Dezeen Magazine

Hidden Art forced to close

Dezeen Wire:
UK design organisation Hidden Art is to close at the end of September due to cuts in its funding.

Hidden Art currently receives half its funding from the European Regional Development Fund but this is due to cease at the end of next month.

Fears that the organisation may be forced to close were first reported on Dezeen Wire in December last year.

Hidden Art will still exhibit with new products at 100% Design during the London Design Festival and the online shop will remain open until the end of December 2011.

Here are some more details from Hidden Art:



Hidden Art forced to close due to funding issues: 22-year history of turning passion into products ends in 2011

Hidden Art, the Shoreditch based award-winning not-for-profit organisation that has helped designer-makers and designers transform their passion into products since 1989, will close at the end of September 2011, due to ongoing funding issues (with the Hidden Art e-shop continuing until the end of December)

Since its beginnings with the Hackney Contemporaries in 1989 Hidden Art has supported more than 6,000 designers, including success stories such as Ella Doran, Kay & Stemmer and Committee. Hidden Art helped to put east London on the map, turning it from a no-go area into a destination for designer-makers, design companies and shoppers.

Hidden Art director, Dieneke Ferguson, said:

“We are sad to announce the end of Hidden Art, but proud of our 22-year track record in providing support for UK designers and designer-makers. Unfortunately, in the current climate there is little money available to support small businesses in the creative sector. We hope our closure draws attention to the dwindling resources for new design graduates in this country. Combined with the higher fees for students, it means that the UK design sector is in danger of losing the new blood which is essential for its survival”

With the closure of the London Development Agency (LDA), and other funding issues, it has now become impossible to continue. Hidden Art receives 50% of it’s funding from the European Regional Development Fund, but this will also cease at the end of September.

All of the planned Hidden Art events and support will continue until we close, including a stand at 100% Design, launching 8 new products from 5 of our designer members. It’s a great reminder of our proud history in supporting innovation in the UK design sector, and a way for us to go out with a bang. Come along and support us at our last event.

The E-Shop at will also continue until the end of December and be available over the Christmas period.

Over the years our excellent work has been acknowledged by the design sector, the press and the public. Our awards include the 2010 Community Partners Dragon Award, awarded by the Lord Mayor of London, as well as best Social Enterprise in Hackney (2005) and the 100% /Blueprint Award (2005).

The design sector is an important part of the London and the UK economies, contributing £3 billion each year: more than the Visual Arts, Cultural Heritage or Literature sectors. Designer-makers represent 13% of all those employed in the creative and cultural industries. Taking away Hidden Art’s support will affect the sector as a whole, leading to an impact on innovation, the most important driver in the UK recovery.


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