Better Bankside celebrates the 20th anniversary of London Design Festival 

Bankside Design District to host a series of events to promote London as the design city of the world  

Better Bankside has announced a series of events within the Bankside Design District to mark the 20th anniversary of the London Design Festival (17-25th September).  

Running from east to west along the Thames from Borough Market to OXO Tower, Bankside Design District’s programme features specially curated public realm art installations, workshops, late night events, exhibitions and more. Returning for the first time since 2019, there will be plenty to explore throughout the week whilst also aiming to celebrate the contribution of each artist to London’s design culture.  

Bankside’s programme of events includes: 

Material Matters  

Better Bankside is proud to host the debut of Material Matters. Based on the critically acclaimed podcast, Material Matters will take over the five floors of iconic Bargehouse at OXO Tower from 22 to 25 September. It will feature a host of design disciplines, from ceramicists and metal artists to handmade furniture makers, lighting designers, material specialists and Scandinavian furniture brands. Ruup & Form’s artist-in-residence Beatrice Mayfield will exhibit her large-scale installation Reclaim, which will be made up of hanging textile panels, and taking inspiration from the layers of history and decay at Bargehouse. 

OXO Tower Wharf  

Visitors can explore over 25 designer-maker open studios across two floors of the OXO Tower Wharf. This will include Carréducker, who are running a packed schedule of workshops including making a belt, a secateur case, a dog collar and much more. JeDeCo will also be celebrating their 10th anniversary at Oxo Tower Wharf, displaying a selection of jewellery pieces from their ‘Fit for a Queen’ exhibit.  

The Hoxton  

For the first time at London Design Festival, Cindy Lilen Studio will be showcasing handmade sculptural textile lights made of natural materials and two pieces from the recently launched Aime collection, which will be on display at the Hoxton.  

Bankside Hotel 

For her London Design Festival debut, Furniture designer Yasemin Toygar exhibit “Plato Pouf” – a still life inspired sculptural pouf – celebrating the launch of her debut furniture collection. 

Borough Yards 

Located in the east of the district, Borough Yards will have an eclectic array of light installations taking up the retail and outdoor space from a range of different designers, including Cluster London and Patrick Nash who have collaborated to bring the neon figures to the Bankside community. Meanwhile, From the Sky at Borough Yards will present a diverse new collection of lighting, designed to create calming, consciousness enhancing atmospheres, and will combine hand painted wall pieces to minimal desk lamps and sculptural chandeliers.  

The Aero313 luminaire bespoke light fitting, designed by BDG and manufactured by FUTURE Designs which has taken inspiration from the journey from London to Detroit and encapsulated the rich history of the city of Detroit. Le Labo on Wheels will also have a fully operated mobile lab that will make its first stop in London.  

Africa Centre 

The Africa Centre will be hosting an array of events to celebrate African designs across the week. This includes a book launch with author Ken Kwenu Nimo, followed by a Q&A section as well as a screening of ‘Fashioning West Africa’ by Arieta Mujay-Barg on Saturday the 17th. On Thursday 22nd, Ken Kweku Nimo will discuss his new book, Africa in Fashion, in a fireside chat that will explore the history of fashion in Africa as well as upcoming and contemporary African designers. Finally, there will be a 2-hour-long workshop which will examine the skills and techniques used in Batik dying on Saturday the 24th

Nicole Gordon, CEO of Better Bankside, said: “The 20th anniversary of London Design Festival presents the perfect opportunity to reflect on the local area’s contribution to design traditions. We are very excited to be returning with the Bankside Design District after 3 years and hope to bring people together to honour the area’s contribution to culture and creativity. In particular, we are delighted to debut Material Matters event, a new fixture for the London design calendar.” 

Other works to expect across the district include: 

  •  A hand painted ‘Pink Triangle’ art installation on the existing Hope Exchange on Southwark Street as part of Better Bankside’s collaboration with The Fandangoe Kid Studios, creating a new public space that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community in Bankside, London and beyond;  
  • An immersive Shakespeare Art Trail to mark the 25th anniversary of Shakespeare’s Globe, with 25 works of photography, illustration, textile and graphic design, and street installations, so visitors can reflect on the impact of the Great Bard within the contemporary era;  
  • A mural painted by light from Fagerhult paying tribute to the power of design created by the people who bring well-being to our built environment;  
  • Award winning wellbeing warriors, NIGHT CLUB will have an interactive installation combining evidence-based content with bright lights, neon colours and bold provocations, to bring awareness to their Manifesto for Night Shift Workers programme and offer shift workers in Southwark and Lambeth the chance to get involved.  

For more information on Bankside London, including a full programme of events in the Bankside Design District, visit: