Things to do in November: the best design events happening this month

Our design recommendations this month include an interactive introduction to set design, in-person events from Glasgow to Brighton and design festivals in Ireland and Dubai.

Irish Design Week, 14 – 18 November



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Irish Design Week his returning after last year’s inaugural event with a new theme: “Is Folklore the Future?”

While using the folklore and storytelling as an engaging and insightful point of access, the issues tackled by the theme are current, ranging from diversity, inclusion and mental health.

Keynote events come from broadcaster, disability activist and Tilting the Lens CEO Sinead Burke and head of equality, diversity & inclusion at the Public Appointments Service, Siobhan McKenna; and Design Museum London director Tim Marlow and CEO of the Danish Design Centre Christian Bason discussing Ireland’s plans for a National Design Centre; and fashion designer Simone Rocha discussing her folklore influences.

Five-time Oscar nominated animation studio Cartoon Salon will be hosting a design workshop and exhibition about its Irish Folklore Trilogy of animations, while Climate KIC will be asking the design community to rethink Irish agricultural systems through vernacular design and farming folklore.

Irish Design Week will be taking place across the whole of Ireland from 14 – 18 of November. For more information and the full programme of events, visit the Irish Design Week Website.

Learning: The Old Vic Model Box

The Old Vic has released a new website looking to make set design more accessible to those interested in the industry. Designed by Fiasco Design in collaboration with Ben the illustrator, the interactive website works with the concept of a set designer’s model box – a “hand-made diorama that allows stage designers to place and plan elements on a smaller scale before dialling it up”, the team says.

With sections explaining the physical elements of different types of stage – black-box, proscenium, open-air and thrust – and the different roles and skills involved in designing for the stage, the website also plays with the tactile nature of the real-life physical version of a model box, bringing this into the design through interactions, perspective and motion.

To access the just-launched Old Vic Model Box for free, visit the interactive website here.

Event: Glasgow Print Fair, 4 November

Returning for its fifth year is Glasgow Print Fair, set up by Kaye Symington, co-founder of Paved with Gold and Jane McDevitt, partner at Maraid Design.

Taking place at The Lighthouse in Glasgow city centre, 55 different printmakers will be selling their work – showcasing print techniques including riso, screen and letterpress as well as photography. Prints on sale will vary in price from £3-100 and can be purchased directly from the artists.

Glasgow-based Letterpress Workshop will offer a free relief print workshop for visitors, culminating in a large-scale print installation at the Lighthouse, thanks to Creative Scotland funding.

This year’s branding has been created by illustrator and graphic designer Max Machen.

Glasgow Print Fair takes place from 10:30am – 5pm on Saturday 4 November at The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, G1 3NU. For more information visit the Glasgow Print Fair website.

Talk: Typocircle presents Thomas Sharp, 30 November

The Typographic Circle presents the second of two talks for November – following a sold-out special with Brian Collins earlier in the month – featuring writer and creative director Thomas Sharp, who has worked with clients including Cubitts, British Library, Henry Moore Foundation, London Fire Brigade, St Martin-in-the-fields and Politico.

Sharp will be presenting an evening “of language, consciousness, magic, romance and many adventures in writing” in the series’ regular location of the St Bride Foundation, London.

Welcome drinks start at 6:30, with the talk itself beginning at 7pm.

Typocircle presents Thomas Sharp will take place from 6:30pm on Thursday 30 November, at the St Bride Foundation, Fleet Street, London, EC4Y 8EQ. For tickets and information, visit the Eventbrite page.

Book Launch/Talk: A to Z of TDR – Launch Party with The Designers Republic™ and Ian Anderson, 7 November


The Sheffield-born graphic design studio The Designers Republic (TDR) will be hosting a launch party in its home city to celebrate new monograph, A to Z of TDR, published by Thames & Hudson.

The free-to-attend event will feature a conversation between studio founder Ian Anderson and designer Craig Oldham reflecting on three decades of the studio’s work. Captured in the 504-page illustrated book are 250 different album and single covers; 140 prints, posters and fliers; and more than 130 images of TDR’s print-based and editorial projects.

Mixing self-initiated projects with campaigns for clients such as Coca-Cola and Nike or designs for video games such as Wipeout and Formula Fusion, the book also features expansive sections focused on TDR’s work for record labels and artists, including sleeve designs for New Atlantis and Warp Records, Aphex Twin, Sun Electric and Moloko.

A to Z of TDR Launch Party will take place from 6:30 – 9:00pm on 7 November at Hideaway/La Biblioteka, 61 Eyre Lane, Sheffield, S1 3GF. Signed copies of the A to Z of The Designers Republic, published by Thame & Hudson, can be pre-ordered to the event.

Meet-up: Flock (Brighton Design Lunch), 17 November

A regular meet-up for creative workers in Brighton, Flock is the new name for Brighton Design Lunch – complete with branding from Brighton-based Baxter & Bailey.

This latest event will feature a presentation by Sue Breakell, archive director and principal research fellow at the University of Brighton Design archives.

The ticket price of £50 includes a buffet lunch and drinks, with dietary requirements catered to on request.

The next Flock event will take place on Friday 17 November, 12:30-3pm at Madeira Drive, Brighton and Hove, BN2 1AY. Tickets can be purchased via the Eventbrite page.

Dubai Design Week, 7 – 12 November 2023



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Dubai Design Week, taking place from 7 – 12 November will host a programme of events and activities, from commissions and large-scale installations, talks, workshops, a market and the design fair Downtown Design.

A talks programme will feature keynotes from speakers including Lidewij Edelcoort, a prominent trend forecaster and educator, while a Power Panel hosted by Lebanese designer Nada Debs and featuring speakers from Sebastian Herkner to Ozwald Boateng will discuss the evolving design scene in the UAE.

A dedicated section, Abwab, meaning ‘doors’ in Arabic, features newly commissioned work from across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia, to highlight creative talent from the regions and stimulate cultural change.

In response to the events in Gaza, DDW will be asking visitors to the Downtown Design Fair, part of DDW, to pay an entrance fee of AED 25 at the door, which will be donated in full to Red Cross affiliated non-profit, the Red Crescent Society of UAE.

Dubai Design Week takes place from 7 – 12 November 2023 across Dubai Design District. For more information, visit the DDW website.

Launch: National AIDS Trust collaboration with John Booth

Photographer credit: Adiam Yemane.

To mark World AIDS Day 2023, upcoming on December 1, the National AIDS Trust has partnered with artist, illustrator and textile designer John Booth on a limited edition t-shirt.

In the design, Booth wanted to reflect how HIV treatment and prevention has changed since the 1980s. A genderless figure is depicted in Booth’s colourful signature style, and was realised with a combination of monopress and letterpress printing.

The t-shirt is released with a photoshoot where the t-shirt is modelled by John and three younger people and HIV activists and peakers living with HIV: Mercy Shibbemba, Ellie Harrison and Roberto Tovar.

The t-shirt can be pre-ordered from today and is available until Friday 17 November, with all profits going to the National AIDS Trust. It has been produced by Everpress, printed on high-quality cotton with 100% recycled and recyclable packaging.

For more information and to purchase the t-shirt, which costs £28, visit the website.

Event: Diwali at Greenwich Peninsula, 11 November

To celebrate Diwali on 11 November, Greenwich Peninsula is hosting a schedule of live music arts and crafts, centred around artist Murugiah’s current public installation on the site, Rangoli Mirrored Cosmos.

In addition to a meet & greet with the artist, visitors are invited to create their own geometric mandalas inspired by the artwork or create paper lanterns before joining in a parade.

Other activities include a Bollywood dance choreography workshop and a live performance from sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun.

For more information on Greenwich Peninsula’s Diwali events see the listings here.

Banner image from Glasgow Print Fair, featured image Fiasco’s design for The Old Vic Model Box

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