Top 5 design things to look out for in March

From books on The Barbican to discounted designer furniture and an Icelandic festival, we sum up what’s going on in the design world in March.

Exhibition and book: Building the Brutal


What: Discover more about Brutalist architecture and the design of Europe’s largest cultural venue The Barbican with a new show and accompanying book. Exhibition The Barbican: Designing for a Living City will look at architects’ Chamberlin, Powell and Bon’s 1971 landscape plans and illustrations for the venue, alongside original fittings, brochures and films. The book Building the Brutal will showcase never-before-seen photos of the arts centre’s construction and early years, by photographer Peter Bloomfield.

When: Exhibition opens 19 March. Book can currently be pre-ordered, for delivery in mid-March.

Where: Foyer, Level G, Barbican Art Gallery, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS.

Info: Exhibition entry – free. Book price – £15 via the Barbican’s online shop.

Product: Oculus Rift


What: Virtual reality will be in the hands of the general public this month, as Oculus Rift finally launches for consumers. The basic pack will include the VR headset with built-in headphones, mic and sensor, an Xbox One controller, and an Oculus Remote, which will be used to navigate the online store. It’s also thrown in platform game Lucky Tale for free.

When: Pre-orders now available for delivery starting 28 March.

Where. Available online via the Oculus website.

Info: Basic pack available for $599 (£427) via the Oculus website.

Conference: PromaxBDA Europe

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What: The Europe arm of the annual marketing and design conference PromaxBDA is set to take place in Barcelona this year, and will see speakers such as Neville Brody and Seb Lester. There’ll also be client-side creatives from brands such as Facebook and the Discovery Channel, speaking on the importance of design-led thinking and branding experiences.

When: 14-15 March

Where: Hotel Arts Barcelona, Marina 19-21, 08005 Barcelona, Spain

Info: Ticket price – €1095 (£845) + VAT until 3 March, with increased pricing after this. Buy tickets online.

Festival: DesignMarch Reykjavík

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What: The four-day Icelandic design festival includes exhibitions, workshops and other events spread across the town. It is accompanied by DesignTalks, a day of speakers including Jonathan Barnbrook, the designer behind several David Bowie album covers, and Maria Lisogorskaya, the co-founder of architecture collective Assemble.

When: 10 – 13 March

Where: DesignMarch takes place all over Reykjavík, Iceland. DesignTalks takes place at Iceland Design Centre, Vonarstræti 4b, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland.

Info: Most events free, but talks need to be booked in advance online.

Shop: The Sample Sale


What: New this year, The Sample Sale has been curated by the team behind London’s annual design show designjunction, and will showcase furniture, lighting and accessories at discounted prices. It’ll feature 2015 clearance stock from brands such as Tom Dixon, Moroso, Decode and Modus, and is aimed at “design-savvy shoppers” – but it’s first-come first served, so get there early.

When: 4 – 6 March, 12-9pm.

Where: Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, London, WC1B 4DA.

Info: Entrance price – £5, with a £1.47 booking fee. Buy tickets online.

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  • Stuart Mantell March 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    Re: Oculus Rift Interestingly over 20 years ago I created some illustrations for Denn Developments who had designed a magnetic ram used in flight simulators. The low running costs of the ram made it a potential component in the gaming industry. Consequently, at a gaming convention at Earls Court, the product was promoted using a surfing theme. 3 rams attached to a surfboard were mocked up to draw the attention of some the Japanese big boys (Nintendo etc). Being a surfer I agreed to model it. The VR headset I was originally given at Earls Court (and later photographed with – published in, amongst others, The Face, Sep 1994) was a bit bigger than the Oculus Rift. But before I had a chance to jump on the surfboard I was handed another (borrowed) VR headset not much bigger than a pair of swimming goggles. Where’s the progress in the last 20 years?

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