How should design be represented in the “Great Exhibition of the North?”

The Government wants design to be showcased in a ‘Great Exhibition of the North’. How would designers like design to be represented? Some aren’t keen on the exhibition at all…

Karen Hughes,  creative director, True North
Karen Hughes,
creative director, True North

“My hope would be for design to be represented in a way that not only acknowledges and celebrates the world-class creativity that happens up north, but makes it relevant to the people who live and work here.

“This is an opportunity to help people outside of the creative industries understand the critical role that design has in improving our towns, cities and the way we live. Let’s get people excited about the possibilities that design brings and inspire and encourage people to reimagine and redesign the way we live, that way, we can create a legacy that lasts way beyond a two-month exhibition.”


Wayne Hemingway
Wayne Hemingway, founder, Hemingway Design

“Maybe it can have a ‘compare and contrast’ section that shows how all the design and infrastructure investment in the South and the lack of investment in the North is leading to  brand new trains gliding into shiny Crossrail stations in the South while human cattle wagons rattle into poorly serviced , unloved  cold stations in North . Then lets make an exhibit of those 40 libraries , 5 museums and 2 adult learning centres that are closing as a result of the £260 million of savage cuts in Lancashire and then contrast and compare to some of London’s vanity projects . You know which ones I mean.”


Adam Rix, creative director, Music
Adam Rix, creative director, Music

“Thanks very much George (and Dave) for the kind offer of the little northern village fete, but no thanks. We don’t need to celebrate how great the north is. We just need to get on with doing good shit. Let’s take the £5 million, but put it into funding more great things like Manchester International Festival that attract world class talent and draw an audience from far and wide.

If you do insist on holding ‘The Great Exhibition of The North’ don’t preach to the converted – host it in London.”


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