London Design Festival 2020

Despite most trade shows being cancelled for obvious reasons, London Design Festival has somehow gone ahead. I couldn’t be happier to see the array of shows & talks that are on from the 12th to 20th of September this year. Albeit a lot smaller in size than usual, it’s still rife with virtual talks that I’ve booked on to, and there are some great exhibitions that are taking place IRL too.

I’ve outlined the top 10 shows that I’ll be trying to get to, but if you’re not in London or don’t feel like attending in person, many of them will have online talks & virtual experiences too.

1. Planted - 17 to 20 September

Making it’s much awaited debut during London Design Festival, Planted is a contemporary design show aimed at reconnecting cities with nature.

Set amongst the trees in Granary Square, a purpose built outdoor studio will be the home of Planted Unplugged. Created by Biotecture Ltd, the studio will host interviews & talks exploring how sustainability, food production, nature and architecture can combine to create greener healthier urban spaces. Planted Unplugged will be free to access online via registration at during the festival.

Location: Online & Granary Square, Kings Cross.

2. Architecture for Dogs 19 September - 10 January 2021

The internationally acclaimed Architecture for Dogs exhibition is coming to Japan House during LDF. The show features various designs by world-class architects, offering "guests a light-hearted and insightful exploration into architecture and design that can be joyful for both dogs and their human companions."

Location: 101-111 Kensington High Street, London W8 5SA

3. The Social Kitchen: Conversations about kitchen design in a changing world - 11am on 14 September

Our home lives are changing but what does this mean for both designers and consumers?

This virtual panel discussion presented by Fisher & Paykel,hosted by interiors journalist Amy Moorea Wong, will discuss the changing design landscape in homes and their kitchens during the 2020 lockdown and beyond. Register here to book your place.

Location: Online only.

4. Top Drawer - 7 to 30 September

This bi-annual trade show for creative retailers and interior professionals will be held virtually. Top Drawer On Demand, the event's new digital platform, will give participants access to product launches from top brands as well as talks from some of the industry's favourite names. There will be over 300 virtual showrooms to browse & discover some great products and brands.

Location: Online only.

5. Connected - 11 September to 11 October

The Design Museum, American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture have challenged nine international designers to create a table and seating for home living & working. The designers recorded their creative journeys during lockdown, allowing viewers to explore their working practices during these challenging times. The resulting installation, Connected, will be shown at the Design Museum when it reopens to the public.

Location: Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street.

6. Octagon - 12 to 20 September

This physical and virtual exhibition by British Designer Tom Dixon will divide the Coal Office into eight spaces, each area celebrating a narrative around a particular Tom Dixon product. The exhibition will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the designer’s universe. Visitors will be able to reuse preloved containers at the candle refilling station, or grab a drink at the cocktail bar, while the virtual component will play a significant role in emphasizing how the brand is reinventing itself through a global pandemic.

Location: Online & Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, London N1C 4AB

7. Transitional Interiors in a changing world - 18 September

This in-person and virtual panel discussion will explore the changing landscape of interior design and how Coronavirus will affect the way we use and design our homes in the future. Panelists include former Design Director of Soho House Linda Boronkay and designer Stephanie Barba Mendoza.

Location: Online & The Hearth,16 Lonsdale Road, NW6

8. Shoreditch Design Triangle - 12 to 20th September

The Shoreditch Design Triangle brings together a spectrum of different design-led happenings in the area. This year’s event is a catalyst for renewal and a place for people to reconvene with new ideas. Visitors can expect a blend of both physical and digital experiences, making it accessible to all. Check out their full range of offerings here from collection launches to design talks.

Location: Online & various locations across Shoreditch.

9. The Hothouse - 12 to 20th September

This large-scale installation is a must-see project for this year's LDF. Designed by London-based architecture practice Studio Weave, Hothouse is reminiscent of a Victorian glasshouse and will provide a controlled habitat for plants that would not usually grow in the UK climate. Garden Designer Tom Massey developed a concept for the planting scheme that includes a vast array of productive plants from all over the world: an edible jungle of exotic and unusual species, such as guava, mango, pineapple, sugarcane & pomegranate.

Location: Redman Place, International Quarter London, E20 1JQ

10. Redesign - 14 to 19th September

Redesign is an online platform which will take part in LDF with a virtual festival. The programme brings together a lineup of creative thinkers to explore how the lessons of design can shape the future of business.

It will offer a daily schedule of virtual experiences led by some of the most fascinating creative thinkers, including talks, fireside chats, workshops and special late night experiences.

Location: Online only.