Design to reap 2012 ‘culture fest’ dividend

The first details have emerged about what opportunities the Cultural Olympiad – a four-year cultural festival that will accompany the 2012 London Olympics – will offer the design industry.

The festival will start at the end of the Beijing Olympic Games next summer and continue over the period of the London Games in 2012. It will take place across London and celebrate every element of cultural life in the UK and its capital through events, exhibitions and educational activities.

Design will form part of the various events and exhibitions, and tender opportunities will arise for designers to get involved in creating the festival. The branding is expected to be based around the Wolff Olins-designed 2012 logo.

At the centre of the Cultural Olympiad is a UK-wide cultural festival and ten major projects, which are being created in partnership with the BBC, the Museums Libraries and Archives Council, the UK Film Council and the Arts Councils of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Bill Morris, director of culture, ceremonies and education for London 2012, has outlined the structure.

We will create a four-year cultural festival, the first time that any host city has created a Cultural Olympiad as inclusive and far-reaching as London 2012,’ he says. ‘The games are an opportunity to celebrate our diversity by developing new creative cultural collaborations that will last beyond the Olympic and Paralympic Games,’ adds Morris.

The ten major projects will include: an International Exhibitions Programme, in which curators will work with communities in the UK to reinterpret existing collections; Artists Taking the Lead, the creating of great art in unusualplaces led by the Arts Council; 2012 Sounds, a series of music projects; Live Sites, a network of permanent and temporary giant screens; and a World Cultural Festival.

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