LDF 2014 | The V&A

The hub of London Design Festival 2014, this year the V&A has more exhibitions on than you can shake a stick at. Nestled in corners and stairwells across all four floors of the building are cool, quirky and thoughtful installations to celebrate all aspects of Design. On Sunday I went for a little snoop around to see what's going on. Here's my round up of the best bits.


The Wishlist

The Wishlist was formed when Terence Conran, co-founder of Benchmark, asked a group of established designers, "what have you always wanted in your home, but never been able to find?" Their ideas were then passed to some of the most up-and-coming names in design, to be realised.


This nifty hideaway office, commissioned by Terence Conran to Sebastian Cox, is perfect for burrowing away to do some work, blinkered to the distractions of the outside world. In addition to the work surface and chair, there's also ample space to store books, files and stationery. Can I have one?


The perfect pencil sharpener: Norie Matsumoto created these for Norman Foster, who could never find a design which would cover a variety of different sizes of pencil. The result is these cool geometric-and-gold numbers, in a triangle, cylinder and sphere. 


Alison Brooks has always wanted a 'simple and informal stool for the social hub of the house,' i.e. the kitchen. Felix de Pass was commissioned to create these slick responses to her dilemma, which are crafted from American Cherry wood.

Alex de Rijke had always wanted 'a hollow pedestal table, that looks as if it has been carved from a single, laminated tree,' which is exactly what Barnby & Day gave her. The variations in the American Tulipwood create attractive stripes across the surface of the table, which then disappear into the smooth hole in the centre. It's a lot bigger than it looks in the first photo - shoes for scale!

New Contemporary Additions

Each year the Design Fund allows the V&A to acquire five contemporary design projects, to display during London Design Week and beyond. This was my favourite area of the exhibition, purely for the “whoa, cool!” of these two objects.


Broken Mirror, by Guillaume Markwalder and Aurélia von Allmen for ECAL. This is a motion-sensitive mirror, which snaps into place to show your reflection only when you’re standing in front of it. At first glance it just looked like a circle of scrumpled tin foil. But when you approach, the sensor detects your presence and the back of the frame contracts, pulling the material taught so that it becomes a functioning mirror. I could have stayed all day playing with this.


The Sketch Chair, courtesy of Front Projects, was an experiment to reduce the time necessary to move a design concept to a fully finished product. The shape of the chair was scribbled in thin air using motion sensors, and then converted to a 3D file to be printed into a physical seat. Cool, huh?

This is just a short round-up of things that caught my eye - there's absolutely loads more to see when you head down there. Get the lowdown on all the V&A's exhibits here.