What would I alter: Ben Evans, London Design Competition
Ben Evans CBE founded the London Design Festival in 2003 with Sir John Sorrell CBE after a career in policy development and campaigning for the Labor Party, including its successful 1997 general election. Building on her work that helped write the UK's first design policy and the success of the burgeoning design sector in London, her concept was to create an annual event that fostered the city's creativity and the greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and Attracts educators to the country. Last year the festival welcomed a record 600,000 visitors from over 75 countries.
In addition to managing LDF, Evans regularly commissions and curates a number of projects for the event, including an annual residency at the festival's main hub, the V&A. In 2016, he added an ambitious new feature, the London Design Biennale, at the Countries, cities and territories present themed design installations and take over the entire Somerset House for three weeks.
However, this year is unlike any other in the history of the festival. While the London Design Biennale has been completely canceled, Evans and the rest of the LDF team made the decision to continue this year's festival in the middle of lockdown. As they prepare for the redesigned September event, Evans discusses creating a physical and virtual festival for Londoners, the camaraderie between all the capital's happenings, and why the creative industry will recover from this time of uncertainty.
Above: Disco Carbonara by Martino Gamper from LDF 2019; above: Pentagram's identity for this year's festival