What We Do
We promote design
Design Event MART - The MART, curated selling exhibition of the best work coming out of the North East, has been a central part of the festival since 2008. It provides an opportunity for the public to meet the designers and find out more about the works on show and is a platform for the designers to gather direct feedback on their work. The exhibition also provides an opportunity to showcase leading graduate work.
In 2010, work by 22 designers was exhibited with £5,000 of direct sales made and 11 products taken on by retailers and other selling exhibitions. In 2011, 29 designers exhibited, including 7 graduates with over £3,000 of direct sales and a further £12,800 in commissions and sales after the event.
Exhibiting during the London Design Festival - Through working with designers since 2005 we were aware that new markets and outlets for their work was a substantial hurdle for most people. The MART goes some way to address this, but we felt that we needed to support designers to present on a national stage. In 2011 we exhibited at 100% Design with 8 regional designers. 100% Design was a huge success for those participating with interest from approximately 200 national and international buyers, commissioners and press representatives. As a direct outcome of exhibiting a total of £51,850 in commissions and sales resulted from the show.
In September 2012 Design Event will exhibit at Tent London showcasing designers from the north of England.
We support designers
Design Exchange Workshops and Masterclasses – The Design Exchange programme began in 2010 and came from an identified need for targeted skills development. There were a total of 236 attendants across the 17 sessions held. Workshop’s were developed across areas such as business, marketing skills, pricing strategies and motivation techniques specifically aimed at product designers. Masterclasses looked at business development skills for those working in the communications, advertising and graphic design sector. Led by sector specialists the workshop and masterclass topics were based on designers’ needs and provided opportunities for focused learning, peer support and included sector specific case studies and action plans.
Design Exchange Website – A central point for support including case studies, fact sheets, opportunities and links to other forms of support and organisations. There have been over 2500 fact sheet downloads.
Design Talks – Our talks programme began in 2007 and has continued to attract strong audiences and high profile speakers such as Susan Bradley, Giles Miller, Adrian Shaughnessy, Michael C Place, Matt Pyke, Marcus Fairs, Jonathan Barnbrook, Alistair Fuad Luke and Max Lamb. Audio from these talks are available online and continue to be downloaded. We have also organised a series of ‘Pecha-Kucha’ Nights (8-10 speakers each have 20 slides and only 20 seconds to talk about each); This was due to Design Event working with Klein Dytham the originators of the concept in Tokyo to become official organisers of such events for Newcastle in 2007, and provide a platform for innovative designers to present their work and to network across design disciplines. the talks provide an opportunity to hear inspiring speakers talk about their work, and how they’ve developed their practice. Speakers have included Matt Sewell, Dominic Wilcox
Mentoring Programme – for 2012 we have developed a mentoring programme for the 8-10 designers who will be exhibiting under the Design Event brand at Tent London. We will meet with the designers as a group and individually to ensure that they have developed their business, marketing,pricing strategies and are focused and ready for the show.
We Showcase Design
Design Event Festival – The Festival began as an annual event in 2005, and in 2007 partnered with DOTT 07 – an initiative between the Design Council and One North East providing the opportunity to grow to a region wide festival and begin commissioning new work. In 2010 the festival attracted over 64,000 visitors, included work by 271 designers and resulted in 210 new commissions. The festival consisted of over 30 exhibitions, talks, tours and events across design disciplines and incorporating national and international work alongside work from the North East. One of these exhibitions, The Modern Art of Conversation, was a site specific, city wide series of 10 new commissions featuring work from artists including Los Angeles based Geoff McFetridge, New York based Chris Ward and Keetra Dean Dixon and Eindhoven based Catalog Tree.
‘More than met my expectation. This festival is the best-organised, significant, design focussed event north of London. Truly excellent’ feedback from a member of the public.
In 2011 there were 12 exhibitions, 6 events, 1 installation, 4 buying/selling opportunities and 3 tours with the main hub of the festival being located at BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. The Design Event MART, First Hand from the Royal College of Art and international graphic designer, Noma Bar’s Cut It Out exhibitions were all located here creating a vibrant and exciting collection of exhibits.
Exhibiting at the London Design Festival – as mentioned above this provides a high quality platform to promote the design work being produced in the North East to a national and international audience whilst also promoting the region as a hotbed of design talent. 100% Design was a huge success for the 8 designers participating whohad direct interest from approximately 200 national and international buyers, commissioners and press with over £51,850 in sales and commissions after the event.
Talks – Leading design luminaries discuss their work. Speakers have included Timorous Beasties, Michael Young (Hong Kong), Kapok Architects (Berlin), Why Not Associates and Fashion Architecture Taste. Attracting designers, students and the public, showcase talks provide inspiration to produce more innovative work and provides a platform for networking.