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

Designers have a pop-up garden, a deep dive into British logos, the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition and more to see them into the autumn months.

For kids: Electro Explorers Club, Tech Will Save Us

The STEAM-focused activities devised by Tech Will Save Us have been a lifeline for many parents and families throughout the pandemic. Design Week even featured the organisation’s Games Designer Club, a creative hub packed with hands-on projects about game design, as one of our standout creative kids’ resources.

Now, the organisation has unveiled yet another initiative aimed at teaching kids about tech: the Electro Explorers Club. This subscription experience is aimed at 4-6-year-olds and is designed to “spark imagination and build independence” according to founder Bethany Koby.

Created in partnership with and approved by Montessori experts, each month subscribers will receive a story book, more than 120 minutes of “interactive, educational online content”, five hands-on projects and all the materials needed. Twelve themes have been designed into each of the boxes, with these including dinosaurs, space, robots and pets.

Info: Subscriptions can be bought from 1 October, for more information head here.


Pop-up installation: Moor Lane Community Garden, Culture Mile

City centres and green spaces are two things that have undoubtedly been in short supply for many throughout the six months of the coronavirus pandemic the world has seen so far. Back in July, we discussed how designers could help encourage the public to feel confident in cities again and a new pop-up installation from London’s Culture Mile could do just that.

Co-designed with local community and resident groups, the Moor Lane Community Garden is a testbed for a future landscaping project in the area. It has been inspired by the architecture of the nearby Barbican and London Wall, as well as the area’s design history.

The project is an experiment into new ways to “green” city streets, and will feature a range of drought-tolerant, low maintenance plants which aim to provide “flowers and fragrance” all year round.

Info: The garden is scheduled to open to the public from 5 October, for more information head here.


Book: Ya Mum and Other Stories from the Backstreets of Britain, Ben Tallon

Illustrator, former Design Week columnist and author Ben Tallon is set to release his latest book later this month. Ya Mum and Other Stories from the Backstreets of Britain was written during lockdown alongside Tallon’s diarised fiction debut Isolation Watch. Both titles were “part coping, part observation”, he tells Design Week.

The book is comprised on 21 short stories written by Tallon, inspired by both the odd and commonplace objects that we’re all too used to encountering in our urban environments – from already-scratched scratchcards and trollies that are far from home, to gloves on railings and single shoes.

Each have been illustrated in Tallon’s signature style, which tops off the “rancid collection” (the author’s own words).

Info: The book is being self-published by Tallon and is out on 22 October, for more information head here.


Talk: LogoArchive.International: Great Britain

Designer Richard Baird started his Instagram project LogoArchive back in 2015. Over the years, this endeavour has developed into a series of sell-out zines, and most recently, into an international network of collaborators. LogoArchive.GreatBritain is one such offshoot, and has so far covered the like of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport, RBS and a host of other British logos.

This upcoming talk hosted by Baird will introduce listeners his mission to “build bridges and catalyse discourse around visual culture”. Baird will moderate alongside LogoArchive.GreatBritain’s wider team: Darren Leader, Naomi White and Graham Burrows.

With each bringing with them years of experience in the design industry, this talk aims to share speakers’ inspirations, thoughts on British design and behind the scenes of the archive.

Info: This online event will take place 1 October at 19h00, for more information head here.


Exhibition: Beazley Designs of the Year, the Design Museum

It goes without saying that the lead up to this year’s Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition has been unlike any that have gone before. But after a turbulent year for the industry, the annual celebration of design ingenuity will no doubt serve as respite for some.

Nominated projects for this year’s exhibition will be announced on 20 October. We’ll be seeing projects that hit the world from January 2019 to January 2020. This being the case, coronavirus-related work could be quite minimal.

The Design Museum has given us an idea as to what to expect – with futuristic tech, water and food security and health and sanitation all hinted at on the exhibition website.

Info: The exhibition will open on 21 October, for tickets or to find out more about the Design Museum’s Safe and Sound guidelines, head here.


Poetry: Beyond the Pane, by Harry Meakin

While it has caused immeasurable disruption to the lives and careers of creatives across the country, the pandemic has been a fertile ground of inspiration for some. Designer Harry Meakin, who works for design studio Clout, is a part of this group – the experience of lockdown prompted him to design a book of poetry which he says, “captures people’s views during lockdown, literally and metaphorically”.

The book is comprised of 20 poems, which come from a selection of published poets and professional writers as well as “florists, teachers, sculptors” and more. Each poet was set a brief to write their poem and supply a photo of their view through a window. These have then been illustrated, with the overall effect aiming to look “quite stark” according to Meakin, so as to allow the words to reach their full potential.

The 44-page book is on Kickstarter until the end of the month – as of writing, it is already nearly halfway to its goal. The funding earned through the campaign will go towards production costs, with Meakin explaining that it will be printed in a black and red colour palette on GFSmith uncoated papers and emboss detailing to the cover.

Info: The Kickstarter is live now and runs until 28 October, for more information head here.


Radio show: The Nelly Boum Show, Nelly Ben Hayoun

October will mark the fourth episode of Nelly Ben Hayoun’s radio show broadcast on Worldwide FM and the theme this time is home. The designer says the show will interrogate the idea of homes, with discussions on family, homecoming, repatriation and departure.

As always, the two-hour timeslot will be filled with a series of guests – entrepreneur and activist Hratch Tchilingirian, curator and creator Ibrahim Nehme and art director Shirin Mirachor will all feature this time around.

Discussions will be thought-led but rooted in current events – Beirut native Nehme, for example, will examine the “rebirth” of his hometown after the trauma of the explosion that occurred there in August.

Info: Ben Hayoun’s show will be broadcast on 4 October between 9h00 and 11h00, for more information head here.

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