Design Manchester 2018

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
design manchester 2018
Benji Reid - Image courtesy of Design Manchester

Design Manchester 2018 at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre 11 — 21 October 2018 Entrance is free — Visit now

From street signs to ballot papers, architecture to food packaging; design plays a major role in shaping our lives. “It is so ubiquitous that it determines how we feel and what we do, often without our noticing” wrote British design critic Alice Rawsthorn in her 2014 collection of essays Hello World: Where Design Meets Life. What’s more, in increasingly over-designed, brand-conscious, image-driven times, its influence over society is only growing stronger.

Unfortunately, design is often used against us, with vast quantities of creative resource poured into developing supermarket layouts that encourage people to buy more or the intentionally-addictive ‘infinite scroll’ feature at the end of every social media feed. Yet the professional field also has great potential to bring about positive change, and it’s from a hunger for this that the sixth edition of Design Manchester’s annual festival appears to explode, it’s organisers issuing the battle-cry: “2018 is the year to DISRUPT. We feel the time is ripe for a rumble, to hear and learn from disruptors from all fields and for us to forge our own creative paths in the face of a gloomy mediated future.”

Looking through the mix of exhibitions, talks, screenings, workshops, walking tours, meet-ups and other events programmed to take place between 11-21 Oct across the city; this fighting-spirit seems something more than just empty sloganeering. The day-long D(isrupt)M conference (19 Oct), hosted by Patrick Burgoyne of Creative Review at The Bridgewater Hall, will bring together influential thinkers and designers such as Matt Ipcar, who was principal design leader for both Obama campaigns and has worked for advocacy organisations worldwide, and Kaye Dunnings, Creative Director of Shangri-La – an area of Glastonbury Festival dedicated to celebrating underground culture and outsider art that addresses global social and political issues.

There’s a strongly democratic, DIY vibe running throughout much of the art. ‘The People are Revolting’, for example, takes the form of a festival-wide project centred around the work of Berlin-based artist Patrick Thomas (author of The Protest Stencil Toolkit), who will collaborate with Manchester Art Gallery visitors on 6 Oct to create a series of iconic stencils, emblazoned with political or personal messages important to them. Thomas’ interactive public intervention, Breaking News 3.0, at Fred Aldous (6-21 Oct) will also offer the people of Manchester a chance to curate their own news stream using a QR code; subverting the power of today’s media moguls. Over at MMU, meanwhile, an exhibition of work by local art and design students will respond British designer Helen Storey’s use of clothing to address issues such as resource scarcity, climate change and migration (11-24 Oct).

Somehow resonating with the free spirit of Dunnings’ Shangri-La, this year’s DM cinema programme at HOME will centre around film titles with the prefix ‘Once Upon a Time’, beginning with Sergio Leone’s 1968 widescreen epic, ‘Once Upon a Time in The West’. The wistful stipulation carries an air of fantasy; as if inviting audiences to dream of a world or a time different to the one we currently occupy – perhaps a world designed around the needs of humans, animals and the environment, rather than big business. Hopefully the creatives of today can play a role in shaping such a future.

Design Manchester 2018 at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre 11 — 21 October 2018 Entrance is free Visit now

What's on at The Bridgewater Hall

Students playing in an orchestra
MusicOxford Road
RNCM Symphony Orchestra at RNCM

With June comes one of the RNCM’s annual highlights, as the College’s Symphony Orchestra takes to The Bridgewater Hall stage.

from £12.00

Where to go near Design Manchester 2018

Manchester
Restaurant
Midland Tea Room

Dating back to 1903, Manchester’s stately Midland Hotel now has its own dedicated tea room. Expect traditional offerings in elegant surroundings.

Society Manchester
City Centre
Society Manchester

Society Manchester is a glorious indoor and outdoor space in the very heart of the city, with five street food vendors to choose from and a range of high-quality drinks.

Manchester
Restaurant
Friska

Latest branch of Friska, the independent healthy fast food chain.

Manchester
Restaurant
Don Giovanni

Traditional Italian restaurant, serving everything from pizza to steak. All this in a large modern venue with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Haunt MCR
Manchester
Bar or Pub
Haunt MCR

Haunt MCR is a speciality coffee shop and wine bar located on Manchester’s bustling Peter Street.

Manchester
Restaurant
Jaan

New food concept from the team behind Another Hand, based at Exhibition and serving up exceptional Persian cuisine.

City Centre
Restaurant
ONDA Pasta Bar

ONDA is a treat for the tastebuds. Long dark wood tables are shared by eager diners, as tapas-style plates of fresh pasta and other Italian dishes are ferried around the restaurant.

City Centre
Restaurant
Nudo Sushi Box

Nudo Sushi Box on Manchester’s Oxford Road specialises in freshly-prepared boxes of – you guessed it – sushi.

City Centre
Bar or Pub
Peveril Of The Peak

Iconic Manchester pub adorned with the sorts of bottle green, yellow and brown Victorian tiles that are a reclamation yard’s dream – this gem of a boozer is named after Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name and was a favourite hang-out of Eric Cantona.

What's on: Exhibitions

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