‘Design is in the Detail’ is in partnership with the RIBA and explores the work of 3 leading design studios based in the North of England – Deadgood, James Design and RASKL. Whilst their work is stylistically diverse, each studio produces stunning work with the commonality of exceptional attention to detail making their work clearly distinct and undeniably desirable.

Elliot Brook is co-founder and director of Deadgood. Their collection of modern furniture, lighting and interior ‘products with personality’ are designed and made in Britain and supplied worldwide, to some of the freshest commercial projects on the planet. Alongside their in house design team, they work with designers at the vanguard of the UK design scene. Deadgood constantly strive to remain at the crest of the wave, challenging the status quo and experimenting with new ideas whilst always making sure their personal values of fun, quality and longevity are at the forefront of our business minds.

Dan Rose is designer and director at RASKL design studio. RASKL use their wealth of experience in design, furniture making and engineering to create bespoke design-led furniture, products and 3D solutions. Each highly unique and beautiful product is manufactured in-house and they believe that good value is good design that lasts. What they create is truly bespoke, existing specifically for the customer and inspired by them and their surroundings.

Nick James is a highly skilled craftsman and an advocate of traditional woodworking techniques that are rare in contemporary practice. A machine can’t pick up a piece of wood, study the flow of the grain or make a decision about how to use it. Nick’s passion for natural materials and intelligent design is central to his practice and he and his team use the best time-tested methods of connecting pieces of wood by unbreakable joints and precise construction methods to create furniture that will last a lifetime. Awards include The Worshipful Company of Furniture Maker’s Trophy For Excellence In Craft Skills.

21st March 18:00 – 20:00

Northern Design Centre, Hawkes Road, Gateshead

tickets £6-7.50


NDF 2017 award winners

We’re absolutely delighted to announce our 2017 Northern Design Festival Award winners! Congratulations to:

A huge thanks to all of our sponsors for judging this year’s Awards – by no means an easy task!  See these award-wining designs alongside work by more than 50 designers at this year’s Northern Design Festival, open until Wednesday 8 November.

unforsaken Jimmy Turrell - Beck video still_preview

Ranging from internationally renowned designers to some of the UK’s hottest emerging makers across graphics, furniture, fashion, illustration, architecture, ceramics, textiles and lighting, this year’s Northern Design Festival has nine exhibitions featuring work by more than 50 designers, plus a programme of special events, tours and talks from some of the world’s leading creatives.

Work new and exclusive to the 2017 Northern Design Festival includes:

Aurora – a new installation by Giles Miller Studio which specialises in the development of truly innovative surface, sculptural and architectural works including award-winning projects for Stella McCartney, the Design Museum and the V&A in London.

Giles Miller explains, “Our studio has been working on a concept called ‘Aurora’ which uses surface composition to create beautiful reflective presence in the space surrounding the sculpture. Aurora is a natural light display in the earth’s sky, sometimes referred to as the Northern lights, so when we were invited to create an installation for the Northern Design Festival it seemed like a perfectly appropriate place to share Aurora with the world.

We continue to develop new surface and sculptural typologies, and with every iteration comes deeper understanding of the visual and material effects we are able to generate using reflection and the manipulation of light. Almost 2000 mirror-finish stainless steel ‘pennies’ will be suspended within a structural lattice and composed to create variation of both reflective direction as well as visual permeability. The effect is an investigation into surface sculpture and the simple beauty of materials.”

Unforsaken (Part 1) – a new exhibition by graphic artist and director Jimmy Turrell, who was creative director on the new Beck album Colors released last week, and has produced work for The Guardian, Miguel and the New York Times.

In 2016, Jimmy Turrell bought a job lot of 1,000 vintage books and objects on Ebay, ranging from 1920s skiing manuals to vintage scrapbooks of the Norwegian royal family. From this collection (which was actually a day away from being taken to a rubbish dump) he then cherry-picked the best pieces to screen print, draw and paint on top of. Unforsaken is about discovering forgotten materials and bringing them back to life in a completely new context. Jimmy describes the exhibition as “maximalist”, and says “it’s about finding the beauty in discarded things”.

New Boosbeck Industries is a social enterprise that encourages people to work together to design and build furniture. For the Northern Design Festival they will present a new range of furniture designed and built in collaboration with community groups from a social enterprise inspired by the iconic 1930s initiative that aimed to address unemployment through creativity.

The project is led by artist and designer Adam Clarke, who says “The Northern Design Festival is a real flagship event in the design calendar; you get to show your wares and that there’s fantastic things going on here in the North East. It’s good to be part of such an established event, to be showcased at a high level – people will get to learn about what we do, as well as how we go about things.

A big part of of my practice as a designer and maker is research – I love discovering social history. Visitors to the Festival will see the pieces of furniture we make, but they’ll also find out about the social and historical side of what we do. The way we make things is quite unique – taking inspiration from an old catalogue we found in the Teesside archives, we work with people who are unemployed to reimagine how a piece of furniture from the past can look today, using modern techniques and machinery. There are maybe only six original 1930 Boosbeck pieces left in existence now, so we’re recreating a piece of social history. We embrace modern technology to keep the old traditions alive.

When we make something, everyone has a hand in all aspects of design but one person is the lead designer – when we sell a piece of furniture a % goes back to everyone who made it, and some to the business so we can make more prototypes for the future. We’re trying to tackle social issues through alternative ways, like making things. We’re trying to help people be more employable, we’re not trying to be the next IKEA.”

And Daniel Schofield will present a solo exhibition including new pieces and prototypes from his cork range. The Elle Decoration British Design Award-winner has produced work for Benchmark, Scandium and Conran in the first five years of his practice.

The 2017 Northern Design Festival takes place from 3-8 November at venues across Newcastle and Gateshead, including the historic Assembly House as the Festival hub where most exhibitions are held, and nearby Cooper’s Studios. Exhibitions are open daily 10-5pm and tickets are £2.50 for unlimited exhibition entry, or free for under 18s and staff places on school and college group visits. Prices vary for talks and special events.

studentsymposium feature

Here at Design Event we love students and want to inspire the next generation of designers so we’re offering student tickets to this year’s Design NOW Symposium for only £40.00!  Join us for a full day event (including a free lunch) and hear from some of the UK’s leading creative talent for an insight into their work, inspirations and creative practices.

“A great day that sparked motivation, inspiration and passion for design.”

“I came away feeling inspired.”


Anthony Burrill: Graphic artist, print- maker and designer Anthony Burrill’s work is held in the V&A and the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, and is sought after by collectors and clients including Apple, Google and Hermés.

Giles Miller: Giles Miller believes that spaces are defined by the surfaces that frame them. His interest focuses on light, reflection, texture and the manipulation of these elements to create conceptually subtle yet beautifully functional works.

Jimmy Turrell: Jimmy Turrell combines a love of collage, drawing, screenprinting and painting alongside digital techniques. He collects ephemera to cut up and repurpose, in search of strange and awkward juxtapositions.

Paul Scharf: Paul Scharf has worked for G.F. Smith for 31 years, visiting graphic designers and printers with their fine papers. Paul will present the history of G.F. Smith from their establishment in 1885 right up to MadeThought’s recent rebrand.

Sarah Hyndman: Sarah Hyndman founded Type Tasting in 2013. She is a graphic designer, writer and speaker with expertise in multi sensory typography. She is interested in the psychology of type and aims to change the way we think about typography.

Curated by Design Event, in partnership with the Northern Design Centre, and supported by Different, Newcastle College and G.F. Smith. Read more about the 2017 Northern Design Festival partners.

Northern Design Centre, Baltic Business Quarter, Gateshead NE8 3DF

Friday 3 November, 10am-5pm

Professionals £65, Students £40.

Booking required – click here to book online.

NDF17 volunteer headernew

We’re looking for a team of dedicated, enthusiastic volunteers for this year’s Northern Design Festival. Design Event was established in 2005 to showcase good design and support designers across the North. We do this through a range of programmes including the Northern Design Festival, showcasing at the London Design Festival and our talks programme featuring leading designers.

2017 marks our 12th birthday and this year we are celebrating all things material with our theme: Material Matters. Over the last 12 years we have welcomed over 250,000 visitors to our festivals, worked with in excess of 1,400 designers, delivered a multitude of talks and workshops, and held over 120 exhibitions and events.

We will once again be showcasing work from leading designers in the stunning Assembly House, a Grade II* listed building in the heart of Newcastle’s city centre.

The Festival will take place 3rd-8th November 2017 where we expect to welcome around 3,000 visitors.

The opportunity

The Northern Design Festival regularly recruits a brilliant team of volunteers who are invaluable to the smooth running of the Festival and enhancing the visitor experience.

For the 2017 Festival we are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic volunteers to help out with a range of tasks. As a Festival steward you will act as an ambassador and information point for our visitors, so we do ask that you take the position seriously and commit to any shifts you may be allocated.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the exhibitions, what’s involved in organising events and to develop your communication skills and future prospects within the world of design.

What’s in it for you?

  • You will receive training in preparation and on the job, which will help you in delivering an amazing experience for Festival-goers
  • The role will enhance your CV – you will gain valuable experience of working on events and exhibitions and may have the opportunity of a professional reference
  • The chance to meet exhibitors and designers, in previous years volunteers have secured placements through their time spent at the festival.
  • The role will be best tailored to your interests and previous experience
  • You will gain insight into the work of some of the region’s leading designers
  • You’ll get a sneak preview of our stunning Festival venue
  • You’ll work in a dynamic team of like-minded people and develop new friends and contacts

What we’re looking for

We are looking for enthusiastic team players with an interest in the Festival.

Key tasks include:

  • Welcoming visitors to exhibitions and events
  • Helping out with construction, install and take down of exhibitions
  • Supporting the Festival team at openings, previews and special events
  • Helping in the pop up shop

“I volunteered at last year’s Northern Design Festival. I was involved in the whole process – setting up before, helping out during and after assisting with the de-install. This gave me invaluable insight into what goes into creating exhibitions and events. In addition I met other creatives; students and people already working in industry, some of whom even went on to help with my final major project! It was all in all a highly beneficial and enjoyable experience, great for making contacts and enhancing your C.V. – Anna Ishimoto, 2016 volunteer.

I got involved with Design Event just after I graduated in 2008. I was looking to gain work experience in a creative environment. As I studied design at university this was a perfect opportunity right in the heart of Newcastle.I joined the team as a volunteer and help to invigilate various exhibitions across the Festival. It was a fantastic opportunity to work in a different environment with new people and it was brilliant engaging with the general public. The event gave me responsibility and built my confidence in approaching people and talking about their opinions and my own. It also showed me that I could be creative in a different way.” Previous Festival volunteer

How to apply

Please complete this online application as soon as possible, and no later than 6th October 2017. Also please note last year we experienced difficulties with emails so please add to your email contacts to ensure you receive any emails. If you have any questions please email Zoe at