Things to do in July: the best design events happening this month

Coinciding with the start of the school holidays, this month’s design events include creative workshops for children in Dundee and a Festival at the Young V&A.

Young V&A Summer Festival,8-9 July / V&A Dundee Sketch, Scribble + Style, 8 July – 6 August

At different ends of the country, the new Young V&A in East London and the V&A Dundee are holding design-focused, family-friendly activities this month.

Celebrating the opening of the Young V&A is a two-day weekend programme of creative activities for families. Workshops include a sustainable design workshop from local fashion label Aesthetic Laundry and a wearable shadow puppet workshop from a prop and puppet maker, while visitors will also have the chance to contribute to a large-scale physical installation by Leap Then Look.

In Dundee, Sketch, Scribble + Style is a daily workshop taking place throughout much of the Scottish school holidays. Hosted by Scottish fashion designer Louise Gray, the workshop will offer daily design challenges and other creative activities inspired by the museum’s current exhibitions, Tartan and The Fashion Show: Everything But the Clothes. Paper, easels, inks, charcoal, crayons as well as re-used tartan and neon fabrics are available for children to experiment and dress up in their creations.

Find more information about the Young V&A Summer Festival on 8-9 July here and the V&A Dundee’s workshops, taking place daily 11am to 4pm from 8 July to 6 August, here.

Online exhibition – Steinberg Meets the Eameses

Credit: Eames Office

The Eames Institute of Infinite Curiosity has launched its latest online exhibition, Steinberg Meets the Eameses, exploring a period of collaboration between prolific designers Ray and Charles Eames and Romanian-American artist Saul Steinberg.

The three met serendipitously following a failed Hollywood assignment for Steinberg, which is what brought the artist to the West Coast in 1950. One day that summer, at the Eames Office in Venice, California, Steinberg painted on furniture pieces including two fibreglass chairs – making the most of their innovative one-piece, moulded design – one depicting a cat; the other a nude figure.

These chairs – still in the possession of the Institute – are documented in the exhibition, as well as a fake diploma, created by Steinberg for Charles Eames to reward a degree in architecture that the designer never finished. There are also many artworks, artifacts, archive photographs and related ephemera to explore.

The Institute’s first book will also be released to document the exhibition.

The online exhibition Steinberg Meets the Eameses can be visited here, where more information about the accompanying book can also be found.

Design Festival North 11-13 July

Organised by Design Social North, Design Festival North is a free-to-attend, three-day event for interior designers, architects, suppliers and specifiers, taking place at the Science & Industry Museum in Manchester.

There will be a showcase of 30 leading and local design brands displaying new products and services, as well as a programme of curated events. On the 11 July there is a wellness focus, with the British Institute of Interior Design hosting a panel discussion on designing for inclusion; on 12 July Bose will discuss how to match audio design with interiors and brand image, and on the 13 July a variety of sessions will focus on sustainability.

Each day will end with an “After Hours” event for discussions over drinks and snacks.

Design Festival North will take place at Design Hub, 1830 Warehouse, Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Manchester M3 4FP. For a free ticket and more information visit the website.

MagCulture Live, in New York and online



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This edition of the magazine shop’s annual live event takes place in New York on Sunday 9 July, 1-5pm (EDT/GMT-4), and will also be livestreamed online.

Speakers this year include Debra Bishop, a designer and art director who has worked for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Martha Stewart Kids, The New York Times Kids and the New York Times Magazine; John Sunyer and Anna Jay of business-focused magazine Courier; Matt Willey and Dan Crowe of literary magazine Inque, (and previously Zembla and Port); and Echo Wu, co-founder of 1413 Magazine and a graphic designer at creative agency Food.

MagCulture Live will take place 9 July from 1-5pm (EDT/GMT-4), at Wix Playground, 100 Gansevoort St, New York, NY 10014, and will also be livestreamed online. To purchase a ticket, visit the website here

Exhibition: The Shape of Things

Photo Gavin Li

Greenwich Peninsula’s 2023 Design Commission is an exhibition by designer Simone Brewster. It explores the power of objects to communicate societal expectations of beauty and representation, as well as considering the effects of texture and shape on memory and emotion.

Objects on display range from furniture to jewellery, in Brewster’s visual language of geometric forms and bold colour combinations with both Western and African influences, reflecting her own heritage as part of the African Diaspora. Brewster’s Negress chaise lounge and Tropical Noire vessels are two highlights within the immersive exhibition that taps into all aspects of Brewster’s multidisciplinary practice.

The Shape of Things is open now until 24 September at NOW Gallery, Peninsula Square, Greenwich Peninsula, London, SE10 0SQ Find more information here.

If you’re after more design events to visit this month, check out our guide to all design grad shows happening across the UK here.

Banner Image credit: Eames Office



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