5 must-see things for September 2015

This month you need to check out the London Design Festival, the Brighton Digital Festival, type-making robots and some very surreal objects.

Typographic robots

The video above by Arthur Touchais documents a project that paired up Thymio – a robot used to educated primary school children about programming – with students at top Swiss design school ECAL. Tasked to create a word each, the creatives programmed the robot to assist them either by making or revealing their selected utterance.

The wide-ranging results show just how individually each of these student think; ideas include elegantly synced configurations but also spillages and even robotic arson. Excellent inspiration for anyone wanting to liven up animated or 3D type projects. 

Anna Lomax: Luxury Goods

From the erotic potential of household cleaning products to bizarre machines made from equipment at the Clarks shoes factory, set designer Anna Lomax’s riotous images hinge on making the commonplace extraordinary.

Her show at KK Outlet (which opens 3 September) looks at the idea of luxury, what makes a ‘fake’ and the downright surreal objects to be found at the pound shop, a garish treasure trove that Lomax is fascinated by. A wealth of neon-flavoured inspiration for anyone working with 3D objects, texture or colour.

Brighton Digital Festival 2015

Stretching from 1-27 September, Brighton Digital Festival 2015 is a medley of 170 events including exhibitions, events and workshops all over this tech-savvy town. This year’s offering includes coding-inspired ballet, numerous conferences and exhibitions, and an installation by Larry Achiampong and David Blandy (bottom) that uses Grand Theft Auto V's in-game video editor to explore the lost plays of philosopher Frantz Fanon – far out.

Be sure not to miss Lighthouse’s Long Progress Bar, a two-day version of its monthly creative culture meet-up. LPB is as pioneering in its programming as it is fun – nowhere else would you Channel Four’s economics star Paul Mason share a bill with kickass tech-inspired electronic musician Holly Herndon (top).

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London Design Festival 2015

Even if you take just one day out of your busy schedule to check out some of the goings on during the UK’s biggest design event (19-27 September), you’re sure to pick up trends in terms of shapes, colours and zeitgeist concepts. If you’re pushed for time, a good hub is the V&A, which hosts the more artistic commissions of the festival.

Somerset House enters the fray for the first time this year, with ten designers (including Nendo, Jasper Morrison, Barber Osgerby) taking over a room each of the gallery’s West Wing. For spectacle, check out Alex Chinneck’s engineering feat in Greenwich Peninsula, which involves seemingly balancing an upside-down pylon on point. Products-wise Designjunction is a key destination for more well-established brands, whereas Designersblock is a top place to seek out emerging talent.

For more info, read our in-depth look at the London Design Festival 2015.

Design Museum's Designers in Residence 2015

The Design Museum could not have picked a more topical and important theme for this year’s incarnation of its annual residence scheme: migration. With the backdrop of conflict in Syria and Afghanistan and the migrant population in Calais reaching an all-time high, four emerging designers – Hefin Jones, Stephanie Hornig (shown), Chris Green and Alexa Pollmann – have been tasked with responding to the theme with four conceptual projects.

The finished ideas explore the potential for drones as a living layer of urban infrastructure, socially networked forms of radical democracy, nomadic furniture and using abandoned coal mines in Wales as astronaut training centres. Opens 9 September.