Anti Design Festival - Firstnight

The Anti Design Festival labels itself as a response to "25 years of cultural deep freeze", so you can expect to step out of your comfort zone when you step into their galleries. Located all around Shoreditch, the 11 venues showcase projects that challenge Success Culture.

I went to the Private View last night. (The invitation called it the First Night rather than Private View....impressive how not a single elitist detail surrounds this event). The energy was tremendous and the guests nearly intoxicated by the plethora of refreshing work. Being there felt something like encountering a very intriguing, open, articulate person on a random journey - sparks were flying and you could sense inspiration taking root.

At the end of the night, I spoke with Neville Brody, who conceived of the festival only 6 months ago. Although the Redchurch Street space had been packed with guests, his main concern was not numbers, but effect. "Everybody seemed really happy", he said, and it was true.

Daniel Charney, who curated one the galleries around the theme of "Mistakes and Manifestos" explained that mistakes represent one end of the creative process, and manifestos the other. Some of the exhibitors represent a spontaneous way of working (this would be the 'mistake' side of things) and other a controlled way (the 'manifesto' side).

Dominic Wilcox presents Speed Creating, which is an accumulation of half realised ideas that look like they've jumped from the pages of a mad inventor's sketchbook. All of the work in the gallery comes from people who are passionate about what they do. Daniel Charney also sees a link between creators who do not necessarily know where they're going, but are "in the flow".

Georgie Sheldrake of Research Studios poses with a slice of the chaotic "printed unprediction" in the Front Space.

"It's not about me, it's about you", suggested Brody when I asked to photograph him for the blog. He snapped a picture of me with my boyfriend instead. "This is not about elitism. This is not about me."

A visit to the 28 Redchurch Street space is a must-do for any Design Festival visitor. It provides a manifestation of all the doubts and questions that we all have about what we're doing. Rather than solving the unease, it stays with the problems. It gives the problems space to talk and to transform into new directions. You will find work that is unfinished and unpolished because it is alive and in progress.

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