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London Design Festival 2013: Gift Guide

Take home the best of The Big Smoke's annual display of goods

by CH Editors in Design on 04 October 2013

Each year the London Design Festival showcases an impressive range of design concepts coming out of Britain and beyond. Teeming with one-offs and prototypes aimed mostly at prosumers and journalists, the week-long, city-wide exhibition also includes a surprising amount of furniture, homewares, prints, accessories and more that are launched for the events but available for purchase. Below are a few highlights from the 18 gifts we recently added to our perennial Cool Hunting Gift Guide, all found at LDF. We also came across several covetable wares that aren't quite ready for production just yet, so keep an eye out for more LDF-inspired gifts to come both on Cool Hunting and in stores—like Cecilie Moi Sindum's Carrara glassware shown at 100% Norway and perhaps most excitingly, Industrial Facility's new Formware desktop accessories collection, which will land at Herman Miller early 2014. From specialty coffee maps at Shoreditch's new Ace Hotel to Etsy jewelry blessed by Tom Dixon, see all of the selections in the London Design Festival gift guide.

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Tube150 Limited Edition Oyster Card Holders

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the London Underground, TfL commissioned 10 UK designers to apply their talents to an Oyster Card holder. Created in collaboration with Designjunction and Outline Editions, the limited-edition range includes works by Kate Moross, James Joyce, Noma Bar, Andrew Rae and more. Spotted at Designjunction; $12

Wrong For Hay Throw

Wrong For Hay is an aptly named, collaborative collection of furniture and homewares conceived by Danish design label HAY and London-based designer Sebastian Wrong. To further enhance the already-brilliant range, they tapped eccentric fashion designer Bernhard Willhelm to add his distinct flavor, and the upshot is a colorful quilt blanket that looks as good hanging on a wall as it does draped over your bed. Spotted at the V&A Museum; $365

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Race Rocker

Design enthusiasts enjoying the recent resurgence of steel rod furniture should look to the work of pioneer Ernest Race. The self-taught British designer turned to metal after WWII forced the country to ration more traditional materials like wood, and through his optimistic, fluid forms, he created what would become iconic designs. Originally designed in 1948, the Race Rocker is available in a range of colors. Spotted at TwentyTwentyOne; $1,200

Fern Cycling Shoes

Tracey Neuls' Fern boot—designed exclusively for London's Tokyobike—features a rubber sole perfect for peddling in, and a precautionary reflective strip down the back keeps cyclists stylishly safe while in transit, on or off the bike. Spotted at Tracey Neuls; $405

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Warp and Reason Cups and Saucers

British bone china specialist Richard Brendon teamed up with the stripes-obsessed duo behind Patternity to create a hypnotic collection of teacups, coffee mugs and saucers for a perfect marriage of antiquity and modernity. Crafted by artisans in England's illustrious pottery town of Stoke-on-Trent, the wares feature a brilliant cobalt blue pattern with gold and platinum gilding. Spotted at Designjunction; $80-140

Quooker Fusion

Quooker's Fusion tap combines the benefits of a Dutch water boiler tap with a normal sink faucet for an all-in-one water dispenser. Turn the knob for regular hot and cold water, or give the handle a double push and a twist for immediate boiling water; a highly energy-efficient, time-saving feature sure to please any domestic chef or coffee enthusiast. Spotted at Tent London; $2,300

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Jug

Japanese ceramicist and RCA grad Ikuko Iwamoto takes a Buddhist approach to her medium, and her flexible thinking leads to pieces that are both sculptural and functional. These meticulously hand-dotted, slip-cast porcelain jugs—designed for "bizarre tea ceremony"—feature a bewildering but beautiful tactility. Spotted at Tent London; $162

Saddle Magazine Rack

A paragon of beauty in both craftsmanship and symmetry, Noble & Wood's handcrafted Saddle Magazine Rack features sturdy Italian leather pouches affixed to a base of either white Carrara marble or American black Walnut. The materials-focused studio is helmed by industrial designer Paul Blease, who is currently setting up an online shop; until then contact Noble & Wood to purchase. Spotted at Designjunction; $2,000

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