Today’s instalment of the Freddie Grubb Focus series concentrates on our 5 alternative top picks for the upcoming London Design Festival 2015. Held to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world and as the gateway to the international creative community, The London Design Festival is a fantastic way to take in the design highlights of the year.

The London Design Festival 2015 will be taking place 19th - 27th September across hundreds of venues around the city. We're excited to announce that we'll be marking the occasion with a special exhibition at the Freddie Grubb store on Amwell Street, where we will be unveiling our debut limited edition bicycle, produced in collaboration with Glasgow based design studio INSTRMNT. Accompanied by authentic sounds from Vifa and minimalist lighting from Montreal-based Lambert & Fils, the exhibition will bring together inspiring brands from around the globe in a celebration of design, innovation and craftsmanship.

But it’s not all about us! 

Check out our 5 alternative top picks for this year’s London Design Festival 2015 below:

Aria - Walala in da house

Whether you are aware of her work or not, it is very likely that you have seen it in some way or another. Having transformed a plain monolithic building into a canvas for her positive tribal style pop art on Great Eastern Street in Shoreditch, Camila Walalala's work can be hard to miss. For this year's London Design Festival, contemporary home and lifestyle brand Aria have teamed up with Walala who has designed an exclusive range of furniture, ceramics and prints which will be on display at their Islington store. Head down to Barnsbury St, N1 during the London Design Festival to check out the vibrant lifestyle products and eye-popping wall murals. 

Alma - Offcuts to masterpiece: ingenuity with leather

As you can imagine, we’re big fans of leather here at Freddie Grubb, what with our leather saddles and grips on our bicycles and hand-stitched leather top-tube protector on the latest limited edition collaboration with INSTRMNT. For this reason, we appreciate people who do a good job of it and leather specialist Alma certainly know what they’re doing. Interestingly, for this years London Design Festival, Alma are inviting up and coming leather enthusiasts and recent Central St Martins graduates to design and create individual pieces from their varied leather off-cuts. The six young designers will be displaying their bespoke pieces, from cabinets and lighting to ottomans at Alma’s Greatorex factory on Greatorex Street, the historical heart of the British leather industry. 

Capco Covent Garden - Heartbeat by Charles Pétillon

Photographer and visual artist Charles Petillon, famous for his playful balloon “Invasions” series has been invited to transform Covent Garden market by juxtaposing the classic architecture with his dream-like contemporary art. Compromising of 100,000 white balloons with continuously pulsating lights, the full installation is a great spectacle.  

Petillon describes the project.. "With Heartbeat I want to represent the Market Building as the beating heart of this area – connecting its past with the present day to allow visitors to re-examine its role at the heart of London's life,"

Whether people will re-examine Covent Gardens role or not is yet to be seen. The reason we think it’s worth a visit certainly comes down to its visual appeal rather than the conceptual brief. Essentially, It’s a simple and playful installation that is accessible to all and will no doubt rouse your inner child. Heartbeat is now on display in Covent Garden until 27th September.

Jasper Morrison with Punkt - Presents the MP 01 Mobile Phone

In an attempt to rebalance people’s relationship with technology, Jasper Morrison has stripped down the mobile phone to its bare minimum for Punkt. The MP 01 mobile phone boasts a fantastic minimalist design and has done away with all encompassing smartphone apps. Made from durable materials including a high specification camera paint finish and a screen made from a specialised thin, light and damage-resistant glass, the MP 01 has been produced to create a rugged and tough device that is built to last. 

To mark the launch, Jasper Morrison will be curating a space at Somerset House that reflects his belief in creating thoughtful, intelligent consumer electronics. Is it a good idea? We think it’s worth a look.

CitizenM Bankside - Clarks Rebooted

Bankside Design District is new to the London Design Festival and will be the first in history to be located south of the river. They have chosen the stylish CitizenM hotel as their main hub where Clarks are putting on an exhibition of limited edition desert boots to celebrate their 65th anniversary. Redesigned by 14 leading British artists, the shoes will be on display throughout the festival. The list of participating talents includes Lee Broom, Toogood, Marc Quinn, Bob and Roberta Smith (above), Rene Gonzalez and Richard Caldicott. Each artist was given a shoe box containing a pair of desert boots, material swatches, pattern layout and information on the history of Clarks to get them started. With such a broad range of artists and designers, it’s no surprise to see how varied the finished designs are.


If you need help planning your London Design Festival 2015 then feel free to pop into Freddie Grubb to pick up a free #LDF15 guide book.