An Interview with Deborah Spencer, LIBRARY member and founder of Design Junction
What is Design Junction?
DJ is a curated show of cutting-edge contemporary design, held annually during the London Design Festival in September.
DJ showcases more than 200 leading international brands, 50 pop-up shops, live flash factory demonstrations, captivating talks and installations within the heart of central London.
What inspired you to set it up and why design?
We saw a gap in the market. Central London was missing a commercial design show with more creative energy. I had a background in design and had worked previously on various design and art exhibitions – New Designers, London Art Fair, superdesign. A number of international brands that I worked closely with at the time were looking for new opportunities to showcase their work in a more curated environment.
I was keen to break the mould of the traditional trade show, change the format by taking over challenging industrial venues. These types of urban spaces created an interesting contrast between the clean contemporary design and the gritty raw backdrop. We often describe DJ as a mini city with different social quarters for eating and drinking, entertainment, exhibitions, business and pleasure.
What is your biggest challenge?
One of the biggest challenge is operating non-conventional disused venues with no infrastructure. However, it keeps the show fresh each year. I spend a lot of time thinking: How do we better the show each year? By adding new features, such as live flash factory demonstrations, enticing eateries, attracting new global brands, relevant content and tapping into current trends in the design sector.
What is your best memory so far?
Taking over the Sorting Office in 2012. It was a defining moment. I went to visit the site with my three partners at the time. I remember distinctly their reaction “this place is a dump”. I on the other hand loved it. At the time, it was a huge leap of faith to go from 25 brands the previous year to more than 100 overnight. It put DJ firmly on the map. On the opening party we had people queuing from the main entrance down to Holborn tube station. The atmosphere was amazing…. it was one of my proudest moments.
What is your vision for Design Junction?
To continue to remain one of the most exciting design shows in central London. To grow the show in quality not necessarily in size. To expand internationally into other design cities but keep focus on our core values quality, authentic, contemporary, cutting-edge design.
What is your calendar of events - anything we should look forward to as LIBRARY members?
DJ in September is our next event and our flagship edition at King’s Cross. We will be occupying four locations across the site with specifically curated design exhibitions, installations, retail experience, events and workshops.
The theme of DJ will be #Immersedindesign, promising to deliver a multisensory experience for visitors to engage and connect with design.
DJ runs from 22 – 25 September 2016 at King’s Cross, Granary Square.
Visit designjunction for more information. Show ticket price is £15 on the door. For Library members, use code LIBRARY to receive 50% off the ticket price.