Picks of the month: design events in January

Beat the January blues with these things to see and do this month, which include an exhibition on the history of the Adana printing press and the January Furniture Show.

Trade show: January Furniture Show

Running for 32 years, the latest edition of the four-day furniture industry event brings together over 350 brands showcasing 50,000 products, with an increased presence of international pavilions.

New for 2023 is a partnership with The Better Trends Company, providing advice as well as showcasing trends through a number of themed installations such as Permacrisis – “a defiant design response embracing joyful, nostalgic and creative outlets through bright colour and bold pattern.”

The Furniture Talks Stage will host masterclasses, panel discussions and interviews, including Franky Rousell, founder and creative director of Jolie Studio on working with sensory design and John Hubbard of FIRA International on leveraging the Furniture Industry Sustainability Programme (FISP).

For the first time, in partnership with trades skills preservation initiative the Centre for Excellence in Creative Making, live experiential workshop Craft The Future will allow visitors to see design specialists such as designer and leatherworker Bill Amberg demonstrating traditional heritage skills and their contemporary applications.

The January Furniture Show takes place at the NEC Birmingham, North Avenue, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT, UK from 22 – 25 January. For more information visit the website.

Exhibition, lecture and workshop: 100 years of the Adana printing press

To accompany the new exhibition Print Pound Notes! Celebrating 100 years of Adana, opening on 26 January at the St Bride Foundation, curator Bob Richardson will present an in-person and online talk on 31 January at 7pm.

Adana was founded in 1922 by Donald Aspinall, a soldier who survived the Western Front during WW1. Finding himself penniless after he returned, he designed the small printing press to bring in some income. Overwhelmed by the number of orders he then received, he then started to produce the presses – which are still made today.

For those interested in setting up their own Adana platen press, two one-day courses will also take place on 11 and 25 January. Tutor Mick Clayton will offer instruction in hand typesetting and printing on the Adana as well as explaining the maintenance of the press, workshop management and what to look out for when purchasing equipment.

The exhibition is open from 26 January – 24 April 2023; the lecture is on 31 January and the one-day workshops on 11 January and 25 January from 10:30-4:30 at St Bride Foundation, Bride Lane Fleet Street, London. For more information, visit the website.

Trade show: Maison&Objet

Under the theme of Take Care! design show Maison&Objet will take place in Paris from 19 – 23 January.

Exhibits will fit within four “cornerstones of care”: taking care of yourself, featuring solutions for wellness following the physical toll of the pandemic; taking care of nature, looking to new socially minded initiatives and products made with waste plastic; taking care and showing an interest in others, with showcases on Ukrainian design, and Spain’s rising talents; and taking care of our heritage and expertise, highlighting artisan trades from around the world.

Digital platform MOM will showcase sustainable products throughout the year, while the Maison&Objet Academy will broadcast monthly content focusing on training and market trends.

The trade fair is also working to increase its own sustainability by reusing signage, donating unsold food to the Red Cross, increasing LED usage and recycling 50% of waste.

Maison&Objet will take place from 19-23 January at the Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Centre, ZAC Paris Nord 2, 93420 Villepinte, France. For more information visit the website.


Exhibition: People Make Television

The Wages for Housework Campaign: All Work and No Pay, Open Door, BBC2, 1976. Courtesy BBC

East London gallery Raven Row reopens after five years with an exhibition of DIY television from the 1970s, much of which came from a BBC fringe department known as the Community Programme Unit (CPU), set up in 1972. The CPU provided a camera crew and studio but handed over complete editorial control for the programmes produced by campaigning and community groups, artists and volunteers.

The footage and images reveal homemade sets and formally experimental television, while the groups give insight into a breadth of the decade’s social history, representing anarchists, farm workers, Black teachers, women priests, office cleaners, radical housing associations, trans women, ex-cons, situationists, film co-ops, neurodiverse people and many more.

Visitors can browse the exhibition material in an installation designed by Jones Neville, and the exhibition is accompanied by a free publication designed by John Morgan Studio.

People Make Television is at Raven Row, 56 Artillery Lane, London, E1 7LS from 28 January to 26 March 2023. More information is available on the website

Competition: The People’s Pavilion Design Competition

The People’s Pavilion Design Competition returns for 2023, inviting east London-based 14–18-year-olds to work with a panel of designers on a pavilion to be built at Patchworks in Waltham Forrest. As well as having the chance to work with designers and architects and to have a say in the design of public space in their local area, the winning team will also receive an all-expenses trip to Italy to explore the Venice Biennale.

Two-day workshops for those based in Barking & Dagenham, Newham and Waltham Forest are taking place this month before the final selection of teams is made. Applicants must be available to take part in a development week during the February half term (Monday 13 February – Friday 17 February) where the teams for each east London borough will take part in a development week.

A cultural festival, also produced by young people, will take place at the pavilion in the summer of 2023.

For more information visit the website. The workshops this month are: Dagenham 7-8 January at Heath Park Community Centre & Cafe; Newham 21-22 January at Chobham Academy; Waltham Forest 28-29 January at Patchworks.


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