As revealed by Design Week (DW 10 March), this year’s LDF, which runs from 18-26 September, will feature multiple embassy venues and take on a more international outlook. The design embassies were established to engage the British design industry with the international business community.
There will be three embassies this year, hosted by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London’s South Kensington, 100% Design in Earls Court and Tent London at the Old Truman Brewery. Each venue will offer visitors a place to hold meetings, work and network. At last year’s LDF the London Design Embassy operated from one venue, taking over the first floor of the Victoria & Albert Museum’s Sackler Centre.
Christine Losecaat, creative industries adviser at UKTI, says the expansion of the embassies is part of a wider push by UKTI to link overseas businesses with UK design talent. She says, ’Although there are lots of budget cuts in the public sector here, this Government is actually very vocal about an export-led recovery, and financial support for the design sector to explore international markets is still in place.’
UKTI says the design embassies at LDF ’will provide a comfortable and dynamic place to organise meetings, relax, work and network’. In addition, a concierge service will be available to guide VIPs around the festival. UKTI says the name change this year ’reflects the fact that the embassy is a focal point for international buyers, VIPs and media to meet the British design community’.
During the LDF the design embassy will host seminars looking at opportunities in China, France, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Italy, India, Russia, the US and other countries.
Following this year’s LDF, between October and December UKTI will organise a number of design-focused trade missions to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and India, and is looking for UK designers to take part.
Other LDF initiatives include commercial attachés and design experts from 11 countries offering free advice at clinics in Derby and London.
British Design Embassy is owned by UKTI, but delivered in collaboration with suitable partners in different countries. The UK event is co-delivered with LDF, Tent London and 100% Design. The first British Design Embassy was installed at the Milan furniture fair in April this year.
The branding for the British Design Embassy (pictured) has been designed by Pentagram.
Trade missions planned
Japan- 26-30 October
South Korea- 7-11 December
Taiwan- 13-17 December
India- 13-17 December