The London Design Festival is the chance for you to see recent work by, and meet the people from, the major non-UK lighting brands. So where are they? NOT HERE!!! Not at any of the main design events, anyway. I’ve never seen this before. I shouldn’t be surprised, having spent so much time over the last few years trying to get them to exhibit in London. But most just don’t see the point, even though they know that over 70% of the world’s luxury projects are specified here.
So what has happened? Is this specific to this year, or will they never bother to come back? I don’t think we can tell, but during 2019, we all saw a quiet start to the year (when brands were deciding where to spend their marketing budget, and spending much of it on Euroluce), Brexit delays and the chill wind of the impending world recession.
So what can you see? (Click on the event name to go to the exhibitor list.)
Not an important venue for lighting for several years. Delightfull are always there, though, and will be there again.
Looking back, we’ve had an amazing roster of lighting companies at designjunction in the past. But, this year, not a single major brand. Don’t let that put you off, though! It is a chance for newer, smaller brands to shine. We will by looking out for the stands of Di Classe, Downing & Reynolds and Umage, for example. Pad Home will have some Graypants, as well as lights from some of their other brands.
Over the last few years, this has become the most interesting event at the Festival. Not many of the items on display are fully commercially available so, before specifying something, you MUST ask to see the CE declaration of conformity because, without this, it will be illegal and may be dangerous. Le Klint will be there.
This is a show for lighting designers, featuring architectural lighting and components. There are some strong exhibitors in these categories. But what is baffling is the inclusion of several UK-based decorative lighting brands. Decorative lighting is specified by interior designers, who won’t even go there. If you do want to, though, it is helpfully on the same site as the London Design Fair this year. But you’ll need a separate ticket! Click here to get one.
IS THAT IT?
No, it isn’t. Some products are in country pavilions. Ifö Electric is at Sweden’s in the London Design Festival, for example. But these are usually a dead loss. Even if you see something you like, there may be no-one there you can talk to about it. Nor do they give any sense of a company and its collections in the way that a dedicated stand does.
Similar events take place during the Festival in other locations. Thus, there will be some Luceplan items at I-Made, a display by Italian brands at the Saatchi Gallery. It is always worth seeing what Mint is showing–this year, it will include Daniel Becker’s Charlotte (shown at the beginning of this email).
Foscarini are here, but you’ll have to find the time to track them down at the Oneroom Gallery in Shoreditch where they have created “a visionary world of the mind beyond physical reality”. Probably not many lights you can specify for your physically real projects, therefore. But, hey, it may be fun–and instagrammable!
Finally, there are the permanent showrooms, at Chelsea harbour and dotted around Town: e.g. Artemide, Catellani & Smith (in the Moroso showroom at 7-15 Rosebery Avenue), Cox London, Established & Sons, Flos, Innermost, Moooi, Tom Dixon. They may have something special going on for the Festival–and there will be a party–but you can see what’s there whenever you like (which is a Good Thing!), So, if you time is limited, you can give them a miss.