St Paul’s Cathedral, 2011. The V&A became the festival hub since 2009.
Some 350,000 people visited LDF events in 2011, of which 30,000 abroad. There were 78 venues. It was one of the first city Design Festivals, and has now been copied worldwide. It builds on London’s reputation as the design capital of the world. The huge range of design disciplines, London being the global centre for commerce, as well as a wide range of colleges including the 175 year old RCA.
The London Design Festival provides an umbrella for many of the events taking place at the same time, whilst the public events ensure that they are reaching out to wider audiences.