The London Design Festival is working alongside the Financial Times once again this year in bringing a series of talks on the business of design to the Festival. This year all talks will be held in the Sacker Centre at the V&A. Topics include: Responses to the Recession: First in a week-long series of design & business talks exploring how design-led companies are coping with the current economic crisis. Are tight-spending consumers now in charge or can big brands still drive buying behavior? Will the market polarize into a world of ultra-luxury products for the “haves” and super-inexpensive ones for the “have-nots”? What strategies – back to basics, diffusion lines, etc – work best in a downturn? Responsible Design: Consumers and companies remain keen to make meaningful purchases and investments – perhaps more so now than ever. We talk to executives and designers about moves into eco-friendly merchandise and social entrepreneurship ventures in developing countries. Can you make a profit and make a difference? New Frontiers: What are the big emerging markets in the design world? And how are locals spearheading the movements? Have certain cities/districts become hubs? And what does each new design centre bring to the table? Emerging Architecture: The prosperity of the 1990s and early 2000s brought a boom in high-profile architectural projects from New York to London, Dubai to Shanghai. But in today’s economic climate, companies, governments and cultural institutions are cutting their budgets; so how will architects adapt? Design in Adversity: Important creative movements are often born in troubled times. We consider the important ideas and products that came out of previous downturns and speculate about what the current malaise might inspire. Will designers use it as an opportunity to turn away from commerce? Will companies become bolder? Certainly, only the fittest will survive. Talks take place September 21 - 25 at the Sackler Centre in V&A. To book call 0207 942 2211 or visit www.vam.ac.uk/tickets.
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