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London Design fest celebrates design art, business

The London Design Festival starts this weekend: an eclectic assembly of design-related programs, exhibitions, and parties all over town.

London Design Festival

Several colleagues of mine are in London this week to unveil the special TEDGlobal issue of our design mind magazine in a very special TED Salon on Monday, with the title "More Substance of Things Not Seen." The event will be co-hosted by frog design and TED, and moderated by Sam Martin, editor-in-chief of design mind, and Bruno Giussani, European director of TED.

It comes in handy for the frog delegation that this is also the first week of the magnanimous London Design Festival, an eclectic assembly of design-related programs, exhibitions, and parties all over town.

You can watch an introduction by Festival Director Ben Evans here.

Yesterday Jaime Hayón unveiled The Tournament, his chess board installation that will be used to play chess today for the first time by the lucky applicants who signed up to pit their wits against English Chess Federation guests and world champion players.

London Design Festival

Possibly the world’s tallest paper tower, Paper Monument, by Shigeru Ban has been completed alongside Marc Newson’s Supercell structure.

Much of the Festival's program starts this weekend, including the opening of exhibitions at the festival hub, the V&A. There is a flurry of activity around the Oxo Tower Wharf, which opens its doors to coincide with the Festival, London Fashion Week, and London Open House. Brunswick House on Wandsworth Road in Vauxhall is the setting for Super-Squat--a design invasion. RE-made (in Britain) at A-Z studios on Hardwidge Street in London Bridge is also open.

A six minute train ride from London Bridge is South London's creative hot spot, Deptford, which witnesses the relaunch of Committee's Gallop Complex, accommodating Committee’s design studio, a coffee bar and a one-seat cinema. Across the river at Somerset House, The Sorrell Foundation's exhibition What’s Next for Schools? is open. Just round the corner the London Transport Museum hosts The Outer Limits – Beyond Zone One poster exhibition depicting the glories of suburbia.

In the West End, Ligne Roset opens a show called Urban Nature and Armani / Cassa launch its new collection of furniture, accessories, limited editions and exclusive textiles by Rubelli in New Bond Street. Not far from there La Maison de la Région Languedoc–Roussillon host their first exhibition of contemporary regional French design titled Sud de France Design 2009 in Cavendish Square.

In the West, Young Creative Poland showcases emerging Polish talent in the Brompton Design District whilst SCP West in Westbourne Grove launches a new range of decorative bone china by Donna Wilson. On the Kings Road Designers Guild store hosts an exhibition called The Chair.

In the East, there is even more than usual to see, including, for fans of graphic design, Made in YCN on Rivington Street in Shoreditch. Emerge open their first graduate showcase at Rich Mix, and Magma in Clerkenwell open their exhibition called Russian Doll. If you're in the area you can go on a stroll with Studio PH on a guided walk of the area entitled MetaboliCity.

Monday morning, frog design president Doreen Lorenzo will be one of the panelists in the Financial Times’ "Business of Design" Talks at the V&A’s Sackler Center. The "Responses to the Recession" panel will explore how design-led companies are coping with the current economic crisis. Are tight-spending consumers now in charge or can big brands still drive buying behavior? Will the market polarize into a world of ultra-luxury products for the “haves” and super-inexpensive ones for the “have-nots”? What strategies --back to basics, diffusion lines, and so on--work best in a downturn? Doreen will be joined by Miguel Fluxà Ortí, the Vice President of Camper; Rolf Sachs, Designer; and Geoffroy de La Bourdonnaye, Chief Executive Officer of Liberty.