5 design things to look out for in February 2018

This month, you can visit South African festival Design Indaba, and explore the lesser-known history of upholstery at a new exhibition.

Exhibition: Made in North Korea: Graphics from Everyday Life in the DPRK

What: Last year, Phaidon released a book that featured thousands of examples of graphic ephemera collected from North Korea by author Nicholas Bonner. The product of 20 years’ worth of visits to the little-understood or documented country, the book includes designs ranging from hand-painted posters to sweet wrappers. This month, it is set to be brought to life in exhibition form at the House of Illustration in London. The exhibition is being co-curated by Bonner, who will also be giving a talk at the gallery on 23 February to coincide with its opening.

Where: House of Illustration, 2 Granary Square, King’s Cross, London N1C 4BH.

When: 23 February – 13 May 2018.

Info: Entry costs £7.50, or £5 for concessions. For more information and to buy tickets, head here.


Book: Vintage Travel Posters: A Journey to the Sea in 30 Posters

What: Coinciding with the V&A’s blockbuster exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed & Style, this new book by senior curator Gill Saunders looks to transport the reader back to the “golden age of travel”. It features 30 examples of vintage travel posters and advertisements, all of which have been taken from the museum’s own archive.

When: Published 1 February 2018.

Info: The book costs £19.95 and is available to pre-order from Thames & Hudson.


Conference: Design Indaba

Design Indaba 2016 at Artscape, Cape Town

What: This annual design conference returns to Cape Town in South Africa this month, with speakers set to include multidisciplinary designer Morag Myerscough, stage designer Es Devlin and Pentagram partner Natasha Jen. Design Week is attending, so we’ll be keeping you updated with exclusive interviews, news and round-ups coming out of the event.
When: 21-23 February 2018.

Where: Artscape Theatre Centre, D.F. Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001, South Africa.

Info: See the Design Indaba site for a full line-up.


Event series: Design Jam: Design for Health

What: The Royal College of Art’s (RCA) start-up incubator InnovationRCA is tackling the topic of health in its latest Design Jam series. Two evening events will see expert speakers from areas as varied as medicine and design discussing some of the most pressing challenges facing the health sector today. Attendees will then have a chance to develop solutions during a weekend-long session, where they will work in teams, get help with pitching and present their ideas to a panel of judges. The winning team will get a cash prize, and those who incorporate a company as part of their solution will be shortlisted to receive a £10,000 seed investment and a place on the InnovationRCA start-up programme.

When: Various dates in February 2018.

Where: Various locations.

Info: The evening talks are free to attend, and the weekend jam costs £20. Find out more about the event series and register for tickets here.


Exhibition: Upholstery: Evolution to Revolution

What: You may not immediately associate upholstery with political activism, but the National Centre for Craft & Design is hoping to change perceptions of the craft with its latest exhibition. Curated by UK-based upholsterer Second Sitters, the exhibition covers the history of the craft starting with its formal beginnings as a trade almost 700 years ago. It also includes some more experimental works by contemporary upholsterers, who have used the craft as a means of commenting on political and social issues such as materiality and throwaway culture.

When: Until 15 April 2018.

Where: National Centre for Craft & Design, Navigation Wharf, Carre Street, Sleaford NG34 7TW.

Info: Entry is free. For more information, head here.

Latest articles