Call for design element in Capital of Culture plan



Design could struggle to find its way into plans to develop a British version of the European Capital of Culture, warns a Liverpool Design Symposium founder.


Earlier this week, it emerged that Liverpool 08 chairman Phil Redmond is developing such a programme, a move that many in design hope will raise the industry’s profile across the UK.


Liverpool-based consultancy Smiling Wolf helped set up the Liverpool Design Symposium, in response to the perceived lack of design programming by Liverpool 08 organisers.


‘The creative industries drive the UK economy and yet design is so often overlooked by cities in their cultural programming,’ says Smiling Wolf creative director Simon Rhodes.


Rhodes advises designers to ‘make as many links with the right people as possible to spread the word about the importance of design and the cultural industries to cultural programming’.


The British Capital of Culture competition is planned to take place every four years from 2011. It would see a city turn the national spotlight on its cultural life for one year, as Liverpool did in 2008.


Culture Secretary Andy Burnham last night announced at the University of Liverpool that the programming would be based around ‘core events’, including the Turner Prize and the Brit Awards.


‘Each winning city would be the one promising not just to do the core events well, but the one with the best vision for how it will use the award to inspire its citizens and transform its prospects,’ said Burnham.


‘Economic difficulty has been the backdrop to the year, but culture and creativity are part of the answer to tough economic times,’ he added.

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