ICA drops its plans for London Design Festival extravaganza

The Institute of Contemporary Arts has been forced to shelve its ambitious plans for London Design Festival week, due to lack of funding.

The London venue, housed in the John Nash designed Carlton House Terrace, was to be transformed into a design mansion called No 12 for the duration of the September event. But finance for the exhibition did not materialise from the usual arts funding organisations and a main corporate sponsor could not be found in time.

No 12’s creative team – ex-Design Museum curator Libby Sellers, designer Russell Sage, design journalist Marcus Fairs, and design consultants Katie Richardson and Jacob Peres – still hope the idea can be rekindled for 2008, if a sponsor is forthcoming. ‘It’s really sad,’ says Fairs, ‘but it was becoming harder and harder to keep going with No 12 without the money there to finance it.’

Draft plans for the designs of No 12 included a working dining room designed by Fredrickson Stallard, a digital ballroom by Moritz Waldemeyer and upstairs bedrooms for visitors.

No 12 was conceived to build on the ICA’s success as a central meeting point for the creative industries at last year’s festival, when it was home to the UK Trade and Investment backed Design Embassy.

But this year, the UKTi has chosen to locate the Embassy at the Royal Festival Hall, as part of the London Design Festival team’s setup for the new-look venue. The ICA says it remains fully committed to incorporating design.

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