We decided to venture out and visit both the London Design Fair and Design Junction in one day! We agreed it would be a fun exercise to compare both events for anyone interested in going next year – see below our thoughts!
London Design Fair (LDF) is located off the iconic Brick Lane, making it the perfect location for a design event with its products reflecting its surrounding Shoreditch vibes! The venue had an industrial and raw feel with it being held in the Old Truman Brewery, which gave the space great flow throughout whilst creating a relaxed environment.
Design Junction (DJ) is spread out over several locations near the busy King’s Cross station. With its central base it was very accessible to the public. The space had more of a corporate feel due to its larger scale and its architectural surrounding in development.
LDF had a relaxed vibe (once we finally got in after the long queue!) Everyone was very friendly and relaxed towards you approaching their stands, continuing with the Shoreditch vibe.
DJ was more hectic due to its central location and with the show being zoned towards the product types on display. Again, people were friendly and relaxed with you viewing their products, however this event did come across as much busier once inside.
LDF to us seemed to target individual designers within the industry or quirky local people who have a passion for design and are ahead of the game with trends.
DJ seemed to target more of a mixed audience, varying from families, students, designers and other suppliers in the industry. It felt more open to the public but this was likely due to the space it was held, being in Kings Cross a connection hub.
LDF showed a variety of designers around the world. For us there were a lot of up and coming work and designs focussing on individuality. A lot of what we saw of this event was new unique suppliers, which is always refreshing.
DJ had a mix of new suppliers and familiar faces. This is beneficial as we can get a quick update of designs we are familiar with as well as getting a boost of new inspiration.
LDF showed trends in ethnic lighting, retro furniture and what felt like a tropical theme throughout with its focus on natural materials and planters on every corner.
DJ focussed on statement pieces especially in lighting and furniture. The stands felt much more commercial in comparison to London Design Fair. It felt more technology driven with products targeting big projects where technology is a key player.
LDF A product we hadn’t seen before was the textured wallcovering by ‘ALISSA + NIENKE’. Their pieces really drew you in with the 3D presence! They’d experimented with plenty of shapes, colours and prints.
DJ We really liked the smart shelving solution produced by Studio Hausen. The design is so simple yet elegantly done through its small details. It consists of two elements; the solid wood shelving combined with the thin metal structures that staggered the shelving out. We like how this can easily be extended or reduced depending on the composition you chose to compliment your wall.
LDF This show had some interesting debates and seminars. We managed to attend ‘Super Talks – Creative Debate’ that covered new trends, understanding what a trend is and how retailers get the balance right between physical shops to online stores and how this is affecting the design world. These seminars were located around a long communal table by the coffee shop making the environment really relaxed to come and go as you pleased.
DJ The entrance to this event was eye catching with feature bold coloured arches positioned in the main courtyard where the water fountain would usually be. This installation was installed by Turkish Ceramics. The selected artist Adam Nathaniel Furman presented ‘Gateways’, a series of colourful tiled gates (4 meters high) through the rich history of ceramics in Turkey. Each gate represented a different design story including: The Classic Gate, The Timber Gate, The Retro Gate and The Metro Gate.
It would be unfair to compare both as they target different markets. We would highly recommend if you can go to both just go, it is really inspiring seeing new trends and meeting new suppliers.
Our favourite however was London Design Fair as it promoted new designers and united articles which sometimes we see in Pinterest but struggle to find on the high street market.
Find out more about these two events by visiting their websites:
London Desgin Fair www.londondesignfair.co.uk
Design Junction www.thedesignjunction.co.uk