Ideas, inspiration and insights - 2016 Northern Design Festival

The Northern Design Festival is a showcase of the best in contemporary design by leading northern, national and international designers across graphics, furniture, fashion, illustration, architecture, ceramics, textiles and lighting. Ranging from Turner Prize winners to some of the UKʼs hottest emerging makers, this yearʼs Festival has eight exhibitions featuring work by more than 65 designers and architects, plus a programme of special events, tours and talks from some of the worldʼs leading creatives. The 2016 Northern Design Festival opens on 7 October with the inaugural Design NOW symposium with a stellar line-up of speakers. 

Exhibition highlights include:

Assemble - a site-specific installation in the historic Assembly House by the 2015 Turner Prizewinners displaying a new range of products alongside moulds and materials, tests and tools illustrating their experimental, smoke-fired and BBQ-ed ceramics

Where do ideas come from? - a graphics exhibition by internationally renowned designers including Noma Bar, typographer Alan Kitching and Pentagramʼs Angus Hyland

BoConcept Design Icons - the inspiration behind the classic Imola Chair design, from sketches to product development, and bespoke chairs made especially for the Festival

Take a Seat - a retrospective of seating designed by award-winning Newcastle-based industrial designer David Irwin, including his iconic Tyneside Lounger for Deadgood and his Hardy Chair for Another Country, winner of the 2016 Design Guild Mark, plus prototypes shown in the UK for the first time

Hollywood Hates Me - rejected poster artwork for some of worldʼs favourite movies by the man behind the designs for The Revenant and True Detective

The Drawing Room - architectsʼ sketches give a glimpse into how RIBA members develop ideas, plus a space for creatives to work and play during the Festival

Hothouse - a selection of work by the hottest new makers from across the UK in partnership with the Crafts Council 

The popular Design Event MART returns for 2016 - a curated selling exhibition presenting the best in contemporary design from designers from across the North of England, including furniture, ceramics, textiles, lighting, and product design. Exhibitors are selected by a panel of experts. For 2016, panel members were Sara Ley - Head of Retail at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Barbara Chandler - award-winning journalist and photographer, Naomi Shedden – Senior Trend Analyst at Trend Bible, Rickard Whittingham – Programme Leader 3D Design & Designers in Residence at Northumbria University, Kaylee Jenkinson - Exhibitions Officer at Manchester Craft and Design Centre, and Karen Nairstone – Director, Design Event. 

Lead image: Northern Design Festival | photo: Robert Patterson