designjunction opens with a stellar line-up of design brands, pop-up shops, spectacular installations and immersive exhibitions

designjunction has officially opened its doors to the public for a four-day celebration of contemporary design in the cultural hub of London’s South Bank. Running as part of the annual London Design Festival until 23 September, the leading design show presents over 200 international design brands, pop-up shops, bespoke restaurants, installations, exhibitions and a stellar talks programme, all held across three key venues; Doon Street site,Oxo Tower Wharf and the Riverside Walkway.

Riverside Walkway
On Queen’s Stone jetty (also known as Gabriel’s pier), British designer Steuart Padwick has made a dramatic change to the London skyline in support of mental health and the Mind campaign Time to Change. His 9 metre high sculpture Head Above Water is lit at night, and people can engage with its changing colours to reflect how they are feeling through a designatedTwitter feed – in real time. Whether that be joy, sadness, hope or pride,  visitors can interact with the sculpture with up to 14 different emotions and the Head will change colour to echo their moods; just tweet #HeadAboveWaterLondon and hashtag your current mood.

On Oxo jetty overlooking the Thames, the city of Saint-Etienne will showcase the Gateway to Inclusion, an installation conceived by Lisa White, Head of Lifestyle and Interiors at WGSN, in collaboration with designer François Dumas.  A structure made of steel and ribbon, two of Saint Etienne’s traditional industries, the project aims to promote inclusion in design.

Doon Street Site

First Floor
On the first floor of the Doon Street site, designjunction presents a stellar line-up of UK and international brands – both established and emerging – such as leading British design brandDeadgood which launches the Hug Chair; London-based upholstery specialists Hitch Myliuswith new additions to its Flix and Quiet Surfaces collections; family-run Italian company Bontempi Casa introduces new designs including the Lexington bookcase, the Mood and Galaxy chairs as well as the Secret desk; expert cabinet makers Galvin Brothers from Beverley, East Yorkshire, showcases its latest designs including the Black Ash (Perfectly) Imperfect Stool and the Olive Ash Peninsula Chair.

Very Good & Proper, led by Ed Carpenter and André Klauser, is celebrating 10 years of practical and beautiful products with a limited edition piece of art by Emily Forgot that takes inspiration from the brand’s entire portfolio. Debuts are given to its Studio Storage, VG&P Planters, Metal Dowel Coffee Table and large Metal Dowel Shelving.

Spanish manufacturer Actiu creates office and contract furniture with cutting-edge designs and advanced technology for the evolving workplace environment. At designjunction, the company presents the worldwide launch of Karbon – an iconic chair with seductive shapes, that transfers the lightness and strength of carbon fibre to furniture.

Uruguayan designers are exhibiting for the third consecutive year, shining a spotlight on the concepts and products at the forefront of the country’s blossoming scene. Uruguay XXI (the Montevideo-based agency set up to champion Uruguayan industry, creativity and culture worldwide) aims to capture the ambition and diversity behind this resurgent design landscape, and secure Uruguay’s permanent place on the world design stage.

Other furniture brands include Northern, Broste Copenhagen, Gemla, VitrA, Petite Friture,Ochre, Erik Jorgensen, Johanson, Resident, New Tendency, TON and Uncommon Projectsamongst many others.

On Friday 21 September at 11:30, sound architect Tom Middleton and designer Tim Gledstonewill give a talk on multi-sensory design in The Designers’ Dreamscape, an activity zone designed by Brixton-based architecture practice Squire and Partners. They will share their insights into how and why incorporating transitional multi-sensory layers, such as sound and fragrance into the design of workspaces is good for creativity and communication.

On Friday 21 September between 14:00 and 16:30, a team of nine architects from Squire and Partners and guest mentor Mark Eley – founder of print studio Eley Kishimoto and Head of Programmes for Fashion and Design at Regent’s University – will be hosting free mentoring sessions for Part I/II architects from the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust in The Designers’ Dreamscape. The space has been designed as a highly stimulating environment in which core design tools are unlimited, and people from all generations and backgrounds can meet, work and create together.

STILL, a restaurant concept by design consultancy and procurement specialists BY FORM, offers a setting for quiet contemplation in the bustle of the show, with a menu by Nordic inspired 26 Grains. For more information, visit

Ground Floor
The ground floor of the Doon Street site houses temporary pop-up shops offering a vast array of products from fashion accessories and homeware pieces to textiles and stationery, attracting both retail buyers and design-savvy consumers.

Independent London-based eyewear specialists Kite launches KiteONE – a pioneering headscanning and 3D printing technology, which creates seamlessly micro-manufacture bespoke frames to specific head and face measurements. Developed in collaboration with industrial designer Benjamin Hubert of LAYER, KiteONE allows the user to 3D print frames in London, cutting down the number of miles required to manufacture a pair of frames by a huge margin. It is the first step in Kite’s journey towards developing a more environmentally sustainable practice.

Wolf & Moon, handcrafted jewellery label founded by British designer Hannah Davis, presents Collection No. 8 – a colour block, organic-shaped jewellery range, which draws inspiration from paintings by iconic modernist and abstract artists of the 20th Century such as Jean Arp, Ellsworth Kelly and Barbara Hepworth.

Other pop-up shops include: Iittala, Nolii, Billy Tannery, Chalk Jewellery, Hanaduri, East End Prints, Hornit, Lexon, Notable Designs as well as Pelican Story amongst others.

Key to the show this year is lightjunction, a dedicated lighting area featuring leading design names such as Terence Woodgate, ANDlight, Catellani & Smith and Wästberg.

In this section of the show, award-winning British designer Bethan Gray has teamed up with whisky experts The Glenlivet to create an experiential celebration of craft in the form of a bar serving a specially created menu of food and cocktails.

OXO Tower Wharf & Bargehouse

The Judges’ Prize winner of the Rado Star Prize has been awarded to David Knowles, who impressed the judges with GC18. His project is on show at the entrance to the Bargehouseas part of the Rado Star Prize exhibition, alongside the other shortlisted concepts. From lighting and ceramics to furniture and innovative manufacturing processes, the projects explore the idea of passing time and enriching life with products that enhance the user’s awareness of where they spend their time. Visitors to designjunction can vote for their favourite project from the 10 shortlisted designs on display. It is also possible to vote online at Voting will close  at 5pm on Sunday 23 September and the Pubic Prize winner will be announced on Tuesday 25 September. The winner will receive a Rado timepiece as a prize for his/her achievement.

Across the first two floors of the Bargehouse, designjunction has curated an inspiring programme of exhibitions including ‘The Original. About the power of good design’ by Swiss furniture manufacturer Vitra and ‘SOFT POWER’ by London-based industrial designer Tej Chauhan as well as ‘Elements’, which showcases flooring creative Bolon’s commitment to sustainability and its new bio PVC collection.

Graphic and contemporary lighting brand BEEM debuts a new collection of LED lamps from award-winning product and industrial designer Samuel Wilkinson. SMILE and CURLI lamps feature the latest soft-filament LED technology, allowing them to emit bright, warm light for up to 30 years, using minimal energy.

On the second floor, designjunction presents its two day talks programme (21 and 22 September) where more than 50 world-class speakers take to the stage to explore crucial topics in our industry today. This year’s theme #designevery celebrates design as one of the most powerful components in our everyday lives, with the focus on equality and diversity. To view the full talks programme and book tickets click here.
On the third floor, micro-brewery Wolfpack Lager is operating a vibrant pop-up bar, founded by two professional rugby players on a mission to create good lager for London’s social scene. They have brought a team down from their tap house in Queens Park to keep designjunction visitors suitably hydrated with a selection of craft beer and wine throughout the show.

Wolfpack Lager has collaborated with sustainable lighting brand Tala to light up the bar with 300 of its award-winning Oblo light bulbs that will be programmed to produce a dappled light effect, reminiscent of sunshine filtering through leaves.

Artist and storyteller Vic Lee will be adorning the walls of the building with playful imagery and live illustrations throughout the week.

Other exhibitions in the Bargehouse include Blueprint, Swiss Arts Council, and Design Nation.

Oxo Tower Wharf
Following an incredible inaugural year, with exhibitions in Accra, London, Dubai and New York, designjunction 2018 will be AFRICA BY DESIGN’s fifth international showcase. In the Oxo Gallery, visitors will be given a taste of contemporary furniture design from the continent and its designers. AFRICA BY DESIGN features 30 designers from seven sub-Saharan countries; Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast. Spanning a variety of formats, from furniture and product design to textile and environmental design, the projects offer insight to the beauty and complexity of diverse cultural influences.

Other brands in the Gallery and connecting courtyard include &Bespoke, Case Furniture andUrban Roof Gardens.

Visitors can expect product launches, workshops and open studios at designer-maker enclaveOxo Tower Wharf including Wagumi, Skylark Galleries 2, Archipelago Textiles, Mr Jones Watches and Noodoll amongst many others.

Next door to Oxo Tower Wharf, Mondrian Hotel collaborates with designjunction for the duration of the show. Synonymous with all things design and an outspoken champion of creative communities, Mondrian London is a natural partner for designjunction in its first year on the South Bank. An anchor of the local area, Mondrian London is the ultimate hub for those visiting the internationally-renowned exhibition, where visitors can discover a host of exciting design-led pop-up shops, bespoke installations and more.

In collaboration with Another Studio, a small craft-design studio which is exhibiting its unique origami-inspired creations at the show, the hotel has created a limited-edition cocktail which will be served in its vibrant rooftop lounge Rumpus Room for the duration of designjunction. The bespoke cocktail Juniper Junction, priced at £13.50 and made from Beefeater Gin, Crème de banane and amaro do angostura, will feature hand-crafted miniature boats and submarines.