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Northern Design Festival 2017 theme & dates

We are thrilled to announce the theme for this year’s Festival: Material Matters.

Now firmly established in the national design calendar, the Northern Design Festival is a showcase of the best in contemporary design by leading northern, national and international designers across graphics, furniture, fashion, illustration, architecture, ceramics, textiles and lighting.

The 2017 Festival theme is Material Matters. Director Karen Nairstone explains, “We encounter materials every day. From the fabrics of our clothes which we touch as we dress in the morning, to the buildings we pass as we walk down the street, materials inhabit in our daily life. It’s a theme which will be explored and celebrated through brand new commissions from internationally renowned designers and artists alongside work from established and up-and-coming Northern designers and creatives.”

The full programme of exhibitions, talks and special events will announced in September; highlights include:

A site-specific installation by Giles Miller Studio, this yet to be titled experimental new work will explore light and reflection and how this can be manipulated. Giles Miller Studio specialises in the development of innovative surface, sculptural and architectural works and have created award-winning work ranging in scale from individual mosaic tiles to artworks the size of buildings for clients including Stella McCartney, the Design Museum and the V&A.

A brand new exhibition by Newcastle-born graphic artist Jimmy Turrell, who has previously created work for Adidas, Beck, The Guardian and The New York Times. In 2016 Jimmy 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. He then cherry-picked the best pieces to screen-print, draw and paint onto. Unforsaken is about finding the beauty in forgotten and discarded materials and bringing them back to life in a completely new context.

The UK’s largest independent materials library, SCIN will present Material Explorations – exciting materials and material properties that have become key within architecture and design. Ranging from traditional materials that are made to look like something they are not; to everyday materials like human hair and salt which are being applied in architecture and fashion with thought-provoking results; and materials which until now were regarded as waste, given a makeover and reintroduced as unique materials for interiors and product design.

The 2017 Northern Design Festival takes place from 3-8 November at venues in Newcastle and Gateshead, including the historic Assembly House on Westgate Road in Newcastle city centre as the Festival hub. Full programme and venue details will be announced in September.

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