These 187 stairs – 436 metres of interlocking paths beside The Thames – are made of 11.4 tonnes of American tulipwood, an abundant material which designer Alex de Rijke predicts will be the dominant building material of the 21st century, calling it ‘the new concrete’.
Once you’ve had a skip over its sustainable slats and enjoyed the views, here’s ten other cool LDF events or exhibitions to see around London.
God is in the Details
…so said the German-American architect and final director of the Bauhaus, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. His wise words provide the brief for this interesting project at the V&A, on which Swarovski and the festival have collaborated.
They’ve asked a group of influential designers to each choose an object from the V&A’s collection, which will be displayed around the museum, each alongside a ‘viewing point’ with a specialist magnifying lense to help you explore the object’s hidden intricacies. Head to the V&A’s front desk and ask for a map of where to find them.
14–22 September, V&A, Cromwell Road, SW7 2RL
Bowie alert! Ok, it’s not the man himself – but it might just be the next best thing. Designer, filmmaker and typographer Jonathan Barnbrook talks about his long-term collaboration with the Starman, including his cover design for Bowie’s latest album, The Next Day.
15 September, 14.00–15.00, Hochhauser Auditorium, Sackler Centre, V&A
Southbank Centre in partnership with Designersblock
Drop in anytime during the festival, and an array of free, design-related delights await, promise the SBC. Among them, apparently, is the world’s biggest lava lamp - and that’s some free therapy right there. It’s courtesy of Designersblock, well known for showcasing emerging and established designers, whose flagship exhibition will go on show alongside a food market, pop-up events, talks, screenings and more.
14–22 September, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX
Don’t be surprised if you’re offered a puff of perfume at the threshold of Shoreditch’s DesignMarketo. We’re not talking a squirt of any old scent, but one belonging to the humble spice: pepper. The platform for up-and-coming designers will showcase specially commissioned objects with an installation, a series of dinners, workshops and the London-only Poivre23 scent by perfumer LeLabo – all inspired by the spice. Not forgetting pepper cocktails by Maurizio Stochetto (of the Milanese Bar Basso), if you’re after a full olfactory experience.
17-21 September, Londonewcastle, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP
Digital Design Weekend
Collaboration is key to V&A’s weekend of events celebrating digital art, science and design. Dabble in sustainable bee keeping, get hands-on experience of microbiology in a bacteria quilt workshop, or experience a real-time virtual world artwork in a digital planetarium. With most events free and drop-in, you can flit between of interactive installations, hacking projects, family-friendly activities, performances and screenings.
21–22 September 2013, 10.30–17.00, Sackler Centre, V&A
Endless Stair will be open until 10 October, located on the lawn in front of Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. Open Monday – Sunday from 09.00dusk