Ross Lovegrove is to design this year’s London Design Embassy.
The venue, which will become a central hub for September’s London Design Festival, has finally been confirmed for the newly renovated Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank.
As part of the deal, Lovegrove will display his work for companies such as Moroso and Artemide, which are sponsoring the project. This is unlike last year’s Tom Dixon-designed embassy, in which other design consultancies were invited to feature their work.
The LDE was set up last year to reinforce London’s position as a global design hub, and aims to be a ‘beautifully designed, sumptuous business resource and lounge’ for the exclusive use of the world’s design community during LDF.
The London Development Agency and UK Trade & Investment are working together to make a visit to the LDF an effective experience for international buyers and media, with management by UKTI creative industries advisor Christine Losecaat and curatorial support from Russell Sage.
‘As it was a brand new concept last year, a lot of people didn’t understand how it worked,’ says Losecaat. ‘It is good this year because people are much better equipped in terms of one-to-one business.
If they want to meet international buyers they can call me to say “I am interested in this and who is going to be there?”. And that is the whole point of the embassy. It is there in order to introduce international buyers and media.’
According to Losecaat, there are many international buyers from high-growth markets such as India and China, and up to 18 countries expected to attend.
The LDE will provide a private members club, a networking hub where foreign visitors can meet with one another and with selected British talent, a concierge service to help visitors find their way around the festival, and meeting facilities.
It is understood that the LDA, which owns the London Design Embassy name, is in negotiations with one of last year’s organisers, who is looking to use the name Design Embassy for other events outside of the festival.
• The London Design Embassy was launched last year at the London Design Festival
• It showcased at the Institute of Contemporary Arts and was created by Tom Dixon
• Last month, the ICA was forced to drop out of its ambitious plans for LDF week, due to lack of funding
• The LDF will run from 17-21 September, and the LDE will be located in the Westminster Suite on the sixth floor of London’s Royal Festival Hall