Picks of the month: design events to catch in October

This month sees a call to action from Dutch Design Week, an exhibition on plastic’s promise and problems at V&A Dundee, a book celebrating turntable design and more.

Exhibition: Plastic: Remaking Our World, V&A Dundee

Anyone familiar with the existence of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch will understand the enormous impact plastic has had on our world in its 150-year history.

But asking the more difficult question of ‘How did we get here?’ is an exhibition opening on 29 October at V&A Dundee, co-produced with Vitra Design Museum, maat, Lisbon and curators from V&A South Kensington.

Photo by Peter Stackpole staged to illustrate an article on Throwaway Living in LIFE magazine August 1 1955.

The exhibition traces plastic’s trajectory from invention to ubiquity, acknowledging what made this material so extraordinary. Plastic has been used in all types of design, through product and furniture to architecture and fashion, and on show will be rare items spanning plastic’s beginnings to its apotheosis in the pop era. But alongside eye-catching designs such as Eero Aarnio’s Ball Chair and 1930s Bakelite posters, the exhibition will show where many in design are now focusing their attention: on the clean-up of the oceans and developing bio-based alternatives made of algae and mycelium.

Plastic: Remaking Our World will be at the V&A Dundee from 29 October 2022 – 5 February 2023. Find out more and buy tickets here

Revolution: The History of Turntable Design by Gideon Schwartz

Cover image of Revolution: The History of Turntable Design

Of interest to design-lovers, audiophiles, and both the recent converts and analogue natives of the ‘vinyl revival’ is a new book on the design, history and cultural impact of turntables and vinyl technology.

Written by audio design expert Gideon Schwartz, like his earlier title Hi-Fi: The History of High-End Audio Design, Revolution spotlights a key object in the history of music. It contains more than 300 turntable designs ranging from the affordable to the high-end, including the ‘audiophile-approved’ 1980s Micro Seiki SX-8000 by Hideaki Nishikawa alongside unusual designs such as the ‘Brutalist’ Sharp Optonica with its substantial granite plinth.

Threaded throughout the publication, Schrwartz’s text shows how object and culture have worked in tandem over the decades – from the early visions of Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville, Charles Cros, and Thomas Edison, to the relationship between DJs and companies such as Techncs – to explain why both this design object and analogue music culture have had such lasting appeal.

Revolution: The History of Turntable Design will be published by Phaidon on 13 October 2022 and is available for preorder now.

Design Fair: Dutch Design Week

Degree show exhibit from Dutch Design Week 2021. Credit Max Kneefel

Featuring the work of over 2600 international designers for exhibitions, events, debates and more, the 21st edition of Dutch Design Week (DDW) will take place from 22-30 October across Eindhoven.

This year’s theme, Get Set, is a call to action. “We have to act now,” says creative lead Miriam van der Lubbe. “Not everything will work out the way we plan or hope, [but the] only mistake we can make is just not to get started.”

The programme is split into seven thematic exhibitions, such as Get Set for Global Wellbeing, which explores concepts and designs to tackle planetary health problems.

There will also be exhibitions from a wider design community of studios, universities, academies, locations and DDW partners.

This year Formafantasma and solar designer Marjan van Aubel take on the role of design advocate for DDW. Both will create new projects for DDW, while for the first time, young design talents will be invited to collaborate.

Dutch Design Week takes place from Saturday 22 – Sunday 30 October across the city of Eindhoven, The Netherlands. Find out more and buy tickets.


Design Talk: Career Horror Stories from SheSays, Bureau and Design District

From SheSays, an organisation supporting women in the creative industries, comes the second edition of its popular ‘Horror Stories’ event at Bureau, the member’s club located in Design District, London.

The event is pitched as an honest conversation for members of the creative industries, where instead of focusing on their career successes, three professionals from design, gaming and film will confess the weird and memorable failures they have also had to deal with along the way.

Sharing their stories will be Emma Sexton, design advisor and founder of creative agency Hands Down! !®; Katie Farmer, global head of production at Gravity Road; and “entrepreneur, writer, avid solo-traveller, mental health advocate, spoken word poet, public speaker and ex-investment banking professional” Obsidian Funmi Adebayo. The event will be chaired by SheSays president Amy Dick, who is also head of Impact at Anyone, an app that lets you call anyone in the world for advice.

Career Horror Stories will take place on 12 October 2022, at Bureau C3, Design District, 13 Soames Walk, London SE10 0AX. Find out more and book tickets.


Event: Small Publishers Fair

Mechanical Reproduction in the Age of Digitisation, Richard Roberts, Roberts Print

The annual Small Publishers Fair returns to Bloomsbury for two days, showcasing the work of sixty-nine small press publishers drawn from across the UK and around the world.

Innovative form and content will come together across the mix of artists’ books, letterpress limited editions, poetry pamphlets, posters, zines and ephemera.

The work of many book designers including limited edition and hard-to-find publications will be available to browse and purchase.

Among the returning and new exhibitors are: Ambeck Design, Bad Betty Press, bookartbookshop, Coracle Press, Equus Press and many more. Work will be available to purchase with prices ranging from £2 to over £200.

This year’s exhibition Bibliopoe looks at books by poet, writer and performer SJ Fowler. Featuring more than fifty publications made with many different imprints across the breadth of British small publishing since 2010, the exhibition documents his unique engagement with the processes of publishing experimental literature. Fowler will curate an afternoon of readings on the Friday afternoon.

The Small Publishers Fair will be at Conway Hall, Bloomsbury, London on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 October. Find out more on the website.

Banner Image: Cabinet of Collaborations from Dutch Design Week 2021. 

Start the discussionStart the discussion
  • Post a comment

Latest articles