monochrome products and slate by Sasa Savic

2015 marks ten years since Design Event launched. Supporting and promoting the work of Northern designers is what the Northern Design Festival is all about. The last decade has seen Design Event work with more than 1,400 designers, award 50 bursaries and 10 seed investments resulting in more than £250,000 in direct sales.

Design Event director Karen Nairstone says, “Newcastle-based designer David Irwin developed the prototype for his M Lamp with seed funding from Design Event in 2011 before going into production with US design brand Juniper in the USA, so we’re particularly proud to present David’s site-specific M Lamp installation at this year’s Festival to celebrate its UK launch.” Continue reading Design + architecture at the 2015 Northern Design Festival

Brochure cover - best light CROP

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.

2015 marks our 10th birthday and over the last decade we have welcomed over 250,000 visitors to our festivals, worked with in excess of 1,400 designers, delivered 25 talks, 15 workshops, and held over 120 exhibitions and events.

To celebrate, we will be showcasing work from leading designers in a stunning Grade II* listed building in the heart of Newcastle’s city centre, not usually open to the public. The Festival will take place 21-25 October 2015, where we expect to welcome around 2,000 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 2015 Festival we are looking for dedicated 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.

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 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 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 28th September 2015. If you have any questions please email Alexandra Ward at

Architecture Open 2015: Work in Progress

RIBA North East invites members – from students and affiliates through to directors, partners, retired practitioners and honorary fellows, to submit work for this year’s Architecture Open, a group exhibition taking place at the 2015 Northern Design Festival 21-25 October.
The Architecture Open is a fantastic opportunity to have your work and ideas widely seen in a unique setting in a vibrant part of the North East. Architecture Open attracts the attention of both industry and design conscious public and  is expected to be one of this year’s most exciting showcases of inspiring ground breaking design.
This year the RIBA are calling for concept drawings, models, paintings, sketches and artworks of any form that have been a fundamental part of the creative process in great or un-realised projects, as a response to the North East Architecture Open theme: Work in Progress. They are interested in receiving submissions that can show a behind the scenes insight into how architects work and develop ideas. This can be as abstract as the initial source of inspiration for a project or a sketchbook with notes as well as models and drawings that have been an important part of the creative process.
As a subtle note the RIBA’s key campaigns in trying to orchestrate change in how we use space both publically and privately, the exhibition should also be a chance to showcase the innovative work carried out by member Architects.

The full brief can be downloaded here. Deadline for initial Applications is 31 July 2015.

The Assembly House, 55 Westgate Road

We’re busy planning the 2015 Northern Design Festival when we’ll be celebrating a Decade of Design – ten years of showcasing outstanding new work by leading northern, national and international designers across a range of design disciplines including graphics, furniture, fashion, ceramics, textiles, and lighting.

Design Event has a bit of reputation for putting on events in unique settings, and this year’s Festival is no exception – a magnificent hidden treasure of a venue in the centre of Newcastle, not usually open to the public…

We’re delighted to announce the first of our 2015 Festival partners – the Crafts Council and the RIBA; see below for some upcoming opportunities with them for northern designers, makers and architects.

We can’t say any more just yet, but put 21-25 October in your diaries and sign up to our e-newsletter to be the first to hear any news.

hothouse_logo_2013Hothouse 6 open call for emerging makers

Hothouse is a Crafts Council programme of creative and business support for new and emerging makers who have set up their business in the last three years. The programme includes ten one-day workshops, a two-day residential, six hours of 1:1 mentoring and connects participants to a national network of makers and organisations. 

The 2016 programme will run from February to July and there are 46 places available across four cohorts; three in England and one in Scotland.

For more information including industry partners, a Hothouse 5 participant blog, videos and links to past participants’ websites visit

Emerging makers can apply via the Crafts Council website – applications go live on 8 July and the deadline is 11 August 2015.  You can sign up for a reminder here.

Architecture Open 2015: Work in Progress
Architecture Open 2015 – North East Showcase Open Call

RIBA North East invites members – from students and affiliates through to directors, partners, retired practitioners and honorary fellows, to submit work for this year’s Architecture Open, a group exhibition taking place at the 2015 Northern Design Festival from 21 to 25 October.

The theme this year is Work in Progress – concept drawings, models, paintings, sketches and artworks of any form that have been a fundamental part of the creative process in great or un-realised projects.

Submissions should give an insight into how architects work and develop ideas; this can be as abstract as the initial source of inspiration for a project or a sketchbook with notes, to models and drawings that have been an important part of the creative process. The resulting exhibition will be a chance to showcase the innovative work carried out by our architects.

Download the Architecture Open: Work in Progress brief here. The deadline to register 31 July and a full timeline is available here.


Design degree shows are a great opportunity to gain an insight into some of the upcoming innovations and concepts right across the North.

Promising to bring together and showcase creativity in all areas of design, including Interior Design, Product Design, Graphics and Architecture, design degree shows are an ideal place to look out for the next big thing.

North East degree shows include:

Northumbria University REVEAL 16 – 27 June

Newcastle College 5-12 June

Sunderland University 12 – 19 June

Cleveland College of Art & Design 10 – 12 June

Degree shows in North Yorkshire and Lancashire include:

Leeds University SHIFT 19 – 26 June

Sheffield Hallam 13 – 26 June

Liverpool University 29 May – 12 June

Manchester School of Art 12 – 24 June

Deadgood Residency

Following on from their London residency, for two weeks Newcastle based Deadgood will be residing at Workpattern on Newcastle’s Quayside; showcasing a carefully curated selection of products from their cutting edge collection of modern British furniture, lighting and interior accessories.

New products on show will include Harvey Modular, the Tree Table, the Tyneside Lounger and Woody, alongside some familiar favourites in striking new finishes. They’ll also be showcasing items from the 2015 Accessories Collection.

Find out more including details of their evening reception on 23 April  here

The showroom is open weekdays only.

24th April – 7th May

The Deadgood Residency
5 Queen Street
Newcastle upon Tyne

2015 MART

We are pleased to announce the open call for submissions of work to be included in the 2015 Design Event MART. Design Event invites submissions of innovative and high quality design-led work from furniture, surface, textile, lighting, illustration, product, jewelry and fashion accessory designers and makers based in the North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber.

About Design Event

Design Event is a not-for-profit design-led organisation existing to support and promote design in the North of England. Each year, Design Event run a programme of activity that promotes and showcases design and supports designers. In February 2015 Design Event were awarded the Homes and Gardens design award for best backer of british design.

About Design Event MART

Design Event MART is a curated selling exhibition showcasing the best in contemporary design from the North of England. 2015 Marks Design Event’s tenth birthday and we will be celebrating in style by holding this year’s Design Event MART in a beautiful grade II* listed building in Newcastle’s city centre. In 2013 Design Event MART was held at Globe Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, and attracted 1,500 visitors. Exhibiting designers achieved on-site and post-event sales exceeding £40,000. The event has received extensive press coverage in both regional and national publications including features in Design Week,  Living ETC and The Independent. Four exhibitors were presented with awards nominated by; Confessions of a Design Geek, Formica and British by Design.

About Design Event MART 2015

Design Event MART 2015 will take place from 21-25 October 2015 with an opening event and awards ceremony on 20 October. We will also host an architects’ breakfast in partnership with the RIBA on 22 October. The exhibition will showcase the work of 15-25 designers from the North of England working in a range of design disciplines, in a stunning grade II* listed venue in Newcastle’s city centre, not usually open to the public.

Selection panel

Works to be exhibited will be selected by our panel of industry experts. Our panel for 2015 includes :

Sara Ley –  Head of retail, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art

Carmel Allen – Creative director, Heals

Rickard Whittingham – Programme leader 3 dimensional design, designers in residence, Northumbria University

Karen Nairstone – Director, Design Event

Where you come in!

We are now seeking applications from designers interested in exhibiting at Design Event MART 2015. Design Event MART is open to designers living and working across the North of England (North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber). Designers producing innovative new work from all design disciplines including; furniture, surface, textile, lighting, illustration, product, jewellery, fashion accessory and print-based design will be considered


In order to ensure the exhibition is diverse, engaging and provides maximum opportunity to the designers involved, we are looking for innovative work at various stages of production including; new prototypes, one-off pieces and commissions and batch produced items. We will accept applications from designers living and working in the North of England; North East, North West and Yorkshire & Humber. Submissions of products that are the result of a collaboration between 2 or more designers are welcome

Work submitted:

– can relate to any design discipline, and use any materials and tools for manufacture provided that products have a high quality finish

– should not have been widely exhibited in the North of England or as part of previous Design Event MARTs

– should ideally have selling potential either as a ‘carry out’ item or be available to order.  However, a small number of innovative prototypes may be included

– must represent the designer’s original ideas and be non-derivative

Submission and Selection

Applications must be submitted by 12 April 2015

Selected designers will be informed by 30 April 2015

Selected designers must submit a high quality image of their product by 1 June 2015

Terms and Conditions

  • Design Event will cover the costs of the exhibition including exhibition build, graphics, promotion, staffing of the event
  • Design Event will undertake a national and regional PR campaign
  • Design Event will design, curate and install the exhibition
  • Exhibiting designers will be able to show up to 5 products (selected by Design Event) and will have their products available for sale in a pop-up shop within the exhibition
  • All products exhibited and available for sale will be selected and displayed by Design Event
  • Applications must be submitted with the £15 Application fee which goes towards costs of administration and selection process.
  • Exhibiting designers will be required to pay an exhibitor fee of £155 including VAT.  Full payment or a 50% instalment of the fee must be paid within 6 weeks of receiving an offer to exhibit
  •  Exhibiting designers will retain100% of sales of exhibition pieces made as part of the exhibition Additional pieces may be selected for the pop up shop and Design Event will take 40% commission on these additional selected pieces.
  •  Exhibiting designers will be responsible for bringing their products to the exhibition venue and removing them at the close of the exhibition at dates and times agreed with Design Event
  • Exhibiting designers will be responsible for providing images of their work and information on themselves and their practice for marketing and interpretation purposes.  This information is to be provided in a timely manner and in the specified format
  • If possible, exhibitors will be present for the duration of the exhibition


Selected designers will receive:

·       a dedicated exhibition space from 21-25 October with an opening event on 20 October

·       The opportunity to present their work to architects at the RIBA partnered Architects’ breakfast

·       inclusion in Design Event national and regional press campaign

·       coverage through Design Event e-bulletins and social media activity

·       consideration for Design Event Awards 2015

·       100% of sales of exhibition works made at the exhibition

·       60% of sales of additional shop pieces

·       exposure to regional commissioners, specifiers, retailers and buyers

·       inclusion in web directory on Design Event website for 1 year


To apply for Design Event MART 2015, please produce a powerpoint presentation to the specifications below and send to Karen Nairstone at by 12 April 2015.

Application Fee

The application fee is £15 and is non refundable. The fee will go towards the costs of processing applications and the selection process. Please make payment via paypal to Applications will not be processed without this fee.

Things to Consider

This application asks you to submit images of your product (s).  If you are selected to exhibit at Design Event MART, we will request that you supply high quality photographs of your product or a high quality prototype version by 1 June 2015.  Submitting images when requested will maximise national promotional opportunities for your work

Design Event may contact you for further information to support your application in advance of the deadline for confirming the outcome of your application.  A prompt and full response to these requests will strengthen your application

Application Format

Slide 1: Personal details

Include: your name, the name of your company (if applicable), telephone    number, email address, website, postal address, postcode

Slide 2: About you

Please tell us a little about yourself as a practitioner.  Include information such as your training (if applicable), the materials/tools/techniques you work with, your previous projects and your particular interests/sources of inspiration

Slide 3-6: About your product

Please tell us about the product(s)/prototype(s) installation you propose to show at Design Event MART.  Include:

–      Product name/ title

–      Product type

–      Materials used

–      Making/manufacturing technique or process used

–      Concept/ intended use

–      Production stage (is the product at prototype stage/or complete?)

–      Any environmental/sustainability issues that your product addresses, either through manufacture or intended use

–      Expected retail selling price

–      How many  units will be available for sale at Design Event MART 2015

–      Any further information you feel is relevant

Please write about each element as fully as possible

You may submit up to 6 products/ranges for consideration, provided they meet the criteria described above

If you are submitting more than one product/range for consideration, please provide a separate block of information about each

Slide 7: Other exhibition experience/press

Please list :

any exhibitions your work has been featured in in the last 24 months.

any press coverage that your work has received in the last 24 months

any exhibitions that your work is due to feature in before October 2015

Slide 8-13: Images

Please supply a maximum of 6 different images of your product(s).  If your products are still in development, good quality sketches or CAD images are acceptable.

Please only supply images to which you hold the copyright or rights for reproduction and ensure details of the photographer are clearly stated, if necessary.
Please note: Design Event will assume any photography supplied to us will have your copyright permission to use for press/reproduction purposes. If your     work is selected, product images supplied may also be used on Design Event website or other promotional material.  The exhibitor is responsible for any copyright issues which may arise from publication.

Additonal retail items

If you have additional works you would like considered for our pop up shop please include a line sheet or catalogue with your submission.


Thank you for completing your presentation.  Please send it Karen Nairstone at by 12 April 2015 along with your application fee via paypal to

If you have any queries about the application process, please contact Karen at the email address above, or on 0191 276 2227


Harvest is Ouseburn Coffee Company’s canteen and coffee house.

The interior was developed in house and echoes the classic elements of the OCC brand – with a fresh, simple and classic design.

The Ouseburn Coffee team wanted a domestic and personal feel to the space – reminiscent of a family kitchen, and aimed to create a neighbourhood space that was spacious and calm and invited people to stay longer.

The large windows flood the space with light, emphasised further by the white walls and floor. This expanse of white is contrasted by the central kitchen and island, made from reclaimed dark wood paneling form a local school, square edged steel supports and black laminate ply worktops. The main island is slightly lower than standard specifications to be reminiscent of gathering round a kitchen table.

This simplicity of materials and focus on functionality is echoed in the kitchenware that includes natural string bags to hold fruit, stoneware and bamboo vessels and wire baskets for bread. The perfect partner to their freshly roasted coffee packaged in kraft paper bags with typographic labels.

Harvest Canteen

91 St Georges Terrace, Jesmond, Newcastle NE2