Saturday, 22 October 2016

NDF: Where do ideas come from?

The Granby Workshop by Assemble

Last Sunday Jake and I visited Newcastle to catch the end of Northern Design Festival. There were loads of things happening at The Assembly House so after a little coffee stop we headed down to see the variety of exhibitions that were on offer...


The entrance room on the ground floor displayed the work of various graphic designers and image makers sharing their developments through certain projects. I loved this room because of the bright light streaming through the huge front windows, however since some of the work was two dimensional and framed it provided quite an unfortunate glare. It was a great insight into the minds of fellow designers nonetheless! I particularly liked the work of Vaughan Oliver, who shared his concepts and final cover design for The Pixies new album Head Carrier. I'm not the biggest fan of vectorised, flat graphics so the expressive style used in the album cover really stood out to me. 

Vaughan Oliver

Chrissie Macdonald

In the second room BoConcept presented the Imola chair by designer Henrik Pedersen who took inspiration from a tennis ball to construct the shape and form of the chair. It was fascinating to see the rough sketches and product development alongside the finished piece itself. We were able to try it out too which allowed us to experience the whole project from the start right to the very end.

Imola Chair by Henry Pedersen

Upstairs we left our mark in The Drawing Room before heading to the Hothouse exhibition which showcased the work of fresh and talented makers and designers, ranging from ceramics and furniture to fashion and textiles. Leading from this was the installation from last years Turner Prize winners Assemble who shared the products and ethos from social enterprise Granby Workshop, a collaboration between Assemble and Granby residents making experimental products for the home. 

Notes from the Granby Workshop

Lighting by Vilius Viso in the Design Event Mart

Finally, we spent quite a lot of time admiring all of the beautiful furniture, ceramics, textiles, lighting and products in the Design Event Mart, a curated exhibition showcasing the best of contemporary design in the North of England. I really appreciated the lighting by Vilius Viso, as well as the wall boxes from Nick James.

Nick James

The Northern Design Festival is the reason why we decided to visit Newcastle that day, so as well as exploring a new city I had the chance to discover the work of contemporary designers too! A definitive must see next year if you are a huge fan of all things design and a fellow northerner who can't afford the trip down to London. 



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