From 8 to 13 March, Chelsea Harbour’s Design Centre will be taken over by London Design Week, an interior design event with more than 100 experiences providing unique access to the new season’s collections. This year’s show, which is themed around “masters of design”, will invite 77 designers and interior designers to take part in an impressive roster of events and experiences including panel discussions, designer talks, collection debuts and workshops. Here are the standouts from the six-day celebration.
Conversations in design
Throughout the week, a crop of industry luminaries will take to the “Talk Lecture Theatre” stage for a series of panel discussions. On 9 March at 3pm, How To Spend It will host “Inside the Mind of Maverick and Master”, where Patrick Frey of Parisian textile house Pierre Frey will share his insights with writer, presenter and design consultant Michelle Ogundehin. Other highlights include the views of Swedish interior designer Beata Heuman (8 March; 11.30am), a talk with Rocco Forte Hotels’ Olga Polizzi (10 March; 3pm), and a session chaired by FT House & Home editor Helen Barrett that will explore the business success of three acclaimed design studios (10 March; 11.30am).
This year’s Design Week will invite visitors to be among the first to see new launches from 600 international brands. For a chance to be transported to southern Spain, head to the Centre Dome on 9 March at 2pm for an exclusive presentation of Cole & Son’s new collection, Seville. Equally immersive will be the story behind Andrew Martin’s super-wide mural wallpapers (9 March; 11.30am). And, for a taste of the floating city, catch a glimpse of Rubelli’s Venice-inspired 2020 collection at the Design Centre East (9 March; 11.30am).
How To Spend It Restaurant
The How To Spend It Restaurant will be back for 2020 with a seasonal offering of modern British dishes. Conceived by Last Supper, a London-based events agency that counts the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Sotheby’s as clients, the restaurant will encapsulate the “masters of design” theme by way of a “paradise garden” replete with a flower-filled birdcage, embroidered fabrics and a grazing bar.
Meet the designers
Several events will provide unparalleled access to leading designers, who will share crucial insight into some of their favourite collections. Art historian and designer Alec Cobb is to reveal the reconstruction of chinoiserie wallpaper at his home in County Dublin on 10 March at 12.30pm. Paolo Moschino, meanwhile, will turn his attention to bedroom design with an informal discussion in his showroom (9 March; 3.30pm). Zak Profera, founder and creative director of New York-based Zak+Fox, will also be in attendance, and will outline the processes that inform his work in a discussion hosted by interior designer Fabrice Bana.
Visitors will have an extra opportunity to access new products and the minds behind them with this year’s raft of House Guests, who will only be in situ for the duration of the show. As part of this offering, 21 brands will host events in the centre’s Design Avenue, the space that connects the Design Centre East with the North and Centre domes. Here, interior decorator Rose Uniacke will showcase her collection of more than 150 textiles; designer Flora Soames will deliver a new fabric and wallpaper collection; and bespoke rug maker Amy Kent is set to launch her Ziggy design in a selection of new colourways.
Sustainability takes centre stage this year, with eco-conscious contributions from a number of key players. Tina Kaysen, Kvadrat’s sustainability expert, will kick things off on 9 March at 10.30am with an exploration of how the industry can find a balance between social responsibility, environmental concerns and rigorous quality standards. Architect and designer Yasmine Mahmoudieh will follow at 2.30pm with a look at how CO2 emissions can be limited with the use of certain materials. Elsewhere, Porta Romana will tackle upcycling in a series of live demonstrations developed to showcase how the furniture brand restores lighting back to top condition (9 and 10 March; 11am).
Masterclasses and workshops
For those who are looking for a hands-on, educational experience, masterclasses and workshops will be held over the course of the week, from a panel discussion outlining how period design and traditional techniques have formed the foundations of contemporary interior design with designer Edward Bulmer, Geoff Collier of Collier Webb and McKinney & Co’s Shona Stopford Sackville (10 March; 10.30am); to a session devoted to the cultural significance of the National Trust (11 March; 4pm).