6. Restructure, Organize and Prepare to Grow
The 2008 London Design Festival started as soon as the 2007 version ended. The most urgent tasks following the last day of the Festival was to begin the official report on the delivery of local policy objectives of the London Development Authority. A yearly report on festival activities and policy alignment is due at the closure of every year as part of the funding agreement the Festival team has with the LDA.
The introduction to the 2007 Report to the LDA begins with a reference to the 2006 Strategem audit. The recommendations of the audit were taken up by the Festival team and will continue to guide the activities of the Festival in the near future. A streamlining of Festival activities was also made possible thanks to the Strategem activity graph. [annex] The new streamlined activity graph demonstrated areas of consolidation and areas for potential growth. The introduction to the LDA report begins:
The 2007 Festival evaluation starts with last year’s evaluation report, commissioned by the LDA and completed by Strategem Ltd. The Strategem document has been referenced throughout buildup to the 2007 Festival as a guide for developing new Festival initiatives and activities. This report therefore begins with the activity scope prepared by Strategem in their 2006 audit. (Appendix 29)
To reflect the growing nature of the Festival and as a basis on which to evaluate the development of the Festival, a second graph was prepared to reflect 2007 activities. (Appendix 29)
To end the review, a new activity scope graph has been produced to assist in the development of planning for next year’s Festival. This will assist in agreeing a structured, organised and planned approach to the London Design Festival 2008. (Appendix 29)
The theory developed during the July to September case – the Festival does deliver on national creative industry policy – was then analysed and matched against the 2006 Strategem audit. The outcome of this matching exercise is the activity map referenced as the
“second graph” in the LDA report’s introduction.
The activity maps demonstrate the growth of the Festival first from 2006 to 2007. Here it is clear the numbers of activities being implemented by the Festival are growing on a yearly basis and they are linked to creative industry policy.
The next activity map was reorganised according to the priority activities of the Festival team with the outcomes of the original case study in mind. In the third map the positioning of the “marketing and promotion” and “partner support” bubbles remains as core activities of the Festival. These two activities represent the space facilitation objectives and the export promotion objectives of national and local policy. The main strengths of the Festival to date have been facilitating space for festival participants and showcasing design talent. It is therefore natural that these two elements appear as core activities.
Interestingly the bottom two activity bubbles are “festival activity” and “political engagement”. The first corresponds to the numerous activities that are undertaken to ensure the smooth delivery of the Festival. These activities are largely logistical and of a coordination nature. The second bubble referring to “political engagement” covers the range of conversations, meetings, briefings and advocacy activities the Festival undertakes to maintain close contact with public authorities both nationally and locally. (Appendix 31) These activities although not purely policy implementation related are important aspects of the work of the Festival team.
It is at the second layer of the 2007 activity map where it becomes clearer where the Festival can grow. At the second layer of current activities lies “festival guide”, “educational activity”, “international development”, and “design initiative facilitation”. Again these bubbles illustrate current projects and activities of the Festival. The guide is a physical publication that serves as a map to the events and exhibits that happen throughout the festival period.
The 80,000 copies of the guide serve as and fall within the export promotion and marketing axis. The educational activity bubble of the map demonstrates the Festival’s business support activities and broader projects with universities and design institutions. Within this quadrant lies the intellectual property sessions and other business related workshops. While the international bubble covers a range of activities the Festival carries out with partners to help and promote the work and services of the participants.
The areas of further policy integration and growth lie in the addition of a third layer of activities. Hypothetically a third layer of activities would fall on the same axis as the core activities and within the same quadrant of second layer initiatives. For the Festival the activity mapping shows an opportunity for developing export services in the quadrant that touches on “international development” and “design facilitation” while remaining firmly as a “partner support” activity. (Figure C6)
Likewise growth in the area of exhibit space and design facilitation falls clearly between the “festival guide” and “design facilitation” activities along the “marketing and promotion axis”. While the growth in education, publishing and skills building support could be assumed within the “festival guide” and “educational activity” quadrant on the
“festival activity” axis. (Figure C7)
The areas of potential growth and policy integration will be further developed in the recommendations section. Here the growth areas were mentioned to bring the reader up to date on the Festival activities and to illustrate its evolution, its activities and the linkages between a specific creative agency and local creative industry policy. This describes the extent to which local creative industry policies effect cultural institutions. Both founded and launched within a couple of years The London Design Festival has grown to maturity with the support of the London Development Agency.
This is a story of visionary people, ideas and a policy framework that enables local actors. It is difficult to suggest that one could not have succeeded without the other, many would argue the validity of their independence. That though is not what this study seeks to establish. Here we suggest the union of public and private creative industry initiatives delivers more effective programs and projects to the tax payer than they would separately. By working together, the London Development Agency and the London Design Festival present a successful model of public private cooperation.