The London Design Embassy is to travel overseas to bring designers together with greater numbers of foreign buyers. LDE project director Christine Losecaat is also considering making the embassy a permanent fixture in London.
‘A permanent embassy could be useful to telecom companies such as LG and Nokia, which are opening design studios in London,’ argues Losecaat. ‘We should have a healthy debate over the merits of a permanent LDE.’
The UK Trade & Industry’s creative industries marketing strategy board has earmarked funding for the embassy until 2012 and is backing plans to send it to design festivals overseas.
‘We are at an early stage, looking at budgets and inviting suggestions about where to take the embassy,’ reports Losecaat, adding that markets such as China, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Germany will be prioritised.
The LDE has exported its concept to other creative sectors, launching the British Music Embassy at the SXSW festival in Texas last August.
‘It is easier to create an embassy for music than it is for design since there are many more music festivals than design shows, and the LDE requires curating and sympathetic locations like Somerset House and the Royal Festival Hall,’ says Losecaat.
Tom Dixon, Ross Lovegrove and Barber Osgerby created environments at the LDE for each of the three years since it was set up in 2006 to provide a meeting place for British designers and overseas buyers at the London Design Festival.