DM16, Manchester’s festival of design and creativity will return for the fourth time this October, with 35+ events including talks, exhibitions, workshops, films, a design fair and parties at venues throughout the city.
The theme is Design City, celebrating the role design plays in making Manchester and other cities across the world great to live in. It will explore culture, music, media, architecture, digital art, design studios, animation, film and theatre, putting a spotlight on a new design-conscious generation and the return of craft in everything from beer to print and the culture of making.
DM16’s Design City Conference will this year take place at the Royal Northern College of Music on Thursday 13 October, featuring internationally celebrated and influential speakers discussing the festival’s theme and revealing an insight into their creative work. Speakers include multidisciplinary interaction designer Jason Bruges, immersive tech artists FIELD, way-finding and graphic designer Alexandra Wood, Dutch design collective Trapped in Suburbia and Warner Bros.’ senior VP of creative affairs and head of Blue Ribbon content Peter Girardi.
This year, HOME will host a Design City Film Season, featuring films with design at their heart. Each flick will be introduced by an expert in its design to give insight into the creative process and its impact on the finished work. Writer Alice Rawsthorn (Frieze, International New York Times) will discuss Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, and how it is unimaginable without Saul Bass’ groundbreaking title sequence. Whilst Dr. Strangelove, featuring the ‘gleaming and sinister’ (BFI) production design of Ken Adam, will be introduced by one of Britain’s foremost experts in cinema culture, Sir Christopher Frayling.
DM16’s Design City Fair (15 & 16 October) is a free, family-friendly event, this year taking place at the stunning London Road Fire Station, featuring Manchester Print Fair, Hot Bed Press and Manchester Artists Book Fair. The Design City Fair will host stalls from over 100 creatives with affordable works for sale, and include live artwork in and around the space.
Launched in July, Women in Print is an exhibition of work by a host of local designers, print-makers and illustrators that celebrates the life and achievements of iconic female figures, from political reformers to palaeobotanists, who helped to shape Manchester into the great city it is today. The next stage of the project, taking place as part of DM16, will feature an exhibition, talks and debates, in the iconic Co-op HQ and Northern Quarter creative space PLY.
Alan Kitching: A Life in Letterpress is a landmark exhibition of the work of Alan Kitching, one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. Displayed in Manchester School of Art’s Benzie Building throughout DM16, the exhibition shows a selection of Alan’s finished works and the method and process behind them, with sketches, proofs and roughs gathered from Alan’s own archive. Alan will also host a masterclass, with details soon to be announced. The exhibition is accompanied by the release of an illustrated biography of the same name, featuring over 400 prints and published by Laurence King.
Art Battle Manchester VIII will take place on Friday 14 October at London Road Fire Station. The live competitive painting challenge, an underground event never held in the same venue twice, will see a 500-strong capacity audience watch painters, illustrators, tattooists and street artists go head-to-head in what has been described at the city's most energetic art event.
For information and early bird tickets visit www.designmcr.com. More events will be announced in the coming weeks.