Anti-Design Festival takes to the street of Shoreditch

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The Independent Culture

If you want an alternative to the London Design Festival, a spin-off will be taking to the streets of Shoreditch, hoping to jab a stubby finger into the ribs of its sensible older sibling.

At first glance, the Anti-Design Festival seems straight out of art-school, its crudely crossed-out LDF logo the work of the kind of East End scenesters parodied in YouTube's latest video viral. In fact, it's the brainchild of 53-year-old Neville Brody, design godfather, and founding art director of The Face magazine.

"Anti-design, anti-art, anti-product, anti-fashion." For something setting itself up in firm opposition to the mainstream, the festival has an inclusive feel, hosting a range of exhibitions and workshops by day and live-art events each evening.

According to Brody, Britain has been trapped in a creative "deep-freeze" for 25 years. "The Government says if you're going to do anything – whether it's science or art – make sure you're making money from it," Brody laments. "What we're saying is that experimentation isn't there to make money; money is there to fund experimentation."

There are those who argue that Brody is the establishment, a view hardly dispelled by his incoming role as head of communications, art and design at the Royal College of Art. But the former enfant terrible, almost expelled from the London College of Printing as a student for rotating the Queen's head on a postage stamp, insists he won't be dispensing wisdom from on high.

"No way!" he says. "My goal is to make myself redundant. To do enough that my thinking becomes completely outmoded."

The Anti-Design Festival runs from 18-26 September in Shoreditch, London E2 (www.antidesignfestival.com)

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