What began as an idea between friends, became a reality in 2018 and attracted over 6,800 people to hear from 95 speakers in its debut year. Namely Andrew Booth, a designer on the recent Star Wars films, Anthony Burrill, Astrid Stavro of Atlas, Pentagram partner Marina Willer, designer Aaron Draplin, plus advertising favourite Trevor Beattie and Jim Sutherland of StudioSutherl&.
As you'd expect, the inaugural festival received great critical acclaim and established Birmingham as a major player in the UK design industry. The 2019 festival will once again present an eclectic programme of world-class designers who will be descending on the city for three days in June, sharing their experience and creating a lasting community that will help educate the next generation of designers.
What's more, to continue our ethos to celebrate, inspire and support the creative community, Creative Boom is proud to be a media partner for this year's Birmingham Design Festival.
The first set of speakers to be announced includes some of the biggest names in the industry from a broad range of disciplines, including Head of 4creative at Channel 4 Alice Tonge, founder of Johnson Banks Michael Johnson, director and photographer Liam Wong, founder and creative director at Hey Studio, Verònica Fuerte, and senior manager for Adobe Type Development, Dan Rhatigan. Erica Dorn, Jennifer Daniel and Chris Do have also been confirmed.
This initial list will form part of a much wider programme that currently boasts over 60 designers from around the world all touching upon the theme for this year's festival – Truth. It was chosen as a relevant and timely subject for this year's festival and one that promises an honest and open debate to challenge, inspire and surprise those who attend.
Festival coordinator and co-founder, Luke Tonge, said: "In an age which has seen truth questioned and deception utilised in many areas, we’re more passionate than ever about truth... About finding honest insights and sharing them, about confronting difficult subjects head-on, and shining a light on topics which might be uncomfortable.
"We hope by setting truth as our central theme for BDF2019 we’ll be playing a small part in helping our corner of the creative industries become more transparent, helpful and genuine – a responsibility we all feel."
Birmingham Design Festival 2019 will take place across multiple venues across the south-east side of the city centre in Digbeth, one of the city’s most creative quarters, and curated into three design districts: Graphic, Digital & Product.
There will be over 60 hours of free talks, combined with low-cost headline events, workshops and exhibitions, allowing people of all incomes to learn from the very best in the industry.
Discover more at birminghamdesignfestival.org.uk. Tickets will go on sale at the start of May, so watch this space!
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