Design Event 09 to focus on politics and play

Politics and Play will be the theme of this year’s Design Event 09, the annual North East festival celebrating regional graphics, illustration, fashion and architecture.

Running from 16-25 October across Middlesbrough, Sunderland and Newcastle upon Tyne, the event will explore politics and design under recession and, in a separate focus, look at design inspired by play.

In the Think Tank experiment, six groups will be established, each comprising a graphic designer, advertising agency or illustrator to articulate the ideas of political think tanks. The design group Airside and think tank Demof will be involved.

Exploring the theme of play, social enterprise Redesign – which encourages sustainable activity through design – is working with local designers on Doing It For The Kids, a sustainable toy design programme, which is encouraging would-be toy designers to submit proposals through the Design Event 09 website.

Furniture design group Deadgood is to showcase four new collections. An upholstered sofa range, a laminated dining set, anodised aluminum breakout tables and screen-printed artwork will all be on display for the first time.

Design Event 09 director Karen Stone says that at the event visitors will have a chance to interact with works. Democracy is a Sumo Design exhibition that will see the public submit, evaluate and vote on works.

Stone says, ‘Designers, illustrators and the public will vote on their favourite 100 designs through our website and these will be projected at the exhibition.’ The scale of each projection is determined by its popularity and visitors can still vote in real time at the show.

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