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Bankside Design District - New for London Design Festival 2015

Bankside will become the first Design District south of the river for London Design Festival.
Nicole Gordon

Bankside will become a brand new 'Design District' and the first south of the river for London Design Festival 2015.

Bankside has seen ongoing transformation since Tate Modern opened in 2000. Today the area has become a creative hub, home to many galleries, design studios, architectural practices and creative agencies.

A number of exciting events and activities are lined up to showcase the creative industry within the area, from workshops to walking tours, exhibitions and outdoor installations.

One of the main arteries in Bankside, Southwark Street, will be transformed into an outdoor gallery with a series of on-street installations which bring pedestrian crossings to life. The ‘Colourful Crossings’ project includes a collaboration between a photographer and digital programmer which uses an old painterly technique and a new material to create an optical illusion. Another commission features designs applied to the roadway and street furniture to draw visitors on a journey, presented by a collective of local architects and artists.

Better Letters will host a pop-up Sign School at Borough Market, in keeping with the market’s heritage of painted signage. The hand-lettering workshops will be led by ambassador for the sign painting industry Mike Meyers who will be flying over from the United States especially for London Design Festival.

The Contemporary Applied Arts gallery will showcase ‘Resonance: Making, Metal and Place’ an exhibition focusing on metal in the urban environment in particular innovative design solutions and how they can add shape to public spaces. This will coincide with a guided walk through Bankside with the exhibition’s curator, looking at metal in the public realm.

Designer lighting label, Buster + Punch will open the doors to their Bankside showroom for London Design Festival, giving an exclusive preview of the new collection. There will also be a meet and greet with the designer/founder and a chance to win Buster + Punch products.

Local calligrapher Paul Antonio Scribe will run a series of calligraphy masterclasses in his studio as well as a fascinating talk on the history of the alphabet.

Jerwood Visual Arts has a longstanding relationship with London Design Festival as a partner and will once again be exhibiting the works of the prestigious Jerwood Drawing Prize artists.

The Good Life Centre is known and loved for teaching practical workshops in forgotten crafts. Their clients are often frustrated desk-bound creatives who love to get hands-on. For London Design Festival they are planning an open house of making, demonstrating classic woodcarving techniques, modern and traditional upholstering and basket making. There will be an opportunity for visitors to practice the skills themselves.

The iconic Oxo Tower Wharf, home to over 20 design studios and exhibition spaces including gallery @ oxo and Bargehouse, has joined forces with several other leading Bankside and South Bank design businesses for the Bankside Design District. Events will include a series of designer talks, an exhibition of contemporary craft and design work by graduates of University for the Creative Arts (UCA), and a striking courtyard installation.

The hub for the Bankside Design District is design hotel citizenM. London Design Festival ambassadors will be on hand, visitors can pick up a festival guide or relax and recharge in between events in the lounge. The hotel will also host an exhibition, a collaboration between British footwear label Clarks and 14 UK‐based artists and designers, celebrating 65 years of the iconic Clarks Desert Boot.

A number of Bankside’s bars and restaurants including Hixter Bankside and The Table will be offering special promotions on drinking and dining on presentation of the London Design Festival guide.

Until now, London Design Festival activities have focused predominantly north of the river but the Bankside Design District aims to put this emerging destination on the map for design-lovers.

Watch this space for announcements of more events and activities.

Better Bankside is coordinating the Bankside Design District on behalf of businesses in the area. If you would like to get involved, contact nl [at] to find out more.

For live updates follow @BanksideDesign on twitter. 

Created May 18 2015