The Audi Design Foundation is closing next spring after 12 years of supporting design initiatives. Its final, £200 000 project, Sustain Our Nation, which involves university students designing local community enterprises, will complete at the end of March.
The charitable trust’s general manager, Rebecca Myrie, will continue to be employed by parent company Audi UK to head up corporate responsibility management within the car company.
The planned closure is strategic and not recessiondriven, says Audi UK director Jeremy Hicks, also chairman of ADF trustees. ‘We have been talking to the trustees for some time about the ADF’s direction. We wanted a stronger corporate and social responsibility [activity] and to support more local causes. Sustain Our Nation was planned with that in mind,’ he says.
ADF trustee Max Fraser says accrued funds of an estimated £20 000 will go to ‘like-minded’ charities when the foundation disbands. Motivation’s wheelchair project for the 2012 London Paralympic Games is set to be the main beneficiary.
Since 1997, the ADF has granted more than £1m to support innovative design. Its programmes include: Design for Life, to encourage designers to come up with sustainable and inclusive ideas; Designs of Substance, through which college students have developed designs for South African townships and Brazilian favelas; and the Audi Young Designer of the Year Award for school students.