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The inspiring design events not to miss in London this autumn

For spectacular interior inspiration

From international names to homegrown talent, autumn invites the art and design world to showcase in London

While the summer months lend themselves to off-grid adventures and escapes to distant climes, the arrival of autumn makes an overhaul at home seem particularly inviting. Fortunate, then, that the season also welcomes an array of globally celebrated design talent to London. Where better to find dream-worthy inspiration for interior upgrades and to browse innovative artworks and installations, than at the capital’s best art and design events? Discover the fairs to visit in London this autumn, below.

London Design Festival, 14 – 22 September

Bamboo installation 1 London Design Festival

Celebrating the design prowess of the capital and bringing together talent from across the world, LDF returns for its 17th edition this autumn. The main site may be at the V&A – with specially commissioned projects and a compelling line-up of talks and workshops from leading designers – but events and installations take place all over London during the festival.

There will be a pertinent focus on sustainability and climate change in many of the works shown this year. Highlights among the 400-plus events are expected to include Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s keynote speech on sustainable design practices and his “Bamboo Ring: Weaving into Lightness” structure; Sam Jacob’s “Sea Things”, a mirrored cube reflection on the impact of plastic on maritime life; and Martino Gamper’s playful “Disco Carbonara” installation at Coal Drops Yard, King’s Cross.

Across London sites, londondesignfestival.com

Open House London, 21-22 September

Gin Distillery Whitechapel2
Gin Distillery, Whitechapel

The annual Open House weekend gives the capital’s curious a chance to go behind the doors of some of its most incredible spaces. For its 27th year, the festival’s theme is “social” – which in meaning ranges between the city’s social housing and civic buildings to spots that frequent social media accounts. Over 800 buildings are taking part across 30 boroughs this year, including places rarely seen by the public, with a programme of talks and tours offered too. Many do not require booking (although expect to queue at the particularly popular), but some of the most exclusive – such as 10 Downing Street and level 72 of the Shard – are entry by ballot only.

Across London, openhouselondon.org.uk

PAD London Art + Design Fair, 30 September – 6 October

BLAIRMAN PAD London
BLAIRMAN – PAD London

In the same week as Frieze, PAD London once again pitches its black tent in the middle of Mayfair’s Berkeley Square, bringing a celebration of 20th Century art, design and decorative arts from around the globe. With the spirit of collecting at the heart of the prominent art fair, an impressive array of modern art, design and photography has been curated to showcase the most covetable pieces on the market right now. For those seeking to buy or simply to browse, this is all the inspiration needed.

Berkeley Square, pad-fairs.com

Frieze London, 3 – 6 October

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The influential art fair comes to London at the beginning of October, showcasing works from over 1,000 international artists and courtesy of more than 160 of the world’s leading galleries. Incorporating the Frieze Artist Award, which curates new site-specific works, the Frieze Music programme and the Frieze Talks series of conversations and keynote speakers, the fair is an annual must-visit for art and culture enthusiasts in the capital.

While Frieze London highlights the best of the contemporary art world, from both emerging and established artists, Frieze Masters – which takes place on the same dates – is a celebration of art from the past. From antiquities to Old Masters, ethnographic art to illuminated manuscripts, over 130 global galleries have contributed to this year’s unique curation in the royal park’s marquees.

Regent’s Park, frieze.com

Images: venues’ own.

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