As an integral part of the London Design Festival, the London Design Fair will return this year with a comprehensive mix of country pavillions, brands, features, experiences, new launches and fresh talent. 

London Design Fair has always had a strong global focus, a reputation that will upheld this year with no fewer than 550 exhibitors from 40 countries. 

The fair’s Guest Country Pavilion for 2019 will be the United Arab Emirates. Representing the UAE, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council will debut its first exclusive product collection. Based in Sharjah, one of the UAE’s seven member states, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council operates a pioneering programme of creative, cultural and commercial initiatives, designed to empower women through craft.

Among these initiatives are artisan exchange programmes, vocational training, youth education and introducing talented craftswomen, in and around the UAE, to international markets.

With a focus on preserving and promoting indigenous craft heritage, visitors can expect to find an inspiring collection of handmade items from more than 40 female artisans, all of whom are employed by Irthi’s Bidwa Social Development Programme.

Recognising the need for a more comprehensive global representation of craft, the Fair’s organisers have decided to introduce the International Craft Pavilion in place of the British Craft Pavilion. Artisans from Peru and Mexico will be amongst those showcasing their designs. Following the residency programme, objects are exhibited for three weeks at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Another new component of the fair will be Crossovers. Presented by Adorno, part digital gallery, part marketplace, Crossovers will showcase a range of aesthetic, dynamic works by independent designers from eleven countries.

Celebrating those designers and communities throughout the world striving to preserve and revitalise local design and craft culture, Crossovers will facilitate a cross-cultural dialogue. 

The Bathroom Gallery is another key new feature for the fair. Created in collaboration with Elle Decoration UK, this bespoke exhibition will feature the likes of Villeroy & Boch, NIC Design and Roca.

Its aim is to offer an insight to those innovative features shaping today’s modern bathrooms. Designed by architect and artist, Ioana Lupascu, the exhibition gives participating brands an opportunity to transform a 20 m2 space. Brands will have six options of freestanding wall configurations in a choice of colours by colour communication experts Calzada Fox, and will need to think carefully about the products they wish to display.

As well as this host of engaging features, London Design Fair will play host to exceptional design talent from established names and emerging brands alike. Look out for multidisciplinary design studio and workshop, KONK!; Flatwig Studio’s Ondula collection and Kolho – a series of tables and chairs created by American artist, Matthew Day Jackson, and Formica, for the Finnish design brand Made by Choice.