Arriving at the Triangle in Manchester City centre on a hot and humid afternoon last Thursday (words that don’t normally go hand in hand with Manchester) I admit I didn’t really know what to expect from the Designers Northern Alliance, a graduate show and awards event that I had been invited to take part in and be a judge for.
When walking into the shopping centre, it dawned on me that this was a great idea for hosting a design festival. Rather than expecting people to visit your respective university or college to view your final end of year show, why not bring the show to them?
Slotted in among the designer stores peddling their trade, the DNA was spread over the three floors of the building offering a great visual melting pot of emerging talent from various different design institutes in the North.
Also the work of Michael Potts, who picked up the Best Design award, and Richard Nabarro, who won Best Illustration, really impressed us all.
Judging on the basis of this year’s event, DNA will go from strength to strength as a great alternative to the often stuffy hallways and studio spaces of other graduate shows. It’s a vibrant place for students to showcase their wares to respective employers, who in turn are seeking talented young whippersnappers wanting to break into their industry.