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London Design Festival: the best bits

The annual celebration of all things craft and design comes to the capital this September

The London Design Festival spans dozens of locations, includes hundreds of exhibitors and has one clear mission: to prove that our city is the capital of design. With so many other great London events in September, make sure that you mark out Sat Sep 19 – Sun Sep 27 to explore this celebration of craft and design. With some mighty London museums at its helm, plus many other events going on in 'design districts' across the city, there's no need to be overwhelmed – we've picked the highlights below so you can design your ideal visit to London Design Festival 2015. 

Explore London Design Festival

100% Design

The annual, up-to-the-minute interiors, design and architectural fair which spotlights both new and established names is moving to a new home for its twenty-first year. For 2015 the event takes on a theme of 'Design in Colour', so expect to find out what next year's big colour trends are likely to be as you admire displays from more than 400 exhibitors.

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Olympia London, Brook Green Wednesday September 23 2015 - Saturday September 26 2015

A Bullet from a Shooting Star

This massive steel sculpture was commissioned by the London Design Festival in collaboration with Greenwich Peninsula, and refenrences the industrial history of the site it will be poking out of. British sculptor Alex Chinneck's 35-metre tall inverted electricity pylon weighs 15 tons, and will be visible from North Greenwich station, the Thames Clipper, the Emirates Airline cable car, Canary Wharf and planes flying to and from City Airport. By night it will be illuminated, becoming a beacon and projecting a lattice of shadows onto the ground below. A second work by Chinneck, 'Straight jacket star jumps', sees a curled up pylon fill a glass space at the NOW Gallery, and will be on display from September 19 until January 10 2016.

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Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich Saturday September 19 2015 - Sunday January 10 2016

Brixton Design Trail

Admire installations, learn about crafts and shop for beautifully designed products with the help of Brixton Design Trail, a collection of workshops, stalls and activities. Among the events planned are a Street Gallery of ten large-scale canvases by local artists; a Co-Pop Pavilion featuring homewares, fashion, jewellery and skin products; and Homegrown, which will see designers, woodworkers and makers turn Brixton-grown wood into spoons, bowls and other woodware.

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Various Brixton venues, Stockwell Saturday September 19 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Decorex International

This enormous luxury design and interiors show takes place in the suitably elegant setting of Syon Park, this year themed around the future of design. The usual mix of new products and solid craftsmanship from more than 400 exhibitors covers a range of interiors disciplines – among them furniture, carpets, flooring, lighting, textiles and wallcoverings.

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Syon Park, Brentford End Sunday September 20 2015 - Wednesday September 23 2015

Designjunction at Central Saint Martins and Victoria House

The College (formerly Central Saint Martins) will host trade-focused design brands and Victoria House just across the road will be the home of premium retail design brands. More than 180 exhibitors and 50 design-led pop-up shops will have their goods on show, plus a line-up of seminars and culinary treats.

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Various London venues, London Thursday September 24 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Heartbeat by Charles Pétillon

Ever wondered what 100,000 big white balloons would look like? That's what French artist Charles Pétillon has put together to form Heartbeat, his first public art installation, which fills the South Hall of the Grade II-listed Victorian Market Building. Pétillon's balloons are illuminated with a gently pulsing white light, hence the title of the work. There will also be a pop-up gallery on the Piazza (Unit 5, Royal Opera House Arcade), where photographs of Pétillon's previous balloon work Invasions will be shown.

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Covent Garden Market, Covent Garden Until Sunday September 27 2015

Resonance: Making, Metal and Place

Gates, railings, lamposts, signboards, bridges, drain covers; metal surrounds us wherever we go, but it's not often that we encounter metalwork that's been designed especially to guide us through our day in a certain way. This exhibition will demonstrate the difference that great design can make to civic spaces by highlighting eight contemporary makers who specialise in metal. Large scale work and photographs of site-specific projects will be on display alongsode working drawings and background information for each commission.

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Contemporary Applied Arts, Southwark Thursday September 10 2015 - Saturday October 24 2015

RIBA Regent Street Windows Project

The windows of fifteen of Regent Street's top retailers will look even more splendid than usual this September as the Royal Institute of British Architects fill them with striking installations for the world to admire.

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Various venues in Regent St, Oxford Street Monday September 7 2015 - Tuesday September 29 2015

London Design Festival: Somerset House

One of the key venues in this year's London Design Festival, Somerset House is hosting a number of free events. The major exhibition is in the West Wing: for 10 Designers, ten international designers and brands (Nendo, Faye Toogood and Ross Lovegrove among them) will showcase collaborative installation rooms. There is the excitement of a global electronic project launch too: Samsung have built a gadget designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Other highlights include Max Lamb's My Grandfather's Tree – the fruition of a seven-year project – and a pair of displays in the Terrace Rooms, where the winners of both a Twitter competition and the British Land Celebration of Design can be seen.

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Somerset House, Temple Saturday September 19 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Tent London & Super Brands London

These two trade shows are a great opportunity to catch up with the freshest design ideas from across the globe, showing work from both well-established and emerging practices. Around 450 exhibitors from 29 countries will be represented this year, with some countries presenting work in their own dedicated pavilions.

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Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane Thursday September 24 2015 - Sunday September 27 2015

Looking for more fun in September?

London events in September

Say goodbye to summer in style – get out and get stuck into the last of the capital's festivals, pop-ups and outdoor shindigs this month.

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By: Phoebe Trimingham

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