Dezeen Magazine

LDF 2023 St Pauls

Monday from London Design Festival 2023

The Dezeen team are reporting from the 21st edition of London Design Festival in the British capital (16-24 September). Read on for all the coverage from Monday 18 September.

5:00pm Hands made from soap, in collaboration with cosmetics brand Walde Seifen, are part of the Rio Kobayashi exhibition titled Manus Manum Lavat (meaning one hand washes the other) taking place in the Brompton Design District.

Soap hands for Manus Manum Lavat at LDF 2023

For his first solo exhibition, Rio Kobayashi worked with a variety of artists and designers to create a "convivial living space" in one of the galleries of a Grade II-listed Victorian townhouse in Cromwell Place.

The show also included colourful geometric speakers made in collaboration with Austrian speaker manufacturer Wiener Lautsprecher Manufaktur – Amy Peacock

Positive Chair was a broken Thonet chair upcycled with yarn and parts from a broom

Discover more details about Manus Manum Lavat in the Dezeen Events Guide ›


4:00pm Time is Running Out is both the name and the message of this exhibition at One Hundred Shoreditch, showcasing 24 different plastic-free clocks made in collaboration with emerging designers.

In our planetary climate crisis, we need creatives more than ever

The timepieces were designed as a reminder of the urgent need to limit global warming to the crucial 1.5-degrees threshold set out in the Paris Agreement, while showcasing the fossil-free materials that could help us achieve this.

Made from wood fibre and a range of different biomaterials from seaweed to hemp paper, each clock was given a different face by a roster of up-and-coming designers.

clock exhibition 100 Shoreditch LDF 2023
Image by Jennifer Hahn

"The next six years is all we have to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius," said organisers PlasticFree and OMSE.

"Time is running out. And now, in our planetary climate crisis, we need creatives more than ever," they added – Jennifer Hahn

Read the full story ›


3:00pm Events Guide editor Sophie Chapman reports from the Mycelium Unearthed exhibition in Hoxton, by UK-based Osmose Studio.

Mycelium Unearthed by Osmose Studio

The exhibition showcases design objects, furniture and accessories made from mushroom mycelium and other organic materials, including stools, lampshades and bowls.

Mycelium Unearthed by Osmose Studio

The studio encouraged visitors to touch the designs on display, highlighting the unique textures created when using mycelium.

Alongside the exhibition, the studio is holding workshops enabling visitors to create their own mycelium objects.

Dezeen's Sophie Chapman made two candle holders, which are currently cultivating. Images by Sophie Chapman

Discover more details about Mycelium Unearthed in the Dezeen Events Guide ›


2:00pm For its exhibition The Farm Shop, Fels Gallery has teamed up with Grymsdyke Farm, a research facility and experimental fabrication workshop located in the countryside near London.

Walnut bench at LDF 2023
Walnut bench by Marco Campardo

They invited 18 designers to participate in a residency there over the summer and use the tools and materials of the site to create furniture or homeware.

Linen aprons by Nathalie Bagnoud at LDF 2023
Linen aprons by Nathalie Bagnoud hang on the wall. Images by Amy Frearson

The objects include a bench made by Marco Campardo from a walnut tree that had fallen on the grounds and linen aprons by Nathalie Bagnoud that are dyed with plants from the farm and coated with beeswax from local hives – Rima Sabina Aouf

Discover more details about The Farm Shop in the Dezeen Events Guide ›


1:00pm British designer Tom Dixon took Dezeen's deputy editor Cajsa Carlson on a guided tour this morning around his Hypermobile exhibition at London Design Festival.

Collectives are more interesting than trying to defend your brand

The brand has invited a number of other design brands into its Coal Drops Yard space in north London for a collaborative exhibition.

Tom Dixon with his creations at the Hypermobile exhibition at Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross
Tom Dixon with his creations at the Hypermobile exhibition at Coal Drops Yard in King's Cross

"My view is that the pandemic has taught us that collectives are more interesting than trying to defend your brand," Dixon told Dezeen. He said the brand also aimed for the exhibition to bring visitors to the King's Cross area.

"Previously Argent, the property developer here, would have sponsored a hub and they decided not to this year," Dixon said.

Tom Dixon lighting on show at Hypermobile LDF 2023
Tom Dixon lighting on show with other invited brands at Hypermobile for LDF 2023

"So LDF and us decided that it would be a shame to lose that status of LDF hubs and we just talked to our friends and asked them if they wouldn't make a bit more of an effort, which allowed us really to maintain that status of Kings Cross being important during LDF."

Cozmo coffee table at hypermobile 2023
Coffee tables by Cozmo

Among the brands on show across eleven arches and spaces in The Coal Drops Office are Zaha Hadid, Teenage Engineering and Cozmo as well as AI designer Tilly, who has created five products for the Hypermobile exhibition.

Cabinets by Porro at LDF 2023
Cabinets by Porro. Images by Cajsa Carlson

Dixon also unveiled a new permanent broadcast studio as part of the tour, which his brand will use to make recorded content in the future using new microphones designed by Teenage Engineering – Cajsa Carlson

Discover more details about Hypermobile in the Dezeen Events Guide ›


12:00pm Following the preview from the press tour on Friday, Dezeen design editor Jennifer Hahn has written a full report on the work of Andu Masebo – on display at the V&A.

Read the full story ›

Parts of an Alfa Romeo from Part Exchange project by Andu Masebo for V&A x LDF
Andu Masebo crafts furniture from remains of a single car at LDF


11:30am Dezeen junior reporter Amy Peacock visited an exhibition by graduates of the Royal College of Art's Design Products program.

Divided between two dedicated spaces at Cromwell Place, part of Brompton Design District, the exhibition features a gallery of objects and a workshop of transparent processes.

Students invited visitors to make their own music for the event with interactive instruments. Weronika Politowicz, who is also a violinist, created "playable sculptures" made from black-stained pine wood and brass strings.

Weronika Politowicz LDF 2023
Weronika Politowicz's playable sculptures

Sungjun Yu displayed a series of music boxes, including a voice recorder and a tapping cymbal, that visitors can play with to "experiment with their auditory senses".

Sungjun Yu LDF 2023
Sungjun Yu's experiments with his own project. Images by Amy Peacock

Discover more details about Back of House exhibition at Cromwell Place in the Dezeen Events Guide ›


11:00am British studio Zaha Hadid Design has unveiled its Nth Display System, a prototype modular furniture system that was informed by the natural shapes made by erosion, at London Design Festival.

The studio designed two prototypes of the modular structure, which has an undulating shape that draws on geological phenomenon such as erosion and stratification – Cajsa Carlson

Read the full story ›


10:00am To mark the third centenary of Christopher Wren’s death, LDF has taken over the architects most important building – London's iconic St Paul's Cathedral – with a light installation by Spanish artist Pablo Valbuena.

Unveiled with a special organ performance on Friday night, Aura consists of a 20-metre-long strip of light, that is suspended from the centre of the dome and pulses to reflect the sounds that reverberate throughout the space in real time.

St Paul's installation LDF 2023
Image by Jennifer Hahn.

"Everything looks very simple," Valbuena told assembled journalists. "I promise you, it's not that simple."

This is only the second time that LDF has taken up residency in St Paul’s over the festival's 21-year history, according to founder Ben Evans.

Previously, designer John Pawson installed the largest lens ever made by crystal brand Swarovski in the building's southwest tower for LDF 2011.

Perspectives by John Pawson at St Paul's Cathedral ›

"We're very very privileged to be back here, in what I think is London's most important and beautiful building," Evans said – Jennifer Hahn


9:00am Dezeen editor Tom Ravenscroft and design editor Jennifer Han reported from the preview day of the 21st edition of London Design Festival on Friday 15 September.

Dezeen Events Guide has created a London Design Festival 2023 guide, highlighting the key events at the festival this year.

Designer installations and displays, brand launches and talks and panel discussions are taking place across the city.

Natsai Audrey Chieza and Christina Agapakis, after years of exploring the merging of biotechnology with design, have launched what they describe as the "first biodesign lifestyle brand".

Fashion campaign photo for the Normal Phenomena of Life brand featuring a veiled figure standing on a bridge
Normal Phenomena of Life brand launches to sell biodesigned products

Titled Normal Phenomena of Life (NPOL), the brand will take the form of an online platform selling objects fabricated with the help of bacteria, algae, fungi, yeast, animal cells and other biological agents.

Follow along today for more from Tom Dixon, Andu Masebo and Zaha Hadid.


To keep you up to date, Dezeen Events Guide has created a London Design Festival 2023 guide, highlighting the key events at the festival.

Read about everything that happened on the opening day (Friday 15 September) and on Tuesday from London Design Festival 2023.

All times are London time.

The lead image is by Jennifer Hahn.