a_desgin_diaspora_logoAfter its highly successful and widely acclaimed debut in 2010, where a total of more than 20,000 visitors attended, African & African-Caribbean Design Diaspora (AACDD) will once again celebrate black creativity throughout September and October 2011 at various locations across London.  One of London's must-attend creatvie events of the year, the AACDD festival will include traditional crafts, contemporary designs, sculptures, multimedia installations, fashion shows, seminars and workshops from Africa, the Caribbean and the United Kingdom.

The African and African-Caribbean Design Diaspora  (AACDD) is an initiative headed by Karin Beate Phillips from the British European Design Group. Phillips says "If facts are an indication of success, then the launch of the African and African- Caribbean Design Diaspora in September 2010 is telling the incredible story of the totally unprecedented and unexpected achievement in gaining the spontaneous, enthusiastic and sometimes even unsolicited support and collaboration from individuals, official and private organisations, institutions and enterprises in this project."

The aim of AACDD is to help promote British/Black artists and designers in the UK to give them a unique opportunity to showcase their work. The intention of the BEDG initiative is to provide a positive insight into their design skills, to engage and inspire others and to provide a promotional platform for black designers working in London,the UK in general, Africa and the Caribbean.

decorLondon is one of the greatest multicultural cities in the world. It is also one of the most creative, with worldwide inspiration and          interpretation feeding into the city’s design community. The power of diversity to stimulate creativity is well established. Despite this potential, the UK design industry has remained surprisingly mono-cultural, with many different parts of London’s broader community unable to gain employment, access support and showcase talent. This is especially true for London’s black ethnic community. A point of celebration is required to demonstrate the quality of creative thinking derived from the small but significant African and African-Caribbean design communities in London and the UK.     

Co-funded by the Arts Council England/Lottery Fund and supported by the London Design Festival, the Initiative will run alongside the London Design Festival until the Olympics in 2012. The British European Design Group will work in close partnership with the London Design Festival organizing a series of events as part of the festival to celebrate African and African-Caribbean creative talent. A range of supporting events will be organised and complimentary resources such as a website and print materials will publicise the aims of the programme to a wider audience, exploit the impact of the exhibitions and provide ongoing stimuli for stakeholders, such as funding bodies, potential sponsors, designers and others.

 Plans include  holding at least two African and African-Caribbean Design Seminars (organized in association with various official bodies and institutions) and an annual African and African-Caribbean Design Competition. Plans are also being made for further public activities to include a series of sponsored promotions and school and community activities throughout the three-year programme. For more information visit, www.aacdd.org.        

Photo on front page module is by David Osagie, an Abuja-based creative designer with passion for putting together elements and making them into something really useful. Visit his website at www.naijadesign.com.