Pyrenees sofa, by Fredrikson Stallard
(Image credit: press)

The design cognoscenti came together at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London last week for a very special dinner to raise money for The Design Fund to Benefit the V&A: the museum's new resource for contemporary acquisitions. Held in the Hinze Sculpture Galleries, this was the second soirée for the fund, following the inaugural campaign that raised £100,000 from the patrons this time last year.

Before getting down to the business of dinner, guests enjoyed drinks and canapés amid last year's acquisitions, which were beautifully displayed in the Cast Courts. Nestled among the gallery's sculptures were works by Wallpaper* Design Award-winner Nendo, BCXSY, Fredrikson Stallard and Satyendra Pakhalé, which showed just how well the initial funds have been spent.

Among the guests were architects Amanda Levete and John Pawson; designers Tom Dixon and Frederikson Stallard; and curators-cum-festival directors, Marianne Goebl of Design Miami, Patrick Perrin of PAD, and Ben Evans of the London Design Festival. Although unable to attend, Zaha Hadid's presence was felt thanks to some rather clever napkin holders she designed specially for the even, supported by Phillips de Pury & Company.

The fund founder Yana Peel co-hosted the dinner with V&A director Martin Roth and Wallpaper* Design Awards judge Simon de Pury, who all enthused about creating a permanent legacy for the leading British collection of contemporary design.

The Design Fund is the result of Peel's tireless efforts over the past ten years to bring funding to the public. She used to run the Outset Contemporary Art Fund (a similar model to the design fund), which she set up after leaving Goldman Sachs in 2002. Peel has worked with a variety of art institutions but saw the need to extend her fund-raising prowess to design. 'I realised last year that we needed a moment that brought the design community together. The point is to bring together design enthusiasts, collectors and patrons, and to give contemporary design funding to the V&A. We raised £100,000 in total last year - the biggest donation the V&A has ever received for acquisitions.' 

Peel, who co-founded debating forum Intelligence Squared Asia, says the response from last week's dinner has been great, and they will discover in a couple of weeks if they have beaten last year's target. She will then present a cheque to the V&A and the committee, overseen by its curators Christopher Wilk, and Jana Scholze, who together will decide what they will acquire. The only criteria is that the pieces meet the museum's needs and are by designers living and/or working in Britain. New acquisitions will be exhibited at the V&A during London Design Festival in September.

Cast Court At The Victoria And Albert

Last week the V&A held a fundraising event, which kicked off with pre-dinner drinks in the Cast Court

(Image credit: press)

Designer Cora Sheibani And Architect John Pawson Marisa Hermer And Design Fund Founder Yana Peel

Guests included (from left), jewellery designer Cora Sheibani, architect John Pawson, Marissa Hermer and Design Fund to Benefit the V&A-founder Yana Peel

(Image credit: press)

Bell Metal Table

The design crowd mingled among last year's acquisitions, including this 'Bell Metal Table', designed by Satyendra Pakhalé, 2007-2008...

(Image credit: Satyendra Pakhale)

Chair Thin Black Line Series

... and a chair from the Thin Black Line Series, designed by Nendo, 2010

(Image credit: Nendo)

Designer Tom Dixon Galerie Kreo Founder Clemence Krzentowski And Design Miami Founder Marianne Goebl

Designer Tom Dixon; Galerie Kreo co-founder Clemence Krzentowski and Design Miami director Marianne Goebl

(Image credit: press)

Design Fund Dinner At The Victoria And Albert

The dinner was the second soirée for the design fund, following the inaugural campaign that raised £100,000 from the patrons this time last year

(Image credit: press)

Sir Mark Jones And Architect Amanda Levete Jewellery Designer Hannah Martin

Sir Mark Jones and architect Amanda Levete; Jewellery designer Hannah Martin

(Image credit: press)

Design Journalist Alice Rawsthorn And Designer Jay Osgerby Michaela De Pury Simon De Pury And Yana Peel

Design critic Alice Rawsthorn and designer Jay Osgerby; Michaela De Pury, auctioneer (and Wallpaper* Design Awards judge) Simon de Pury and Yana Peel

(Image credit: press)

Napkin Holder & cutlery

Although Zaha Hadid couldn't attend, her presence was felt thanks to the napkin holders she designed specially for the event

(Image credit: Zaha Hadid)

Table Log First Prototype

A 2011 acquisition: 'Table #1 (Log)' (first prototype), designed by Fredrikson Stallard in 2001

(Image credit: Fredrikson Stallard)

Brown Fractal Table

A 2011 acquisition: 'Fractal Table II', designed by Platform (Gernot Oberfell, Jan Wertel and Matthias Bär), 2007

(Image credit: Gernot Oberfell, Jan Wertel and Matthias Bär)

Cabbage Chair

A 2011 acquisition: 'Cabbage' chair, designed by Wallpaper* Designer of the Year Nendo, 2008

(Image credit: Nendo)

Cord Chair

A 2011 acquisition: 'Cord' chair, designed by Nendo, 2009

(Image credit: Nendo)

Wood Screens Origin

A 2011 acquisition: 'Wood screens Origin – Part I : Join', designed by BCXSY and handcrafted by Mr. Tanaka

(Image credit: BCXSY,Mr. Tanaka)