LDF23 Poster by Pentagram - Courtesy of LDF 2023.

Eight London design stories at LDF23. Poster by Pentagram – Courtesy of LDF 2023.

Design – Furniture by Zaha Hadid Design, Raw Edges, 2LG, and Sebastian Wrong feature in this London Design Festival 2023 ‘best of’, rounding up eight London design stories with a positive, constructive message.

Bringing people together through design

Makers & Mentors by PoOR-Collective - Photo by Ian Tillotson, courtesy of LDF 2023.

Photo by Ian Tillotson, courtesy of LDF 2023.

The Makers & Mentors furniture collection and mentorship programme led by POoR Collective involved students and renowned designers working together to create wooden interiors for The Black & White Building in London. The POoR Collective – Power Out of Restriction – is a London-based social enterprise dedicated to developing communities within the built environment and driving positive social change. They have won the London Design Festival’s Emerging Design Medal, which recognises a promising individual or practice that has made a recent impact on the design scene.

A design invitation for inclusivity

2LG Studio exhibition at London Design Fair - Photo via IG by @megantaylorphoto, follow @2lgstudio.

Photo via IG by @megantaylorphoto, follow @2lgstudio.

At the London Design Fair, 2LG Studio has invited thirteen designers from a mix of nationalities, races, genders and backgrounds to create a chair representing inclusivity and acceptance for the You Can Sit With Us exhibition. They also teamed up with textile brand Granite + Smoke, who produced colourful blankets emblazoned with the exhibition’s title message.

Affordable furniture fighting ‘fast design’

Cozmo showroom at Coal Drops Yard - Photo by Tom Mannion.

Photo by Tom Mannion.

Online design-led, modular sofa brand Cozmo has a mission: to counter the fast furniture trend by bringing accessible, enduring, and customisable design to the forefront of modern living. This year, it has inaugurated its first showroom in Coal Drops Yard. Central to the display is the original Cozmo Sofa, designed by Raw Edges. The couch is shown alongside two new additions by the designers: the Cozmo Cosy Armchair exemplifies the brand’s dedication to compact yet comfortable living. The Cozmo Cutout Tables are a sculptural set of three steel nesting tables that redefine functionality and aesthetics.

Bacteria x fashion

Ganni and Modern Synthesis' Bou Bags - Courtesy of Ganni.

Courtesy of Ganni.

Modern Synthesis, a biotechnology company founded by ex-Adidas designer Jen Keane and synthetic biologist Dr Ben Reeve, teamed up with Dutch fashion brand Ganni to reimagine the latter’s staple Bou Bag in a new leather-alternative, lower-impact textile made by bacteria. The one-of-a-kind handbag showcases the natural beauty and versatility of new innovative bacterial nano-cellulose materials, brought to life in the bag’s signature hexagonal silhouette. The companies are jointly working to make this bag commercially available by early 2025, on display at the Material Matters fair.

Upcycling scrapped cars into narrative furniture

Part Exchange exhibition by Andu Masebo at the V&A - Photo by ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

Photo by ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

With the Part exchange installation at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Andu Masebo transformed a scrapped Alfa Romeo Cloverleaf into a collection of eight furniture pieces, each one narrating the story of the car’s previous owners. Indeed, the London-based designer tracked them down to turn their memories into furniture.

Cutting-edge modular display systems

Nth Display System by Zaha Hadid Design - Photo by Luke Hayes.

Photo by Luke Hayes.

Geological phenomena like erosion and stratification inspired Zaha Hadid Design to create the Nth Display System, a set of 12 undulating modules that can be arranged in multiple displays. The sculptural prototype highlights sharp and soft volumes, as well as concave and convex lines. Ideal for showcasing products at tradeshows and exhibitions, the cutting-edge modular display system is made from high-density lightweight polyurethane plastic, but the studio is exploring new materials and techniques, including wire-cutting.

Ceramics capturing serendipitous urban beauty

Photo by Jane Cairns - courtesy of LDF 2023.

Photo by Jane Cairns, courtesy of LDF 2023.

At the London Design Fair, Jane Cairns presents a collection of hand-built sculptural ceramics and wall panels that reflect the forms, colours and textures of the urban environment. The series captures the unexpected beauty of neglected places and found objects. “I seek to share the accidental poetry I find in the unnoticed and overlooked.  Living in the city, this is often found in apparently insignificant visual details of the built environment – the space on a wall where something has been removed, a juxtaposition of materials, the sculptural qualities of found forms.”

Venetian glass blowing meets contemporary understated aesthetics

Filigrana table lamp by Sebastian Wrong x Established & Sons - Photo by ©Peter Guenzel.

Photo by ©Peter Guenzel.

Established & Sons Limited has expanded the Filigrana lighting design collection by Sebastian Wrong, now also available as a table lamp. Filigrana harnesses the mastery and heritage of traditional Venetian glass blowing, merging a 16th-century technique from Murano with a modern aesthetic to create five unique brand-new table lamps in five candy-stripe colour options.

Part Exchange exhibition by Andu Masebo at the V&A - Photo by ©Victoria and Albert Museum.

Part Exchange exhibition by Andu Masebo at the V&A – Photo by ©Victoria and Albert Museum.