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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.

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. Ranging from Turner Prize winners to some of the UK’s hottest emerging makers, this year’s Festival has eight exhibitions featuring work by more than 65 designers and architects, plus a programme of special events, tours and talks from some of the world’s leading creatives. The 2016 Northern Design Festival opens on 7 October with the inaugural Design NOW symposium with a stellar line-up of speakers.

The opportunity

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

For this year’s 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, enhancing their overall experience whilst improving your own knowledge of design.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the exhibitions, what’s involved in organising events and to develop your communication skills. Northern Design Festival is ultimately a fantastic opportunity to meet new people, learn more about leading designers and what sparks their imagination. Furthermore, all exhibitions are housed in historic hidden gem locations in and around the city that are otherwise rarely open to the general public!

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 UK’s best designers
  • You’ll get a sneak preview of our stunning Festival venues
  • 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 the following survey: click here

Please complete this online application as soon as possible, and no later than 21st September 2016. If you have any questions please email Zoe @ marketing@design-event.co.uk.

The Assembly House at night

For this year’s Northern Design Festival we’ve partnered with a range of organisations which all have design at the heart of their work.

Arts Council England – Arts Council England champions and develops art and culture across the country, investing public money to help bring great art and culture to everyone. This year’s Northern Design Festival is supported by Arts Council England and we are also working with the following partners.

BoConcept – BoConcept have been designing and manufacturing furniture for more than 60 years and have an outlet in Newcastle’s Fenwick’s department store. BoConcept’s iconic Imola chair, inspired by the lines of a tennis ball, will be on show at The Assembly House during the Festival.

Cleveland College of Art and Design – The leading provider of specialist creative art and design degrees in the North, Cleveland College of Art and Design offers unique creative degrees supported by the highest quality of teaching and a community in which to develop as a successful artist or designer.

Cool Blue – This multi-award winning, integrated marketing agency believe that great design improves everything and have designed brands and campaigns for Barker & Stonehouse, Matthew Williamson, Huntsman and Story Homes, amongst others.

Crafts Council UK – The Crafts Council’s Hothouse programme supports talented new makers at the start of their career and at this year’s Northern Design Festival we will host an exhibition showcasing a selection of work by these emerging talents.

Durham Distillery – This small-batch craft distillery creates hand-crafted spirits using traditional methods, for people who care about the provenance, quality, and craft of the products they consume.

Formica Group – A globally recognised brand, Formica Group works closely with architects, designers and developers to provide surfacing solutions for commercial and residential use. With more than 100 years of history behind it, the company’s ongoing product design and development process underscores its commitment to innovation.

GF Smith – GF Smith paper merchants was founded in 1885 by George Frederick Smith, a man with a singular passion for paper who sought out the finest manufacturers of his day. Today, GF Smith retains his passion for paper and its possibilities.

JUMP – JUMP is a full-service creative agency based here in the North East. As well as creating the identity for this year’s Northern Design Festival, they have worked with clients including the National Trust, the People’s Theatre and NE1.

NBS – NBS is leading a changing industry and is committed to offering distinctive, innovative specification and information solutions to construction industry professionals. NBS is driving the digital evolution in construction right here in the heart of Newcastle, with over 180 staff located within the historic Grade II listed Old Post Office building on St Nicholas Street.

Northern Design Centre – A dedicated space for creative and design-led businesses in the North East, the Northern Design Centre will host Design NOW, our inaugural design symposium.

RIBA – RIBA champions better buildings, communities and the environment through architecture. This year’s Northern Design Festival will explore the importance of drawing in architecture through a series of sketches and technical drawings by RIBA members.

Wylam Brewery – Founded in 2000, Wylam Brewery is now housed in the Palace of the Arts in Newcastle’s Exhibition Park, the last remaining building from the 1929 North East Coast Exhibition. Alongside the Brewery is the Brewery Tap and the Grand Hall which plays host to live music and events.

xsite Architecture– Newcastle-based xsite Architecture take a design-led approach to their architectural, urban design and design consultancy services. They’ve presented commissions for NewcastleGateshead’s spectacular Winter Festival and created spaces including Tyneside Cinema’s new bar café and Newcastle’s Toffee Factory.

Thanks to all our partners and sponsors, who have helped to make this year’s celebration of good design happen.

The Northern Design Festival 2016 takes place from 7 to 16 October in Newcastle and Gateshead. Tickets are already available for the inaugural Design NOW one-day symposium.

Book tickets now for Design NOW

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.

Edge Hill_WebImage_Sutherland Hussey Harris_Architects_4

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!