LDF highlights that the design industry has grown 1.5 times faster than the wider economy over the past decade, contributing £108 billion in GVA annually. The festival organisers describe the industry as a “a powerhouse of the UK economy” and reinstates its commitment to positioning London as a “global design capital”.
Despite this long-term sector challenges have also been highlighted including the number of students opting to take design subjects at GCSE and A level continuing to decline. LDF director Ben Evans says: “This year’s programme promises fresh perspectives and boundary-pushing ideas that will inspire audiences but, just as importantly, the festival provides opportunities for emerging talent and promotes inclusivity in the sector.
London Design Festival was launched by Sir John Sorrell CBE and Ben Evans CBE in 2003. Building on London’s existing design activity, their concept was to create an annual event that would promote the city’s creativity, drawing in the country’s greatest thinkers, practitioners, retailers and educators to a deliver an unmissable celebration of design. The launch of the first Festival took place at Bloomberg on 25 March 2003, with a show of support from design, education, government and London organisations. 20 years later, this vision remains ever strong.
In 2019, the Festival welcomed a record-breaking 600,000 individual visitors from over 75 countries. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022, London Design Festival now moves into a new decade, celebrating how it has played a key role in the growth of the design industry, bolstering London’s position as a global destination for business, culture and tourism, and contributed to the UK’s reputation as a creative powerhouse. As one of the world’s leading design events, the Festival has also served as the blueprint for design weeks and festivals globally and continues to be a key moment on the cultural calendar.
“London Design Festival is a fantastic event which brings together designers from across the globe and demonstrates the capital’s position as a powerhouse for the creative industries. London is known for its creativity and continues to attract the best companies and talent from around the world. I’m delighted to support London Design Festival, which shows that London is open to great ideas, innovation and people from all backgrounds.” Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London