ICA announces major London design show

The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London has announced plans for a major design exhibition, to be held this September during the London Design Festival.

Called No12, the show will turn the ICA's Grade I-listed venue on The Mall in central London temporarily into a house, with each room curated by an important emerging London-based designer or design team.

No12 will run from 14 to 26 September and will highlight how design is emerging as a serious cultural force; and celebrate London's position as one of the world's most vibrant cities for design.
The show gets its name from the ICA's prestigious address: No12 Carlton House Terrace is part of an elegant terrace of stucco-faced townhouses designed by John Nash and built between 1827 and 1832.

The terrace was originally built as private residences and the No12 show will briefly transform the building back into a domestic space.

No12 will feature a constantly changing series of events including dinners in the dining room, parties in the ballroom and talks and debates in the drawing room.

The ICA has appointed a high-profile team to deliver the project, which includes dezeen editor Marcus Fairs.

Below is the ICA's press release about No12, which was issued today:


Design has a new home in London:


14 - 26 September, 2007

To coincide with The London Design Festival (15-25 Sept), The ICA is delighted to present No12, an original, constantly evolving exhibition that will occupy all public spaces at the arts institute – the first time that the building has been dedicated entirely to a world-class design event.

As well as highlighting our capital city’s pre-eminence as a leading creative centre this groundbreaking show aims to showcase the next generation of London-based designers and supports the ICA’s key role in identifying and launching new talent,.

Capitalising on the ICA’s illustrious Mall-side site, the Grade I listed, Nash Terrace venue will be transformed into a private residence boasting a sequence of unique room installations each curated and furnished by a dynamic roster of upcoming designers.

Each room will genuinely function so that visitors become fully immersed in this alternative home, whether feasting in the decadent dining room, taking the floor in the ballroom, browsing the fantastical library or lounging in the sumptuous boudoir.

The entire building will present opportunities to explore and interact with cutting-edge design not only through the live experience within the rooms but also through an ambitious program of events.

The ICA has appointed a high-profile team to deliver the No12 project. Consisting of curator Libby Sellers, journalist Marcus Fairs, designer Russell Sage, design consultant Jacob Peres and PR consultant Katie Richardson, the team have invited an exhilarating selection of new designers (names will be announced shortly) to create and develop the rooms, which will also feature specially commissioned pieces.

The No12 team issued the following statement:

“Design is something you live with. So we invite you to come and live with us this September. We’re moving into the ICA and renaming it No12 since this historic and beautiful building – 12 Carlton House Terrace – was originally built as a private residence.

"But this time it’s not going to be so private. To furnish and decorate our house, we’ve invited a posse of London-based designers to create rooms for us to live and play in. These designers represent the next generation of talent and will confirm London as the creative centre for emerging design.

"For two weeks, our house will be the vibrant centre of the design universe – and everyone is welcome."

Mark Sladen, ICA Director of Exhibitions comments:

“It’s easy to forget that No. 12 Carlton House Terrace was once a private home, but as the ICA comes up to its 60th anniversary in Autumn 2007, it seemed a great opportunity to think differently about the history and uses of this beautiful building. No12 will throw history into reverse by turning the building back into a home, while at the same time displaying the talents of some of the most exciting designers currently working in London."

No12 will run from 14 – 26 September 2007 at The Institute for Contemporary Arts, 12 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5 AH