The fourth North East annual design festival, Design Event, continues this weekend, following yesterday’s launch and previews of product design and graphics exhibitions.
Over the next 18 days, through a total of 26 exhibitions, tours and events across locations in Gateshead, Sunderland and Newcastle, the region will flex its creative muscle with the aim of giving the capital a run for its money.
‘Going down to the London Design Festival this year and coming back up here shows that what we’re doing is on a par with London – that the quality of events and exhibitions are of just as high a standard,’ says Design Event marketing officer Kala Preston.
This year’s festival, which is operating on a smaller budget than last year’s Design Council’s Designs of the Time-backed event, is keeping the momentum from last year going, says Preston.
‘This year, we’ve had a smaller budget to arrange on – last year we had investment from Dott – but we wanted to keep the same level of quality and the same number of events,’ says Preston.
‘We’ve done this by developing relationships with the venues from last year and kept those contacts going,’ she adds.
One of the highlights of this year’s Design Event, says Preston, is the Design Event Mart, which opens next weekend at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead.
Design Event Mart is the festival’s first curated selling exhibition.
It will showcase a mix of established and nascent product designers, including work by David J Irwin, who has recently worked for Habitat, as well as Alexandra Tinning and design collective Deadgood.
Other exhibitions that will run until the conclusion of the festival include product design show Made North at the Designed and Made Gallery, and graphics showcase Hidden in Plain View.
This year’s festival is based on the theme of ‘Northern design’, referring to the North East’s industrial heritage.
Design Event 08, which runs until 26 October, is funded by regional development agency One North East, Northern Rock Foundation, Arts Council England, North East, and is sponsored by Newcastle College and North East Finance.
For further details, see www.design-event.co.uk.