2016 marks the fourth year that the annual Design Manchester festival invades one of the most innovative cities in the UK, the theme this year being ‘Design City.’ Aimed at encouraging inclusivity and diversity within art and design, this year the non-profit organisation will hold 37 separate events over a 12-day period — running from the 12th-23rd October. With venues ranging from bars and clubs in the Northern Quarter to the London Road Fire Station, the accessibility of the festival for everyone is key to promoting design as a collaborative art; it is not a field merely restricted to the artists and inventors of the world. Design Manchester is focused on encouraging everyone, from emerging designers to industrial workers, to both discover and celebrate the work done within the Design industry.
Established in 2013, primarily by Manchester School of Art, the festival has gained greater popularity over the years, with this year promising to be the best yet. 2015’s event saw over 20,000 visitors, from architects to educators to families, coming to the 17 events available. With 37 events this year, including the ones below, the festival promises to be bigger and better than ever.
Women in Print Exhibition: Taking place from Thursday 13th October to Sunday 23rd October between 12-6pm, this free event is an exhibition presenting the work of local designers and printmakers that focuses on celebrating of the contribution of women throughout Mancunian history. The exhibition, taking place in both the Co-op HQ and Northern Quarter’s PLY, will showcase the involvement and input that iconic female figures have created the City of Manchester that we know today.
Street Art Tour: Running on both Saturday 15th October and Friday 21st October, this event will educate its visitors on the history of the alternative Northern Quarter, demonstrated through street art. Costing only £7.50, the tour, hosted by well-known writer Hayley Flynn, tells of the artists of the area’s oldest street art, and how art drove the redevelopment of the once-deteriorating Northern Quarter. The event will run each day between 11am and 1pm, showcasing both the historical and current influence of art within the city.
City ID: The Grand Debate: On Wednesday 19th October, between 6:30-9pm, a well-informed and design-orientated panel will discuss topics from transport innovations to the controversial subject of Brexit. The debate, however, is not limited to panel members, which includes Peter Mandelson, former Cabinet Minister and EU Trade commissioner and Emer Coleman a digital pioneer, but rather requires audience participation. The latter half of the session will provide a few glasses of wine hopefully encouraging further opinions and discussions. This is a free event at Old Granada Studios, providing you have pre-registered, it plans to let loose opinions and encourage debate, provoked by, but not limited to the well-known panel members.
The above events are merely a sample of the possible activities you could get involved in over the 12-day period. An amazing opportunity to discover more about the city in which you live, as well as perhaps unleashing the creative potential hidden within you. This festival will be both fun and informative. It will not only will give you a greater insight into the contributions of design in Manchester but further gives you the opportunity to meet like-minded people and possibly continue to hone your creative energies long after the festival has finished. For more details and information on the remaining events, see the website here.
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