New design exhibition hopes to remove stigma associated with dyslexia

Dyslexic Design will showcase the work of designers and illustrators such as Sebastian Bergne and Kristjana S Williams who say dyslexia has enhanced rather than limited their creativity.

Egg, by Sebastian Bergne, manufactured by Designerbox - 2014
Egg, by Sebastian Bergne, manufactured by Designerbox – 2014

An exhibition exploring the work of dyslexic designers will open this September, with the aim of presenting dyslexia as an alternative way of thinking rather than a health condition.

Dyslexic Design is part of this year’s Designjunction, the annual design exhibition which takes place in London, Milan and New York.

“Reveal dyslexia as a gift”

The exhibition will show the work of designers with dyslexia from disciplines including product, fashion, illustration, home décor and fine art, such as Sebastian Bergne, Kristjana S Williams, Terence Woodgate and Tina Crawford.

It aims to explore the “connection between dyslexia and the creative industries”, says Designjunction, looking at the positives as well as the challenges that can come from working with the learning difference.

The exhibition’s main goal is to “take away the stigma of dyslexia and reveal it as a gift”, say the organisers.

For example, it will look at how dyslexia affects a person’s lateral and visual thinking, and therefore creativity, and how the learning difference can prescribe “unusual three-dimensional thinking”.

“Dyslexia led me down the path of art and design”

The exhibition’s founder, and one of the exhibitors, Jim Rokos, says: “It is my belief that I am able to design the way I do, because of my dyslexia and not despite it,” he says.

“I [want] to remove the unwanted and unwarranted stigma sometimes associated with dyslexia and in doing so change perceptions of it. We believe dyslexia is something that drives and inspires creative thought and design,” he adds.

Debates will also take place in the exhibition space, around how dyslexia is perceived in design education, whether it should no longer be classed as a disability and seen rather as an alternative brain structure, and how it affects a person’s lateral and visual thinking.

Deborah Spencer, designjunction’s managing director, says: “I had grown up with dyslexia and I believe it played an integral part in leading me down the path of art and design.”

Takes place in September

Dyslexic Design takes place 17-25 September, as part of Designjunction, which runs from 22-25 September 2016. Tickets to Designjunction are £12 in advance or £15 on the door, and will grant access to the dyslexia exhibition. A percentage of ticket sales will be donated to the British Dyslexia Association. Find out more about the exhibition here.

Designjunction, now in its sixth year, is part of the London Design Festival, and takes place at a new venue in King’s Cross this year, based around the theme of Immersed in Design.

Hunter Jacket: Gorilla, by Rohan Chhabra - 2013
Hunter Jacket: Gorilla, by Rohan Chhabra – 2013
Mildred (Gorgon), by Tina Crawford - 2016
Mildred (Gorgon), by Tina Crawford – 2016
Gauge Crystal, by Jim Rokos - 2014
Gauge Crystal, by Jim Rokos – 2014
Knot pendant lamp, by Vitamin - 2012
Knot pendant lamp, by Vitamin – 2012
Gull Latinu Amerika, by Kristjana Williams
Gull Latinu Amerika, by Kristjana Williams
Surface Table, by Terence Woodgate - 2008 (In collaboration with John Barnard RDI)
Surface Table, by Terence Woodgate – 2008 (In collaboration with John Barnard RDI)

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