Ten must-see installations at London Design Festival 2023

As London Design Festival returns for another year, we have selected some of the key installations and exhibitions to see as part of the 2023 edition.

Taking place from 16 to 24 September, London Design Festival 2023 will host hundreds of events across 13 districts in the city.

Included in the programme are exhibitions, workshops, talks, tours, product launches, open studios, showrooms and trade fairs.

Dezeen Events Guide has launched a digital guide to the 2023 edition of London Design Festival, with key information about some of the best events.

Read on for our roundup of highlights from the programme:

Photo of Aura installation by Pablo Valbuena for London Design Festival 2023

Aura by Pablo Valbuena

Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena has created site-specific projections for London’s iconic St Paul’s Cathedral, informed by the noises of the building – including speech and music.

The installation, titled Aura, uses a pulsating light to represent sound waves to explore rituals and ceremonies.

The exhibition forms part of the Wren 300 programme, commemorating the fact that 2023 marks 300 years since the death of architect Christopher Wren, who designed the cathedral.

Photo of blue materials

The Farm Shop by Marco Campardo, Guan Lee and Luca Lo Pinto

Designer Marco Campardo, architect Guan Lee and curator Luca Lo Pinto have teamed up to present Farm Shop, an exhibition showcasing dinnerware informed by Grymsdyke Farm in Buckinghamshire.

The collection was made by designers during a summer residency at the farm, with the makers encouraged to explore the relationship between inhabitants and the spaces they live in.

Photo of chairs and a lamp

Material Matters

The Material Matters fair is returning for its second London Design Festival stint, exhibiting more than 40 brands across four days.

The fair explores innovative materials that can contribute to a circular economy, showcasing products made from food waste, paper, aluminium, rubber, porcelain and more.

Led by Material Matters podcast host Grant Gibson, the event will also host talks with designers including Bill Amberg, Sofia Hagen, Tanja Kirst, Priyanka Narula, Jack Brandsma and Michael Evesque.

Photo of Halo installation by Studio Waldemeyer for London Design Festival 2023

Halo by Studio Waldemeyer

Also part of the Wren 300 initiative, Halo is a light installation taking place in another building designed by Christopher Wren, St Stephen Walbrook.

Designed by Studio Waldemeyer, the exhibition will feature a conical pendulum attached to the apex of the church.

The pendulum, which is embedded with lights, will swing around the altar that is temporarily home to a marble sculpture designed by British artist Henry Moore.

Photo of fungus in a glass jar

Mycelium Unearthed by Osmose Studio

Mycelium Unearthed is an exhibition exploring the role of mycelium – the root structure of fungi – in the design industry to create “ecological balance”.

Hosted by regenerative design brand Osmose Studio, the exhibition will showcase wooden chairs by Welsh designer Dylan Glyn and clothing by Osmose Studio co-founder Aurelie Fontan.

The event includes workshops for visitors to create their own objects from mycelium.

Photo of pink paper installations at a festival

Hana Mikoshi by Hayatsu Architects

Japanese studio Hayatsu Architects will present the Hana Mikoshi seating installation at the V&A Museum, featuring 50,000 sakura-shaped paper flowers handmade by makers in Japan.

The installation was informed by the Mino Matsuri festival, which takes place annually in the Gifu prefecture of Japan, inviting locals to create paper shrines.

Photo of Lego Botanicals Collection

The Lego Piece Garden

Danish toy manufacturer Lego is partnering with creative website It’s Nice That to showcase an exhibition featuring the brand’s Botanicals collection.

The Lego Piece Garden will comprise immersive installations that invite visitors to play with the collection, alongside artworks using the Adults Welcome collection made by local artists.

Fish table by Rio Kobayashi for LDF

Manus Manum Lavat by Rio Kobayashi

Japanese designer Rio Kobayashi will be presenting his first solo show as part of this year’s festival, taking over a space in the Grade II listed Victorian townhouse of Cromwell Place.

Designed as a kind of makeshift living room, the exhibition was designed to bring people together and showcases new collaborations by Kobayashi including a series of fish tables painted by artist James Hague and a convivial sofa designed with Flavia Brändle.

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Nice to Meet You Again by Morag Myerscough

London-based artist Morag Myerscough is partnering with car manufacturer MINI to present a colourful, immersive installation at Shoreditch Electric Light Station.

Nice to Meet You Again aims to create a green urban environment within the venue, utilising every corner of the space.

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Design to Wonderland by Shanghai Design Week

Shanghai Design Week is hosting a guest exhibition as part of LDF that explores Chinese design and branding, focusing on urban development and improving people’s quality of life.

The exhibition will address the aesthetics of design in Chinese culture and sustainability efforts in the design and consumer goods industry.

London Design Festival 2023 takes place from 16-24 September 2023. See our London Design Festival 2023 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.

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