Experience the London Design Festival this Summer

After a summer of uncertainty, London’s future as an internationally engaged city has been called into question. This September’s thirteenth London Design Festival is the chance for the capital to show that it still leads the field as Europe’s hub of international arts and culture.

A great design festival, like a great fashion week, draws the best talent from across the globe whilst channelling the charm and creativity of its hosting city. With over 400 events and installations taking place over nine days and gracing such iconic sites as the The Southbank Centre and Somerset House, LDF16 promises to deliver a perfect blend of history and tradition with innovation and modernity. Nearby, you can find the Park Grand Paddington Court London Hotel and the Paddington Court Accommodation – two celebrated luxury accommodations.

Last year it was an upside down electricity pylon placed on Greenwich Peninsula that had tongues wagging and this year the festival will be showcasing Alison Brooks’ smile-shaped timber tunnel, a collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council. The installation aims to showcase the structural potential of cross-laminated timber (CLT), and will make use of American tulipwood to create an arch-shaped tunnel that rises off the ground. Its location is yet to be confirmed but it’s sure to be an awe-inspiring vision.

“The Smile is important because it will create the first-ever use of industrial-sized panels of hardwood CLT,” said David Venebles of the American Hardwood Export Council. “This is the creation of a brand-new product, and a use of hardwood that could transform the way architects and engineers approach timber construction.”

There will be opportunities to interact too. Visitors can play a round at Trafalgar Square as the home of Nelson’s Column and the National Gallery is transformed into a collection of fully-playable crazy golf courses, lovingly designed by Paul Smith, Camille Walala and Zaha Hadid.

It’s not all about the sights of the centre either. With a setting as diverse at the displays, the festival will be spread across eight different locally curated ‘design districts’. So bring your walking shoes and head out on a design trail through Brixton, Shoreditch or Islington and discover the creative communities that make this city so unique.

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