Northern Design Festival

The Northern Design Festival 2016 takes place in Newcastle and Gateshead from 7 to 16 October, exploring the theme of ‘where do ideas come from?’. Through a programme of events, exhibitions, talks and workshops we will discover how ideas evolve into the furniture, products, posters, brands and buildings which surround us every day.

To kick off the festival, we’ll be welcoming some of the UK’s leading creative talent in the fields of architecture, design, graphics and illustration for our inaugural design symposium, Design NOW.

Curated by Design Event and supported by the Northern Design Centre, the Design NOW symposium will address questions including ‘what value can good design bring?’ and ‘how can we nurture creativity?’.

Speakers include the winners of the 2015 Turner Prize, designer and architect collective Assemble; Israel born graphic designer, illustrator and artist Noma Bar; and graphic designer, author and creative director Angus Hyland.

Festival Director Karen Nairstone, said: “We’re thrilled to have secured an outstanding panel of speakers for this, our first Design NOW symposium.

“As well as addressing the theme of this year’s Northern Design Festival, ‘where do ideas come from?’ our panel will be giving an insight into their own inspiration, output and creative practices.”

 The identity for this year’s Northern Design Festival has been created by Newcastle-based creative agency JUMP.

Lucy Batley, Co-Founder and Creative Director of JUMP, said: We are delighted to present the identity for this year’s Northern Design Festival. The visual identity responds to the overarching festival theme of ‘Where do ideas come from?’. In search of the source of our own ideas we recognise that each process is unique. The maze graphic represents the individual journeys and the paths they follow, all of which are connected to the same destination – the arrival of an idea. The identity also acts as an invitation to explore, examine and discover the festival.

“JUMP are proud to support Northern Design Festival, which showcases the best in creative design, and promises to deliver the most ambitious festival to date.”

The Design NOW symposium takes place on Friday 7 October, 10.30am to 4.30pm at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead.

A limited number of early bird tickets for Design NOW, priced at £53, are available to buy from today.

Book tickets for the Design NOW symposium.

View the full line-up for the 2016 Northern Design Festival.

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Design degree shows in the North East showcase some of the most innovative emerging designers and makers fresh out of University, it’s a fantastic opportunity to find original design and to discover new designers who could be the one’s to watch out for!

North East degree shows include:

Newcastle College – 6th – 10th June 2016

Graduates from the Foundation Diploma and Higher Education degree courses will be exhibiting an eclectic mix of work from a range of subjects including, Graphic design, Advertising, Fashion, Furniture design but to name a few. Well worth a visit to discover some of the North Easts emerging talent.

Northumbria University ‘REVEAL’ 14 – 24th June 2016

Northumbria University graduates from courses such as architecture, design, fashion, fine art, media and performing arts will be exhibiting their final degree show nationally and internationally across a range of venues in Newcastle and Gateshead, exhibitions will be taking place in Northumbria’s city centre campus as well as BALTIC, Northern Stage and Tyneside Cinema.

Sunderland University 10th – 17th June 2016

Sunderland University’s recent graduates will be exhibiting their work comprising of design, fine art, photography, glass and ceramics, across three venues, CitySpace, Priestman building and the National Glass Centre.

Cleveland College of Art & Design ‘Vision’ 3rd – 11th June 2016

CCAD graduates will be exhibiting works that span a range of courses such as fashion, graphic communication, fine art, and textiles to name only a few, this is a chance to see some exciting talent coming out of the North East into the creative industries.

Degree Shows in North Yorkshire and Lancashire include:

Leeds University school of design ‘KAPOW’ 16th – 24th June 2016

Showcasing final year, undergraduate students from each of the degree programmes, visitors will have the opportunity to discover a broad range of work spanning from Graphic and Communication design to Textile Design and Fashion.

Sheffield Hallam University 10th – 24th June 2016

Students from a range of backgrounds in architecture, design, jewellery and metalwork to name but a few, will be coming together to showcase their final degree show in Sheffield’s creative quarter in Fitzalan Square.

Liverpool school of Art & Design 26th May – 10th June 2016

This years exhibition will include an array of work from final year students spanning a range of creative courses including, Architecture, Fashion, Fine Art, Graphic Design and Spatial design exhibiting across five floors of the John Lennon Art & Design building.

Manchester school of Art 11th – 22nd June 2016

Manchester’s degree show will be celebrating the achievements and talents of many of its final year design students, the show will be taking place in the Benzie, Grosvenor and Chatham buildings in the Manchester Metropolitan University All Saints Campus.

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Our director Karen Nairstone was honoured to be part of the judging panel for this year’s RIBA North East Awards. 11 stunning projects  made the shortlist stretching from Hexham down to Middlesbrough. Having shortlisted from 23 entries, over the coming weeks the RIBA judging panel will be visiting a range of high quality buildings right across the North East; from the first phase of the redevelopment of the Commissioner’s Quay site Blyth Workspace to the new Ashington Community & Leisure Centre which forms the centre piece of Ashington town centre’s strategic regeneration.

The shortlist as seen above :

1. Acomb High house – Mosedale Gillatt Architects
2. Ashington Community and Leisure Centre – Ryder Architecture, image Kristen McCluskie
3. Blyth Workspace – xsite architecture LLP, image Jill Tate
4. Boho 5 – xsite architecture LLP, image Jill Tate
5. Crook Hall Visitor Centre – Elliott Architects, image Steve Mayes
6. Durham Community Fire Station – Napper Architects Ltd, image Alan Rees
7. Edge Hill – Sutherland Hussey Harris
8. Felton Park Glasshouse and Potting Shed – Spence and Dower LLP
9. Gibside Carriage House Café – Elliott Architects
10. Hebburn Central – FaulknerBrowns Architects, image Hufton Crow
11. The Paise – Newton Architects

As well as the prestigious Building of the Year Award, the shortlist will also produce a Small Project of the Year Award for those projects costing less than £500,000. North East based practices, Mosedale Gillatt Architects, Spence and Dower, and Elliott Architects are vying for this prize. With entries ranging from Felton Park Glasshouse a rare 1830 building and contemporary Potting Shed (both Listed Grade II*) to Acomb High House in Northumberland, a Grade II listed building which also sits within the local Conservation Area.

Alongside these practices is Edinburgh based practice Sutherland Hussey Harris with their scheme Edge Hill, a private family home set in a deep linear plot at the periphery of the Darras Hall Estate in Ponteland.

The RIBA North East award winners will be announced on Friday 22 April 2016. Design Event wish all the shortlisted practices the best of luck!

Assembly House outside at night - credit Robert Patterson

Now that the Northern Design Festival is over for another year we just wanted to say a big thanks to everyone who took part, to our team of volunteers, everyone who visited, and to our funders, partners and awards sponsors – without you the Festival just couldn’t happen, so thank you.

If you visited the exhibitions or came to one of our Design Talks, we’d love to know what you think. Please spare a couple of minutes to fill in our short online survey or tweet your photos and feedback @DesignEventNE #NDesignFest2015. You can also see a gallery of photos from the Festival on our Facebook page.

Dated: 20/10/2015
Northern Design Award Winners (left to right) Mark McCormick from Novocastrian, Jake Barker and Sophie Thompson from Terrarium at the Northern Design Festival at the Assembly House, Westgate Road, Newcastle which is made up of 7 exhibitions over 2 floors featuring work by 50+ designers and architects ...
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The 2015 Northern Design Festival is officially open! 7 exhibitions of work by more than 50 designers, makers and architects over 2 floors at the Assembly House – a Grade II* listed building not usually open to the public, only a few minutes walk from Newcastle Central Station.

We were absolutely delighted to welcome award-winning design writer and photographer Barbara Chandler to open this year’s Northern Design Festival and to help present the Awards. Congratulations to the winners – you can see (and buy!) their work at the Festival, along with 13 other designers selected for this year’s Design Event MART.

  • Best New Designer, sponsored by Confessions of a Design Geek – Novocastrian
  • Best Interior Product, sponsored by Heal’s – Sophie Thompson (Terrarium)
  • Most Innovative Product, sponsored by the Northern Design Centre – Jake Barker

The 2015 Northern Design Festival Awards were designed and made by Marc Ross and RASKL.

Tickets are £2.50 for unlimited entry to exhibitions (under 18s free), £11 for a Festival pass (unlimited entry + 2 talks), or £5 per talk. Ticket income contributes to the ongoing restoration work of this historic building. Book online, or pay on the door.