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A year in coffee cups, an electric ‘concept car’ and an endless flight of stairs: London Design Festival kicks off this weekend

Posted at 11:15 am, September 14, 2013 in Arts & Entertainment, Outdoor London, Technology

There’s loads going on around town for the London Design Festival from September 14-22. So much, in fact, that we’ve searched through the endless reams of events, exhibitions and installations so you don’t have to. Watch out for our pick of the bunch next week, but in the meantime here’s a guide to three of the festival’s main attractions to see this weekend:

Endless Stair, in front of Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG. September 13 – October 10, 9am-dusk. Free.

London Design Festival 2013, 14 – 22 September, www.londondesignfestival.com

Take a step into infinity and beyond at this MC Escher-esque installation in front of the Tate Modern, the landmark project of this year’s festival. Visitors can climb to the top of the architecturally ambitious mind-bending structure formed of over 11 tonnes of American tulipwood panels, which will be reused after the installation is removed. The Endless Stair’s highest point, accessible from various angles, provides a viewing platform over the Thames. Unfortunately there’s no chance of a night climb, but the stairs will be lit up with a special artistic lighting design.

London Design Festival - Endless Stair Model

Renault/Lovegrove Twin Z  Electric Concept Car, Design Museum. September 14-22. Free.

Renault Concept Car: Design Museum

Good car design is vital for the future, especially when it comes to lowering emissions and improving road safety. This state of the art electric ‘concept car’ is the result of an intense year-long collaboration between Renault Design in Paris and Lovegrove Studio in London. The vehicle is a coming together of innovative design and cutting edge technology – the interior has been stripped bare to leave a stylishly shaped, compact interior, and the car can be controlled via a smartphone or tablet (although hopefully not while driving). The design recently won two prestigious awards in Stuttgart and can be found outside the Design Museum throughout the festival.

365 – A Year in Cups, Anthropologie, Regent Street. 14-18 September. Free

London Design Festival: Gweneth Leech

Opening on Sunday in the windows of Anthropologie in Regent Street is the slightly more low-key, yet no less eye-catching installation by New York artist Gwyneth Leech. She has hand-decorated one paper coffee cup for each day of the year, drawing on street scenes or expressive abstract designs for inspiration. Once finished, the cups are signed on the bottom with the date, location and beverage the cup held and then preserved using an encaustic method that has been used for centuries. Leech will be present at the exhibition for five days, creating new works and on hand to talk about the creative process involved. Katie Forster

These three events are just fraction of all that is happening at London Design Festival 2013.

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