London Design Festival

Cutting edge design, innovation, and technology were on display as thousands of visitors from around the world converged for the ninth annual London Design Festival. More than 250 events spanning 25 disciplines occurred around town during the festival. Doors to architectural masterpieces from past centuries were opened with a modern perspective, bringing the old world in harmony with contemporary concepts and advances.

st. paul’s cathedral

For the first time, one of London’s most iconic buildings housed a London Design Festival landmark project. Responding to Sir Christopher Wren’s wish that St. Paul’s Cathedral include a scientific instrument, architect John Pawson teamed with Swarovski to create a large crystal meniscus at the base of the spiraling staircase to reveal a fresh perspective to the normally off-limits stairway.

Timber Wave, a three story, three dimensional, red oak spiral graced the entrance to the Victoria and Albert Museum on Cromwell Road. An ingenious creation by Amanda Levete, Timber Wave brought design to the streets of London.

victoria and albert museum

London served as the international debut of Workshop by Dutch designers Kiki van Eijk and Joost van Bleiswijk. Workshop, the duo’s first collaborative project, was the focus of events and installations throughout the city. The collection of textiles and furniture explores the vital role of craft in creating contemporary products.

kiki + joost

The exhibition at the Bernhardt Design showroom in Clerkenwell was inspired by the photography of Nienke Klunder. The textile collection was displayed on life size mannequins clad in working gear and welding helmets. A series of simple poufs were also upholstered in coordinating fabrics. The Workshop chaise lounge in antique copper and brushed stainless steel served as anchors in the space.

st. pancras hotel

More than 76 years have passed since the opulent Midland Grand Hotel has had an overnight guest. Restored as the St. Pancras Renaissance, this Victorian wonder, adjacent to the busy train station, is bustling with life again. Serving as the backdrop for the ‘not to miss’ party, St. Pancras was the ideal venue for a formal introduction to Workshop. Bernhardt Design and Wallpaper Magazine hosted 700 guests in The Grand Hall, where a single sofa served as the focal point in the middle of the cavernous space.

wallpaper and bernhardt design event

Bernhardt Design also assumed an active role in the educational programming of the week. Kiki and Joost were featured guests of the “Breakfast Talks” at the Victoria and Albert Museum. East London’s design hub, Tent London, presented Jerry Helling, President of Bernhardt Design and Patrizia Moroso, Creative Director of Italy’s Moroso. They were joined by three young designers in a panel discussion focusing on the relationship between brands and designers.