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

This month Design Manchester turns seven, Anglia Ruskin University is telling tales with tech and Es Devlin is talking us through her latest installation.

Festival: Design Manchester

Celebrating its seventh edition, Design Manchester returns with this year’s theme: “(Redefining) Smart”. Its flagship event, the DM19 conference, will see the likes of D&AD’s new CEO Patrick Burgoyne, Pentagram’s Paula Scher and Extinction Rebellion’s Clive Russell and Charlie Waterhouse take to various stages with talks, Q&As and workshops. Beyond that, visitors can get involved in the debate for what makes a liveable city, hear more about The Designers’ Republic’s new book and get “shirty” at the National Football Museum’s history of football kit design exhibition.

When: The festival takes place across Manchester from 11-24 November. DM19 takes place on 22 November at The Bridgewater Hall, M2 3WS.

Info: Ticket prices vary.


Book: Objects of Desire: Surrealism and Design

Credit: Daniel Streat/Visual Fields, courtesy of Vitra Design Museum

The surrealist movement began in literature and art, but by no means did it stop there. In this book, compiled and written by Mateo Kries and Alex Coles and edited by Tanja Cunz, readers will show how the movement continues to permeate the world of design. It is based on the exhibition of the same name currently on display at the Vitra Design Museum, and features images from and essays on artists like Salvador Dalí, René Magritte and Marcel Duchamp. Publishers Hennessey + Ingalls says: “Objects of Desire makes one thing abundantly clear: form does not always follow function in design – it can also follow our obsessions, fantasies and hidden desires.”

When: 19 November.

Info: Pre-order for $90 from Hennessey + Ingalls Bookstore.


Fair: London Illustration Fair

Gas, 1950, Charlottle Macmillan-Scott

The London Illustration Fair will once again take up residence in London’s OXO Tower for a three-day event at the end of November. We spoke to curator and co-founder Alastair Eland at the beginning of the month about this year’s line-up, and among those to watch out for are design duo Rude, self-taught artist Charlotte Macmillan-Scott and “Birds in Hats” painter Alice Tams. Organisers pride themselves on the artist-led event, and encourage art fans to make the journey so they can come face to face with their favourite creatives, and potentially find new ones.

When: 29 November – 1 December.

Where: OXO Tower Wharf, SE1 9PH.

Info: Tickets are £10 for a day ticket, £15 for a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) or £20 for three days. The Fair is open from 11am-8pm Friday and Saturday, and 11am-6pm on Sunday.


Conference: UX Brighton

Design plays a key role in the development of user experience across a number of different industry contexts. At this year’s UX Brighton, delegates and speakers will focus on the craft of design, and how a solid understanding of this can uplift any user experience. The programme for the 2019 edition aims to give attendees a well-rounded education on the matter, with talk topics ranging from designing with AI and inclusivity, to the value of vision and rolling with the punches.

When: 1 November.

Where: Brighton Dome Concert Hall, BN1 1UE.

Info: Ticket prices start from £50 for students and £136 for regular attendees booking in a group. Registration opens at 9am.


Talk: Es Devlin

Es Devlin, by Jasper Clarke

From the Singing Tree at the V&A and Please feed the Lions on Trafalgar Square, Es Devlin is known for her large-scale installations. At this event, Devlin will unpack her latest work, Memory Palace, which is currently on display at the Pitzhanger Gallery. The 18-metre wide sculpture features a “vast chronological landscape mapping pivotal shifts in human perspective over 75 millennia”, complete with where the first humans made the first cave drawings, right the way up to where Greta Thunberg began her school climate strike. Alongside discussion on the installation, Devlin will help contextualise the piece within her wider body of work.

When: 6 November.

Where: Soane’s Kitchen, W5 5BE.

Info: Tickets are priced at £10, and £6.50 for concessions. The event runs from 7pm-9pm.


Exhibition: Storytelling in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

The Crossing, by RYOT and the Huffington Post

Curated by Anglian Ruskin University research institute StoryLab, this exhibition will explore the links between technology, communication and our wider lives. It aims to show how technology can complement human nature and “connect the past to the future”. As an interdisciplinary showcase, visitors can expect exhibits involving film, virtual reality (VR), photography and 3D models. Among the pieces featured are VR experiences like The Crossing, an immersive film about human trafficking (pictured above), and Home After War, which tells the sotry of a family returning home to the war-torn city of Falluja.

When: 7-28 November.

Where: Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge Campus, CB1 1PT.

Info: The exhibition is open Monday to Friday 10am-4:30pm. Entrance is free.


Other things to catch

Lucy Hughes, inventor of MarinaTex

Keith Haring at Tate Liverpool: Having earned impressive reviews across the board, Tate Liverpool’s Haring exhibition will close on 10 November. The first major showcase of his work in the UK, it has more than 85 artworks including large-scale paintings and drawings.

James Dyson Award International Winner: This year’s international winner will be announced on 14 November. Hopefuls have the chance to earn up to £35,000 for the winning invention. Finalists for 2019 include Lucy Hughes, the inventor of fish-based plastic alternative MarinaTex, and Anna Bernbaum, who created an AI enabled device designed to monitor asthma.

Creativity for Good by Glug Bristol: Glug is known for its championing of causes, like its recent climate change poster database. This time around it’s hosting “an evening of inspiring talks and super relaxed networking” which aims to explore how creativity can be used for good. It’ll take place on 13 November at The Square Club, BS8 1HB, with tickets costing £5.

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