Design Manchester 2015: 20,000 design-lovers descend

Esther Routledge

Not just for font fanatics and the Pantone passionate, design festival Design Manchester spans film, music, TV and more.

Whether you consider yourself a print aficionado or just a humble human who appreciates things with their eyes, this year’s Design Manchester festival (14-21 Oct) should have something in it for you. The week-long festival celebrates the love of print across design, film, music, TV and more – so anyone who enjoyed artist Matthew Darbyshire’s Exhibition For Modern Living at Manchester Art Gallery (and, like us, fantasised about doing a trolley dash through the furniture, lighting, rugs and household objects on show) should enjoy engaging with the wonderful world of design through this packed festival.

The festival opens with Unfinished Business at Ply, an exhibition by iconic graphic artist Swifty, and closes with the Manchester Moleskine party at TwentyTwentyTwo, an exhibition for which 52 Manchester-based creative have each contributed a unique piece to a sketchbook. The theme this year is “know now”, which splits the festival up into sections such as Film How and Design How.

Must-sees include Stephen Morris from New Order & a debate on what exactly design contributes to the city

Must-sees include Stephen Morris from New Order discussing the live music industry with other leading figures at Music Now, or the Director of Design at the Government Digital Service (the people behind the gov.uk website) giving an exclusive talk. There’s debate on what exactly design contributes to the city at the Whitworth, a screening of Elaine Constantine’s feature film Northern Soul at 70 Oxford Street, and a charity exhibition at Kosmonaut in the Northern Quarter, Manchester in Mind. Finally, The People’s History museum hosts Manchester Print Festival, supported by G.F. Smith, with original works for sale and informative workshops in all things paper based.

At Design Manchester 2014 over 20,000 visitors attended 19 sold-out events and workshops, and 20 brand new works debuted across the city. This year, many events are free, while all tickets are under £12 each; these are likely to sell fast, so make sure you register for the most stylish October you’ve ever experienced.

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella

Literature

There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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Compass Festival 2022
Activity Until 27 November 2022, FREE

Compass Festival 2022

sunny bank mills
Activity Until 27 November 2022, from £2.00

Sunny Bank Mills Christmas Art & Makers Market

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Pottery at Earth Pig Pottery and Fine Art in Buxton

Visual Arts Until 1 December 2022, from £20

Graffiti at Zap Graffiti

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £95

Blacksmithing at Forge Four

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £15

Embroidery with Sara Dennis at Lancaster Castle

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £59

Making silver stacker rings at The Old Granary

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £13

Candle making at Cheshire Workshops

Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £60

Glass fusing at Glassmonkey Studio

Textile taxidermy
Activity Until 1 December 2022, from £80

Textile taxidermy with Jaki Bogg at Craven Arts Studios