Iceland volcano disrupts design events

Flight restrictions caused by a cloud of volcanic ash from an eruption in Iceland blanketing northern Europe and the UK are causing delays and disruption to design industry events.

The Design Management Industry’s Transforming Design conference, which was due to have taken place in London on 21-22 April, has been postponed, and D&AD is putting a contingency plan in place to allow its awards judging, which takes place this week, to go ahead.

The Audi Urban Future Award conference, due to be held in London tomorrow, has also been cancelled.

Thomas Lockwood, president of the DMI, says the Transforming Design conference will be rescheduled, most likely for September.

He says, ‘This was a very difficult decision to make. We have conferred with the DMI Advisory Council in Europe, and the feeling is unanimous, there really is no choice but to postpone the event.

‘I am sure this is disappointing to many people, myself included. We have 218 delegates registered from 32 countries, but the last thing we want to do is add to the chaos and encourage travel in these challenging times.’

Meanwhile, an emergency plan is being put in to place to allow D&AD judging, which takes place this week, to continue.

D&AD is setting up a remote voting system, to allow judges unable to travel to London to cast their votes, and also has a bank of reserve judges based in the UK who will be able to replace those unable to attend or to participate remotely.

Tim O’Kennedy, chief executive of D&AD, says, ‘We will retain the integrity of D&AD judging and will not proceed with anything we feel undermines this. We will continue to keep judges and entrants informed of the developments over the coming days.’

Air traffic control service Nats says restrictions on flights across UK airspace will remain in place until at least 1am tomorrow.

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