Student Life: London Design Festival 2020 Review

Masters Programmes Condé Nast College

MA student Megan McClelland gives us  a look into London Design Festival 2020. 


Fortunately, London Design Festival 2020 was able to take place this year, and the artists, designers, and gallerists did not disappoint. There was an excitingly wide range of exhibitions featured throughout the festival. Condé Nast College students Megan McClelland and Nora Shehreen decided to scope out the Shoreditch Design Triangle on the 19th, which was the last weekend of London Design Festival. Continue along to read Megan McClelland’s round-up of the places they visited and to see the images Nora Shehreen and Megan McClelland took while there. 


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London Design Festival 2020


Abstract Assembly // An Unexpected Turn of Events By Donna Wilson

“An Unexpected Turn of Events” was an installation put together by the Scottish designer Donna Wilson, located on the buzzing Redchurch St. in London’s Shoreditch. “An Unexpected Turn of Events” is part of Wilson’s more extensive and ongoing project called “Abstract Assembly.” The designer is a featured artist in Elle Decor, known for her block printed rugs and colorful yet muted furniture pieces, both of which she displayed during the show. Wilson’s abstract mirrors, statues, chairs, and benches took center stage on a mountainous installation covered by a white sheet and peppered with dried flowers. She is influenced by Scandinavian design and is “unafraid to use color, even though most modernist designers stick to black and white.” Overall, the installation was more inspirational than commercial, which Wilson intended with her show.  


Discover more about Donna Wilson and her designs here.  


House of Mars Gallery // ‘From Mars with love.’


“From Mars With Love” was the inaugural show for the House of Mars Gallery, located in the Sunbury Workshops in Shoreditch. The gallery was founded by Vanja Bazdulj, who has a rich history in studio and curatorial work here in London. For this L.D.F. pop-up exhibition, Bazdulj hosted 14 different artists, all of which worked with out of the ordinary materials to produce jewelry, furniture, and objects. These intriguing pieces of artwork parallel Bazdulj’s mission for House of Mars Gallery, which is to “select objects that add a joyful component to everyday experience, sometimes provoke, surprise, and mostly comfort our uncertain existence.” The artists featured at House of Mars Gallery are from different corners of the world and bring their unique perspectives and influences to their craft, from the brutalist architecture of their hometown to the art of repurposing materials. 


Discover more about the House of Mars Gallery and the gallery’s artists at the London Design Festival here.

London Design Festival 2020

Bright zine // Exclusive Preview: The BRIGHT Store new ethical lifestyle concept store


The BRIGHT store is an extension of Bright zine, which is a magazine centered around vegan and ethical lifestyles. Founded by Laura Callan in 2016, the magazine has grown in circulation and partnered with LUSH and Adidas brands. The BRIGHT concept store is also an extension of its pre-existing coffee shop and lifestyle store, which opened in 2019. The addition that debuted during London Design Festival 2020 is a larger downstairs area that was once used for hosting panels on veganism to support vegan brands. BRIGHT supports vegan, small, and local London businesses by stocking their concept store with local and low-impact products. Additionally, the BRIGHT store features the Bright zine’s “Vegan Queen” merch that is based on a recurring comic strip in the mag. Overall, the store is an exciting addition to the BRIGHT brand and makes shopping eco-ethically easy. Thanks, Bright zine!


Discover more about the BRIGHT concept store here.

London Design Festival 2020

Peer / Bellowed Call by Kathy Maccarthy


“Bellowed Call” by Kathy Maccarthy was an exhibition held at Peer studio in Shoreditch for the London Design Festival 2020. Maccarthy’s work was an exciting contribution to the London Design Festival that took five years to complete. Maccarthy is a U.K. artist who started working on her craft in the 80s, while studying at the Royal College of Art and began working specifically with ceramics in 2008. “Bellowed Call” features a range of mediums, which reflects Maccarthy’s artistic mobility. Among her work at Peer gallery were paintings, sculptures, and ceramics rendered in playful and abstract shapes. Overall, the exhibition was a unique look at the potential of objects to tell a story “about everything” at once.    


Discover more about Kathy Maccarthy’s “Bellowed Call” exhibition here


Modern Art Hire // One in One Out


“One in One Out” was the aptly named exhibition held at Modern Art Hire in London. The gallery was founded by the creative director and interior stylist Laura Fulmine in 2019 and showed for the second year in a row during London Design Festival 2020. The primary function of Modern Art Hire is to rent and distribute artwork and dress living and editorial spaces for commercial work. This function helps to explain why the interior design of the room is as rich as it is. Almost all of the objects within Modern Art Hire are made with organic materials and rendered into abstract shapes. They interact with one another in the one-room studio to give the space its neutral hues and minimalistic feel. The artists featured in “One in One out” come from various backgrounds and bring their unique perspectives to their artwork, whether that be molecular biology or architecture. Overall, “One in One out” was an inspiring show that offered an inside look into what’s currently featured at Modern Art Hire today. 


Discover more about Modern Art Hire or book an appointment to visit here


The Shoreditch Design Triangle at London Design Festival 2020 featured impressive and varied exhibititons that ranged from concept stores to art installations. It allowed us to see what some of the artists in London have been working on during lockdown and served as a reminder of how the city is a hub for creativity and innovation. We’re already excited for the next year to come. To learn more about London Design Festival, click here.     


By Megan McClelland

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