London Design Festival takes over Design Embassy

The London Design Festival’s organisers will run the London Design Embassy from this year onwards, taking over from the event’s founder Christine Losecaat.

Losecaat has handed the business matchmaking venture over to the LDF so that she can expand the event overseas and create a new design business support service for small consultancies.

‘We will put the embassy at the beating heart of the festival, making it more easily accessible,’ says LDF deputy director William Knight.

This year, the LDE will take over the first floor of LDF’s new venue, the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Sackler Centre.

‘Rather than a standalone space, the embassy will be integrated with the rest of the festival,’ says Knight, who is in the final stages of appointing a designer to create the LDE.

Knight reports that LDF is working closely with UK Trade & Industry to ‘work out how best to promote London’s design community’, as well as with British Design Innovation, which will provide a business matchmaking service.

The London Development Agency will continue to support the embassy.

Meanwhile, Losecaat claims that her new venture will ‘focus on helping emerging design groups to get through the recession and tackle local business problems’.
She says, ‘My ambition with the embassy was always to establish a really solid brand and model that could be replicated overseas. After three years I feel like I’ve done my job.’

She continues, ‘In the current economic climate, I want to offer support to smaller design groups with issues with running their businesses.’

Losecaat explains that while the embassy is ‘a real VIP environment, very exclusive’, her new project will be ‘open and accessible’, and could feature business support advisers. The new venture is due to launch at the LDF this year.

With its upper level taken up by the embassy, the Sackler Centre’s ground floor will host LDF exhibitions, but the New Designers Selection show will not run this year. ‘Unfortunately, our collaborative plans were unable to be finalised in time,’ says New Designers organiser Upper Street Events director Isobel Dennis.

However, Dennis claims that the show will return to LDF next year, giving it ‘a much longer lead-time to organise a collaboration’. Selection has previously partnered spirits brand Bombay Sapphire.

London Design Embassy

  • London Design Embassy is set to announce its design team in the next couple of weeks
  • Founded in 2006, the first embassy – at the Institute of Contemporary Arts – was designed by Tom Dixon
  • In 2007, Ross Lovegrove created the interiors for the embassy at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank
  • Barber Osgerby created the embassy environment at Somerset House in 2008

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