Ben Evans is Co-Founder and the Director of London Design Festival. The Festival celebrates and promotes London as the design capital of the world and has inspired similar events in many international cities.

We've caught up with Ben before the Festival kicks off to talk about the origins of LDF, its evolution and what we should expect to see this September.

How did London Design Festival originally come about?

We started the Festival because we felt that while there were different design shows and events the voice of design was not being heard because the events were all separate from each other. London needed a moment when we could celebrate and promote London’s design excellence.


What has changed since 16 years ago?

The biggest change is scale. There were only 35 events in year one. There are now 500 events and it is impossible to see it all although some people try. It is one of the biggest design events in the world and just under 1,000,000 visits were made last year. There is a vast design audience hungry for new ideas and products.

The V&A is the official main hub of the Festival, what novelties are going to be presented?

The V&A museum is our centre and each year we commission a programme of installations, talks and events. It ensures that the week is the busiest time of the year for the V&A with record-breaking audiences. 


This year's programme at the V&A includes MultiPly by Waugh Thistleton, A Fountain for London by Michael Anastassiades, Dazzle by 14-18 NOW X Pentagram, Memory & Light by Arvo Pärt and Arup, and The Onion Farm by Henrik Vibskov, among others.


Who is your all-time design hero?

I have always admired greatly the work of Jasper Morrison. He has influenced a whole generation of designers with his clean, simple design language.  He is British but his reach is global. For a taste of his work visit his tiny shop attached to his studio in Kingsland Road. It is the best design store in London.


...and finally, what are the key highlights we can’t miss out from this year’s Festival?

We like to do projects in London’s major public spaces. It is an opportunity to influence the passerby with new ideas about design. This year we have projects in Trafalgar Square, Regent Street, Broadgate and Fortnum & Mason as well as the V&A. All of them are must-see installations. All different but all about design.


2018 London Design Festival's Landmark Projects include Alphabet by Kellenberger-White (located in Broadgate) MultiPly by Waugh Thistleton (located at the V&A), Please Feed The Lions by Es Devlin (located in Trafalgar Square), Time for Tea by Scholten & Baijings (located in Fortnum & Mason) and Trace by Architecture Social Club (located on Regent Street).

London Design Festival
15-23 September 2018