Design Manchester

Technology Will Save Us Thirsty Plant Kit

The second edition of creative festival Design Manchester begins next week, with a ten day programme of talks, exhibitions and workshops taking place across the city. Here’s a look at some of this year’s highlights…

The theme for the festival, which coincides with Manchester Science Festival, is ‘The Science of Imagination’. Speakers at a one-day conference will discuss the science of ideas and the processes behind their work, while other talks and workshops will explore creative uses of public space, new technologies and innovative materials.

Oh! by Supermundane

The conference takes place on October 24 at Manchester Town Hall and will feature talks from Daniel Hirschman, founding partner of Technology Will Save Us, which makes DIY gadget kits; Ross Phillips, an interaction designer at London agency Dalziel & Pow and Build director Michael C Place in conversation with Design Week editor Angus Montgomery.

Dalziel & Pow’s projection mapping installation for Primark’s Berlin flagship

Other speakers just confirmed are Rejane Dal Bello, a senior designer at Wolff Olins, graphic artist Rob Lowe (Supermundane) and Adrian Shaughnessy and Tony Brooks, who will be talking about their publishing business Unit Editions.

Manuals 1 by Unit Editions

Dutch Alzheimer Foundation identity by Rejane Dal Bello (while at Studio Dumbar)

On October 25, Manchester Print Fair will be taking over the People’s History Museum with more than 50 stalls selling prints, zines, books, clothing and homeware. Sponsor G.F. Smith will be hosting workshops and demonstrations in screen printing, letterpress and orgami throughout the day. (See the Fair’s Facebook page for details of sellers).

Also taking place is The Science of Play, an exhibition and series of talks exploring the meaning and importance of play. Talks will discuss gaming, playful architecture and play as a creative tool and contributors include Fieldwork, OWT Creative, Daren Newman and Helen Musselwhite, who collaborated with designers End of Play on some lovely paper playhouses for a window display at Fred Aldous promoting the event (pic via @designmcr):

Work will be available to buy at the show and online and all profits will be donated to Play360, an organisation which builds playgrounds in the developing world.

Other events include a panel debate on how the creative industries can help boost the North of England’s economy, a discussion on how designers and artists can make cities more dynamic and distinctive through installations and public art projects; a ‘Take 5’ Q&A session with The Chase co-founder Ben Casey and an adidas exhibition featuring 650 pairs of rare and limited edition trainers.

Photographic exhibition 10 x 10 In Process will reveal the making of works featured in 10×10, a collaborative exhibition held in the city last month, which featured works created by ten pairs of creatives inspired by this year’s Design Manchester theme.

Textbook studio and illustrator Jane Bower developed a prospectus and laser etched manifestos for a fictional ‘School of Imagination’ while The Neighbourhood and 24 Design collaborated on The Mind Wave Cave, a light installation controlled by brainwaves:

On October 27, Manchester Metropolitan University is hosting a series of demonstrations and talks about 3D printing, followed by a panel discussion at Manchester School of Art in which artists, scientists and businesses will discuss the future of 3D printing and how it has influenced their field. Events coincide with 3D: Printing the Future, an exhibition taking place at the Museum of Science and Industry as part of the Science Festival.

Design Manchester takes place from October 21 – 30. For more information or to book tickets, see