Thinking design: Most things are better in chocolate

The London Design Festival comes. Its 10th incarnation is big and baggy. Old breweries, defunct factories, little flats and venerable institutions are infused with craft, fashion, software, lighting, furniture, glass – a sprawling feast of design.There are things to be expected (chairs) and things peculiar, “Designs on Chocolate”.

At the glamour end, events tend to move. “The Journey of the Drop”, by Rolf Sachs moves in the Henry Cole Wing grand staircase, an ornate nook of the Victoria & Albert Museum that is normally out of bounds. Drops of ink plop into a big glass tank of illuminated liquid, exploding into colour clouds.

Keiichi Matsuda’s “Prism” is made up of screens displaying data streams, forming patterns of light and colour – a “giant, sculptural lantern”. “The installation is an investigation into the virtual life of the city”, the artist says, “and our own ambiguous relationship with the data that controls our lives”.

“Walk the Light” by Dominic Harris and Cinimod Studio is (mostly) a band of light that follows people: as one passes, the light leaps to the next.

Design need not be seen, and Be Open Sound Portal (by Arup with Sound and Music), keeps a low profile. In the middle of Trafalgar Square, a (visible) “alien black, rubberised structure” delivers acoustic experiences.

New this year is a Global Design Forum. Sir John Sorrell, founder and chairman, believes “we’re in a new age: the age of creativity”. He wants you to come and help him create the agenda for the way design and creativity will help the world be a better place in the future.” No pressure.

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