Design Manchester is back and this year it goes 'global but stays local'

Jane Bowyer

Jane Bowyer

Design Manchester is well underway. And this year, the annual celebration of creativity and design has "gone global, while staying local", with a host of events that connect us to the worlds of design, fashion, sustainability, activism and play.

There's the Covid-safe, city-wide art trail 50 Windows of Creativity, created by Wild in Art. DM20 will showcase what play means to us in our living spaces with the project Playhouse, created by three Manchester design studios, Playground, Ben Clark Design and Barney Ibbotson Illustration which will be on show at Hilton House until 5 December.

A series of gallery tours and talks are set to take place this weekend from Design Manchester's Yours Truthfully exhibition, co-curated by Kaye Dunnings and Malcolm Garrett MBE, for July's global virtual reality festival, Lost Horizon, created by the team behind Glastonbury's Shangri-La.

The show features work from more than 70 internationally acclaimed artists and studios including Anthony Burrill, Jeremy Deller and Fraser Muggeridge, Studio Rejane Dal Bello, Morag Myerscough, Patrick Thomas, Paula Scher, Raissa Pardini, Andrew Ibi, Stanley Donwood, and taken together this collation of statements conveys a powerful message of unity, and of the freedom to be creative and have your voice heard. Here, we've shared some of those highlights.

Today, there's the annual Design Manchester workshop at the University of Salford, which since 2016 has welcomed through its doors students from colleges throughout UK and Ireland. This year, it plays a pivotal role in a one-day online "distributed workshop" in cities across Europe.

Based around the Open Collab platform developed by Patrick Thomas and Jonathan Auch in Berlin, the workshop will facilitate up to 300 students working together, responding locally and across boundaries to a common brief.

Universities and colleges from the cities of Salford, Manchester, Birmingham, Berlin, Dortmund, Stuttgart, Rotterdam and Barcelona are invited to take part in the workshop, which will be punctuated by talks and discussions from external speakers invited to contribute online by the participating colleges.

Each year the student workshop has been held either the day before or immediately after the DM Conference taking the opportunity to invite speakers from the conference to participate. Past participants include Swifty, Extinction Rebellion, Lucy Holmes, Harris Elliott, Hansje van Halem, Paris 68 Redux, Shangri-La, and Sneaky Raccoon.

This year, the workshop is one of a number of events which link Design Manchester with Birmingham Design Festival (who have otherwise suspended all events for 2020), Dutch Design Week (which runs October 17–25), and Barcelona Design Week which commences as Design Manchester concludes and runs until 26 November.

"Even as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of local communities and real-world contact, so there is a growing awareness that we are all connected," says Malcolm. "This year, we get to realise a long-held ambition of co-locating events with our international partners, with designers and students in a dozen cities collaborating in real-time, responding to new challenges with shared values and fresh ideas."

DM20 takes place throughout November 2020, details on all events can be found at www.designmcr.com.

Harry Pearce

Harry Pearce

Sarah Boris

Sarah Boris

Malcom Garrett

Malcom Garrett

Craig Oldham

Craig Oldham

Tash Willcocks

Tash Willcocks

Harriet Richardson

Harriet Richardson

Raissa Pardini

Raissa Pardini