By Justine Olivier

Among the flurry of busyness that is all too prevalent in the everyday life of London city dwellers, hardly anyone takes the time to stop and appreciate the surrounding beauty. However, there is one event in particular that grabs the attention of even the most nonchalant of people: the London Design Festival is a must-see.

Exhibitions and shows are held in key areas throughout London; last year, for example, Covent Garden was one of the most spectactular design destinations during the festival. Other significant areas from 2008 include Mayfair, Brompton Design District and East London. This year proves to be even more captivating, with highlights ranging from unique exhibitions and artworks within the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), to the Size and Matter project, which is making a strong comeback again this year, as well as numerous other exiting events sure to leave you spellbound.

Classified as an umbrella brand (ie a brand that covers a number of different kinds of products which are more or less related), the London Design Festival is made up of a comprehensive diversity of design disciplines solely supporting “emerging talent that reflects London’s diverse influences”. International in its outlook, the festival – taking place from 19 to 27 September 2009 – continues to increase trade and tourism opportunities throughout the UK, drawing thousands of international visitors yearly.

In 2008 the London Design Festival captivated over 300 000 visitors in over 200 events and activities. 2009 looks to increase this overall number. According to the organisers, projects range from major international exhibitions and trade events to local showcases, installations to talks and seminars, product launches to receptions, private views to parties, all of which culminate in the ultimate success of the of the festival.

The centrepiece of this year’s festival (located in the centre of Trafalgar Square) will be a giant chessboard featuring 2m-high ceramic chess pieces (which the public is invited to stage games on), designed by renowned Spanish designer, Jaime Hayon. Whether one is strolling down Piccadilly Circus, visiting the London Eye or merely carrying on with everyday events, it would be an extraordinary opportunity wasted not to visit the internationally renowned festival.