As the superyacht show season officially begins, one of the largest British design events of the year is also on the horizon, as part of the annual London Design Festival.
From the 17th to 22nd of September the design community will gather at Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour for Focus/17, a design event packed full of unmissable discussions, showrooms and interactive sessions, where more than 600 brands will come together.
The line-up includes 120 exhibitors and more than 100 immersive and interactive experiences, alongside numerous pop-ups and bespoke installations for the event. Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour has also organised a myriad of panels, workshops and keynotes across all six days of the event covering an array of design subjects. So, what can we expect to find at one of this year’s largest design events?
Starting from 10am on Sunday 17th September, Focus/17 will begin with seven access-all-areas sessions, where lighting and furniture designer, Porta Romana will be unveiling its new collection Stillness. Also, throughout the week, Starck Carpet will be inviting attendees to ‘beat them at their own game’ by designing their own rug, one of which will be made and given to the winner, . The afternoon will also be filled with a further seven sessions, including a keynote with Níall McLaughlin, renowned landscape architect Kim Wilkie and Audry Carden of Carden Cunietti who will discuss the changing face of architecture and creating an English country house, perhaps the perfect inspiration for a classic approach to superyacht design.
Day two, and the morning will be packed with nine sessions including the continuation of the Starck Carpet competition and a discussion with Daniel Hopwood of Studio Hopwood - with Front Rugs talking about the photorealistic flooring trend. Furthermore, the creative force that is Marie-Lise Féry, the owner of Magic Circus lighting, will be discussing her passion for travel and encounters, and translating that into design. The afternoon includes, Lizzo, Houlés, Whistler Leather, Lorenzo Castillo, Jim Thompson and Bella Figura all unveiling their new collections at the event.
While there will be countless themes and topics of design covered throughout the event, there is an underlying subject of ‘design around the globe’, with numerous international speakers bringing together all elements of global design. A passion for travel and exploration is another theme which is appearing thoughout the programme, and learning how to translate this into interior design.
On day three, on the main stage in a new space 'TALK' on the third floor, Design Centre East, there will be a discussion on the importance of bespoke craft in interior projects, with Bill Amberg, Michael Ruh and Linda Morey-Burrows - certainly one not to miss. The afternoon will also include a discussion about integrating colour into design, with one of the UK’s leading creative forces, William Yeoward, who will also be doing a book signing at 4pm.
On the same day, Samuel & Sons, The Silk Gallery and Chaplins are all discussing their new collections, while Artisans of Devizes, Turnstyle and Lizzo will be hosting interactive sessions.
In one of the more yachting-focused sessions, Wednesday will include a discussion on holistic approaches to design in our 24/7 world, with Louise Wicksteed of 1508, Jo Littlefair of Goddard Littlefair and Kate Mclaren of Winch Design. Another unmissable keynote is a conversation with Patricia Urquiola about her influences in design, such as the Il Sereno hotel on Lake Como.
The big keynote sessions don’t stop there. On Thursday Katherine Pooley will take to the stage to discuss her design inspirations from global travel, such as driving a team of dogs to the North Pole and crossing the Sahara on horseback. Pooley will also be signing her new book after the session. Meanwhile, Christopher Peacock are engaging in a Q&A session and a conversation in design with Nipa Doshi.
On the final day of the event, Brazilian architect and interior designer Fernanda Marques, Whitney Bromberg Hawkings, founder and CEO of Flowerbx, and British interior designer, Samantha Todhunter discuss cultural and international influences on style.
Throughout the show, specially commissioned restaurants and pop-up bars are integrated, and a complimentary shuttle bus will be available for access to Decorex and Syon Park.