Marksteen Adamson steps down from the Cheltenham Design Festival

After five years in the making, ASHA partner Marksteen Adamson steps down as Co-founder, trustee and Creative Director of Cheltenham Design Festival. As he re focuses on other personal projects he said “I’m pleased that it’s still going and I wish the team at CDF all the best. I was worried about the ticket prices going up last year and the event becoming too big and commercial. So I’m glad that this year the event is reduced to two days and ticket prices are affordable again.”

The festival was conceived by a group of local volunteers with Marksteen and has run successfully now every April for the last three years. “I’d had to prioritise the ‘not for profit’ initiatives I work on, so it was time to step down. My focus is now on our business, the secondary school in Tanzania I’m helping to build and support and my ‘Behold the Man ‘ project and exhibition coming up in July.”

When asked what he had enjoyed the most about the initiative he said “Highlights for me were creating an event that would inspire a new generation of creative thinkers, bagging Stefan Seigmeister in our debut year, the estate agent boards we produced as a cheap option to advertise, and the blow up yellow sofa campaign that we cheekily launched as a speaker recruitment campaign at the London Design Festival 2012 prior to our festival last year.

The as part of the festival, a Saturday Design Academy (modelled on John Sorrell’s design education programme), was set up and run by the trustees and that continues till this day. “When I initially told John Sorrell we were thinking about starting a Design Festival in Cheltenham, he told me it would be hard work. He was right. But I’m happy we did it.”

He added: “I want to thank John Sorrell for the inspiration, the team at ASHA for all their hard voluntary work on the brand identity and campaign, and the enormous amount of energy and passion they gave to the project over the five years, and wish everyone that’s working on it this year, every success.”

Mon, 31 March 2014