Design Event ’08 Preview
Hot on the heels of the gargantuan (and slightly overwhelming) London Design Festival comes the far more intimate and friendly northern version, Design Event, which gets busy from 9 to 26 October 2008. We nipped up there this summer to get a feel for the city, and had a grand old time – read all about it on our Design Guide to Newcastle. The full line up for the festival has just been released. Helpfully, Newcastle is the perfect size for walking round, and you can wander from show to show in minutes – so we thought we'd create a walking tour for your pleasure and perambulation. This year's event is arranged around the theme of Northern Design, looking right across Northern Europe to see what's cooking from BALTIC to the Baltic states. First up, there's a trio of shows at King's House, just near the station, all running from 10-25 October.
Hidden in Plain View is a group show from designers across Northern Europe, who've looked at the tradition of steganography (the art and science of writing hidden messages) which is apparently traditionally popular on Scandinavian postcards, and they've created their own selection of postcards for viewers to decipher. Staying at King's House, the folks from If you could have put together a showcase of the latest raw design talent spilling out of Sunderland, Teeside and Northumbria Universities, exhibiting alongside some ex-students who've gone on to make it big. They're all confronting the question: If you could do anything in the North, what would it be? And before you head on from there, you can check out Magnetic North, a show by Marcus Diamond from Neasden Control Centre.
Just a short walk away you'll find the fantastic Electrik Sheep shop and gallery, which will be showing a stack of new work from Eelus (above). If you're up in that part of town already, the show opens on Thursday 2 October at 6pm.
Sticking with the illustration vibe, across toward the centre of town is the Tradition show from the Lobster Foundation, featuring work from ten of the bestest designers and illustrators kicking around in Scandinavia, including the ever wonderful Stina Persson (above). Heading south from there, the Designed & Made Gallery is putting on show called MadeNorth, looking at cultural similarities and differences between Scandinavia and north-eastern England.
Keep going south to catch the fantastic Lighten Up show from the folks at [re]design, fresh from its success at the 100% Design. There are some delicious bits in the collection, and they're exhibiting in the Tyne Bridge Tower, so it should be fantastic. And keep an eye out for more sustainable lighting cleverness from the folks at We Make, with their Beryl and Friends collection of lights popping up round town.
Nip along the river past the Gateshead Millennium Bridge to Baltic, where you'll find the Design Event Mart, selling a vast selection of work from the brightest and the best of the local talent, including Alex Underwood's brilliant Speaker Buddies, fresh from their trip down to the London Design Festival (and yep, we've shown you them before, but come on, they're great!)
And while you're there, check out the latest shows from David Shrigley and Steve McQueen, and catch the wonderful Yoshitomo Nara show before it closes on the 26th. There are a bunch of other Design Event shows on, in Sunderland and County Durham, as well as a selection of great talks. If you want to keep up to date, just sign up for the Design Event E-bulletin.