5 important things that happened in design this week

Milan Design Week, Offf Barcelona 2017 and problems for Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge – the important design news from the last seven days.

We visited Milan Design Week

Tom Dixon’s Multiplex exhibition

Annual design festival Salone del Mobile took place across Milan last week, and we went along to explore the event.

Exhibitions, fairs and talks graced the city, alongside the annual Lexus Design Award, which looks to bring sustainable products to market.

Exhibits included Alessi’s tribute to late architect Zaha Hadid in the form of an elaborate window display, through to Airbnb’s takeover of a 15th century stately home painted by Leonardo da Vinci.

This year’s festival also focused on the challenges that come with living in contemporary urban spaces. Car brand Mini looked at how people in cities can be more conscious of environmental impact, through its installation Mini Living Breathe; a modular “house” which was resourceful with space and used natural sunlight to warm the interiors.

The Lexus Design Award also threw up new ideas around responsible living spaces, such as a kit of essentials to encourage more frugal, mobile living, and a 3D-printed floor covering that could change colour and texture to adapt to people’s changing tastes.

Read our favourite picks from Milan Design Week here, and our write-up of the Lexus Design Award here.


We visited Offf Barcelona 2017

The OpenRoom stage at Offf Barcelona 2017

Design conference Offf took place at Barcelona’s Museu del Disseny last week, and saw an eclectic line-up of speakers including Lance Wyman, Annie Atkins, Anthony Burrill and Moving Brands.

The talks programme sat alongside a series of workshops hosted by Adobe, and film screenings, including Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Film.

The conference was kick-started by Outro Studio, the designers behind the graphics, branding and campaign films for this year’s conference, while logo extraordinaire Lance Wyman was the finale on Saturday, running through his life and work and receiving a standing ovation.

Read our round-up of the conference here, and our write-up on Lance Wyman here. For all our content on Offf, search for our tag “OfffBarcelona17”.

Offf Barcelona 2017 took place 6-8 April. Design Week was invited by Adobe.


Sarah Hyndman spoke to us about the importance of type

Type expert and graphic designer Sarah Hyndman is set to release an activity book called How to Draw Type and Influence People, which looks to engage the imaginations of designers and the general public alike.

The book, set to be released through Laurence King on 21 April, asks readers to think more openly about the power of type – how certain typefaces might sound, feel, smell and taste, and what sort of personalities they might have.

We spoke to Hyndman this week about her reasons for putting together the book. “We interact with type all the time but it’s easy to see it as an invisible discipline,” she says. “I’m hoping the exercises in the book will teach people about type history in a way that makes it stick.”

Read our full interview with Hyndman here, and also take part in a fun drawing competition which could win you a free copy of the new book.


Designers revealed their most memorable job interview stories

In light of a feature we wrote last week on portfolio and interview advice for students and graduates, we decided to ask established designers about the job interview experiences they will never forget – whether good or bad.

Jack Renwick told us how being caught out on a lie meant she had to avoid the music design industry forever, while Simon Manchipp admitted that he foiled a colleague’s chances at a new job by filling his portfolio with indecent photos.

Read designers’ stories in full here – and comment on the piece if you’d like to share your own job interview stories.


Thomas Heatherwick’s Garden Bridge hit a major hurdle

Thomas Heatherwick’s proposed, idyllic garden installation on London’s River Thames may be one step further away from reality, with the publication of a new report this week.

Heatherwick has planned to build a new bridge filled with foliage and vegetation, which would sit between the existing Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges.

But the results of a report commissioned by Mayor Sadiq Khan came out this week – and they showed that there is a funding shortage of £70 million for the project, which has not been filled by public or private money.

Dame Margaret Hodge MP, who conducted the investigation, found that it would be better to take the financial hit of cancelling the project rather than incurring the “potentially additional costs to the public purse” if it were to go ahead.

The cancellation of the project is yet to be confirmed. Read the full report on the Garden Bridge here.


Got a design story? Get in touch sarah.dawood@centaurmedia.com.

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