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

This month, V&A Dundee turns one, a ping pong charity auction returns and a product design handbook is given a 2019 update.

Book: Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design


A practical guide for all product design students, Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design provides insight into how prototypes are made and how they are used to help designers better understand problems. Materials, tools and techniques are explored with step-by-step tutorials along with examples of how each has been used in real and successful products.There is a focus on more “imaginative” solutions to product design, which might incorporate human interaction more fully as well as ways to “derisk” the design process. This updated second edition includes technological break-throughs in the world of product design, such as 3D printing, digital modelmaking and laser cutting.

When: Available to buy now.

Info: Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design is published by Laurence King, and costs £29.99.

Talk: Kengo Kuma at V&A Dundee

Kengo Kuma at V&A Dundee

V&A Dundee, Scotland’s first design museum, turns one in September. Its architect, Kengo Kuma from Japan, will return to the museum to discuss his design approach. He will discuss how designing V&A Dundee informed his latest project, the National Stadium, which is the main venue for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

V&A Dundee’s exterior was inspired by the cliffs of north-eastern Scotland, and the interiors take their design cues from the outside world too — natural light and wood finishes — in an attempt the create a “calm environment”. While exploring the links between his two projects, Kuma will discuss how the National Stadium is a “symbol of a new age” and “a new period of natural design”.

When: 15 September 2019.

Where: V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee DD1 4EZ.

Info: Tickets cost £15-18 and the talk starts at 8:00pm.

Auction: Art of Ping Pong


Art of Ping Pong celebrates the “popularity and subculture of ping pong” by mixing it with “the colour and fun of art.” Since 2013, the organisation has run charity exhibitions and auctions, raising over £30,000. This year, it’s worked with Collage Club, a collage-based workshop series, to create ten designs on ping pong paddle boards. The artists include Peter Quinnell, Ben Branagan, Ed Cheverton, Esther Cox, DR.ME, James Dawe, Jo Hummel, Anna Bu Kliewer, Jimmy Turrell and Joe Cruz. The colourful designs will be auctioned off during the month-long period.

Hosted at the Hoxton Southwark, the hotel chain’s third London opening, this year’s proceeds will go to local charities. On the launch night, there will be collage workshops, ping pong tournaments as well as DJs, drinks and food.

When: 13 September — 13 October 2019.

Where: The Hoxton, 32-40 Blackfriars Rd, South Bank, SE1 8PB.

Info: The exhibition launch party takes place 13 September 2019 from 7:00pm-11:00pm.

Product: Granby Workshop

Image courtesy of Granby Workshop

Liverpool-based ceramics studio, Granby Workshop, is presenting a range of ceramic tableware made from 100% waste materials at Coal Drops Yard as part of London Design Festival. The studio, which says the range is the first of its kind, analysed materials from industrial and post-consumer waste which would otherwise go to landfill. The resulting ceramics, available in a range of shapes and glazes, are dishwater and microwave safe. A Kickstarter campaign will launch on 18 September with the goal of raising £50,000. The entire collection is showcased at the Kings Cross venue where an “exclusive range of prototypes and one-off pieces” will also available to purchase.

When: The exhibition will be open from 18 – 22 September 2019 and the Kickstarter campaign launches 18 September.

Where: The range is displayed at Coal Drops Yard, Stable Street, Kings Cross, London N1C 4DQ.

Exhibition: London Design Festival

A design from Raw, by Mint Studio

London Design Festival, the capital’s annual celebration of all things design, returns in September with a range of exhibitions exploring multiple disciplines as well as social issues such as sustainability. At Somerset House, Makerversity is presenting an exhibition about the products, systems and design tools that will fill the cities of the future. In Brompton, Mint explores unconventional design with Raw, an exhibition with a “focus on minimising our impact on the environment”, with work from over 60 designers in pursuit of “considerate design”. Continuing the sustainable theme, Viaduct Furniture is exhibiting pieces from companies with “strong sustainable policies” including Mattiazzi, Nikari and Zanat.

Installations will also be available to the public, from Kengo Kuma’s bamboo structure at the V&A to a black and white labyrinth at Westminster Cathedral, as well as a disco façade by Martino Gamper at Coal Drops Yard.

When: London Design Festival runs from 14 — 22 September 2019.

Where: Across the capital.

Info: For specific information about opening times and dates, check the websites.

Other things to catch:

Paris Design Week: the week-long festival, which includes installations, pop-ups and debates, returns to the French capital from 5 — 14 September 2019.

Share or Subscribe: Product and Space in a Post-ownership Era. A panel event and networking session discussing what the sharing economy means for interior designers and architects takes place on 26 September 2019 at 6:00pm. Tickets are free.

Storytelling and Making Workshop with Lisa Stickley: an interactive workshop for families with author and illustrator Lisa Stickley whose book Bernard Makes a Splash! is about a diving dog. Kids can learn about sustainable materials and design their own swimming costumes on 15 September 2019 from 2:30pm-5:30pm.

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