Picks of the month: the best design events to catch in December

Christmas may be upon us, but designers haven’t shut up shop just yet – alongside some more festive offerings this month the Design Museum will be discussing diversity, George H. Marcus takes us through 300 years of design history and Disrupt Berlin will showcase the latest tech start-ups.

Talk: Diversity in Design

To mark the UN’s Day for Persons with Disabilities, the Design Museum will be hosting a panel discussion with diversity experts in the field of art and design. It will be chaired by Rashmi Becker, the founder of inclusive dance company Step Change Studios and board director of Sport England. On the panel will be Dr Jos Boys, co-founder of The DisOrdinary Architecture Project; Jessica Ryan Ndegwa, founder of Design for Disability; Natasha Trotman, a designer and researcher specialising in neurodiversity; and Lottie Jackson, a journalist, researcher and diversity activist.

When: 18:30-20:00, 3 December at the Design Museum, W8 6AG.

Info: This event is free to all, to book tickets visit the Design Museum website.


Installation: Museum of Architecture’s Gingerbread City

Last year’s Gingerbread City, above image and banner image © Luke Hayes

Combining design know-how and baking genius, more than 100 architects and designers have worked to create this year’s Gingerbread City exhibition at Somerset House. This is the fourth edition of the festive installation, and this year’s theme is transport. Focusing on sustainable ideas and innovation, visitors can expect to see imaginative – and edible – creations on a miniature scale. Throughout the exhibition, daily family-friendly workshops dedicated to gingerbread house-making will also be taking place.

When: 7 December – 5 January at Somerset House, WC2R 1LA

Info: Ticket Prices start from £7. To book, visit Somerset House’s website.


Book: Introduction to Modern Design

Since the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the design industry has routinely and drastically changed. George H. Marcus’ book traverses these changes, with chapters addressing European Modernism, Constructivism and wartime innovations, all the way up to today’s critiques of industrial design, design responsibility and design in the digital age. While the subject matter is expansive, the narrative remains very visually-led, with 280 colour illustrations featured.

When: Introduction to Modern Design by George H. Marcus will be published by Bloomsbury on 26 December.

Info: The book is currently on offer by Guardian books for £35.19. To pre-order, visit the Guardian’s website.


Workshop: Festive Origami at the V&A

This year’s “Freedom” tree, image courtesy of the V&A

This year’s V&A Christmas tree uses 200 origami birds to mark the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s births and was imagined by German design student Anna Huennerkopf. Inspired by this, the V&A will be putting on drop-in festive origami sessions throughout December, in collaboration with origami artist Coco Sato. Sato has worked extensively in the industry, using her traditional origami practice to produce work for clients including Lexus International, House of Fraser and even a collaborative project involving robotics and paper folding.

When: 10:30-17:00, 8, 15 and 22 December in the Sackler Centre Lunchroom at V&A South Kensington, SW7 2RL.

Info: This is a free event that takes place every Sunday in December in the run up to Christmas.


Course: UX & UI for everyone

This beginner to intermediate-level course offers designers the chance to start exploring the realms of UX and UI design. The course is run over three days, with the first day focusing on UX, the second UI and the third prototyping. Students will learn through a 50/50 mix of practical and theory lessons, which will include teach on topics such as A/B testing, iconography and graphics and testing. Past students have come from businesses like IBM, Facebook, Amazon, Sky, Channel 4 and Tesco.

When: 13:00-18:00, 16-18 December, at the School of UX, SE16 6AR.

Info: Tickets for this course start from £499+VAT. This course has a limited number of places – to book one, visit the School of UX’s website.


Other things to catch

Liberty Christmas window display

Disrupt Berlin Festival, 11-12 December: Disrupt organisers say the festival sits right at the cutting edge of technology, while also promoting community among start-ups. Tickets start from €645.

The Hoodie, 1 December – 12 April: This exhibition in Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam explores the cultural, political and design significance of the hoodie. Ticket prices start from €7.

Christmas window displays, 1-31 December: Up and down the country, shops are donning their festive glad rags in a bid to out-do one another. Check out Design Week’s coverage of London’s flagship stores to find out where to head first.

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