islington design district map and guide

:: by Lizzie




I’m excited to announce that the Islington Design District, North London’s first ever district, will launch during London Design Festival this year. It seemed about time that Islington secure its place on the map as a fully fledged design destination, so I set about galvanising the best design stores in Islington to come together and create this new collective and here we are. The Festival runs from 13th – 21st September and is one of the world’s most important annual design events. Over 300 events and exhibitions will take place across the city, with the addition of the Islington Design District and I thought I should give you the low-down on what’s happening in Islington during the Festival.


The Islington Design District will form a walkable trail starting in Upper Street with Aria, the twentytwentyone shop, Adventures in Furniture and Coexistence, continuing down to and along Camden Passage where you’ll find Hexagon, Ruberg and SMUG and then passing south of the Angel where you should stop by at Present & Correct, Timorous Beasties and the twentytwentyone showroom. Along your journey you will discover new designers, special product launches, creative activities, exhibitions and one-off design-led events – scroll down for a few of my favourites. An IDD map of the trail (pictured above) can be picked up in any of the 10 design locations (listed at the end of this blog post). Make sure you have your map stamped in every location as presenting a fully stamped map will get you freebies and special offers such as a well-deserved coffee at CAFE SMUG.


CAFE SMUG image below courtesy of Jo Crawford




Join us for an inaugural celebration trail of late night openings and cocktails leading through the showrooms of each of the 9 design partners on Tuesday 16th September  – more details on the fold out maps found in each location. SMUG will be hosting the Islington Design District Launch Party at its 13 Camden Passage shop with launches of new exclusive products from Donna Wilson, Thornback & Peel and Ruby Taylor, cocktails from Kamm & Sons and sweet treats from CAFE SMUG. Ruby Taylor will also be drawing Fruit Portraits downstairs at SMUG so make sure you give yourself time to get imortalised as a piece of fruit on the night.






1. Learn to Screen Print Guinea Pigs & Pineapples with Thornback & Peel upstairs at SMUG

To celebrate our latest collaboration with our friends at Thornback & Peel we are hosting a workshop led by the T&P team where you can screen print our signature Guineas and Pineapples on to hankies to take away. Saturday 13th September. All materials provided. For tickets click here.




And here’s a quick look at the newest piece of the collection launching at SMUG during the Festival – a Guinea Pig and Pineapple Oven Glove.


SMUG OVENG_smugller


2. Get Stamping at Present & Correct

Stationery purveyors Present & Correct introduce their Stamp Station for the Islington Design District. Make your mark over an array of old & new ephemera using a collection of graphic stamps.




3. At Home with the Days at the twentytwentyone showroom

twentytwentyone will host a selling exhibition of a rich and diverse collection of furniture and objects from Robin and Lucienne Day’s home. Items they collected and made during their seventy years together will be on view for the first time. Wonder along to the twentytwentyone showroom on River Street for a browse.


At Home with the Days_cropped


4. The Parisianer at Hexagon

After an exhibition at L’Hôtel de Ville in Paris, Hexagone is delighted to partner with Image Republic for the UK launch of The Parisianer. In honour of famous New Yorker covers, contemporary illustrators and cartoonists express their vision of Paris on the cover of an imaginary magazine.




5. Have your Woollen Fruit Personalised at SMUG by the Donna Wilson Team

Donna Wilson has designed a series of Woollen Fruit especially for SMUG to launch during London Design Festival 2014. Have yours personalised with your own name stitched in by a member of the Donna Wilson team. 2 – 4pm Saturday 20th September upstairs at SMUG. For more info on how to get yours click here.