Designival – Previewed

Next week sees the arrival of Designival, a showcase for cutting-edge local talent and a chance to rub shoulders with some icons of design …

Don’t let anybody tell you Liverpool has no industry to speak of in 2012. Obviously, we’re not talking ship-building or coal-mining here; what the city can boast instead is a burgeoning culture of design-led agencies and entrepreneurs. Not convinced? Read on …

Next Thursday and Friday sees the launch of the North’s biggest and most comprehensive design showcase of the year. The brainchild of three of the city’s leading agencies (Smiling Wolf, Uniform and Black & Ginger), Designival (formerly Design Symposium North) has something for everyone; even those with only the most fleeting of interests in the subject.

Thursday brings with it the priceless opportunity to catch a glimpse of where and how the magic happens, with open studio tours of some of the city’s most vital architects, digital design agencies and web and graphic designers. Depending on where your interests lie, you can choose from 15 different studios.

Feeling spoilt for choice? We’d recommend a pick ‘n’ mix approach, taking in architects MgMa, brand communications agency Uniform and the multi-disciplinary Mercy (who also happen to be taking care of Friday’s after party) – but don’t let us direct you too much, there really is something for everyone.

Also on Thursday is the RIBA Tour. Whether you’re new to the city or hoping to look at the place with fresh eyes, starting and ending at Leaf tea shop and taking in some of Liverpool’s most interesting architectural features, it will make for an afternoon well spent.

“A great chance to glean some essential pearls of wisdom from industry professionals”

Finally – and perhaps most usefully for those looking for tips at making a career from design – come a pair of industry-led events. D&AD workshop and BLABMini meets Kin (both hosted by Leaf) represent a great chance to glean some essential pearls of wisdom from industry professionals.

Friday (which gets started with a design-inspired breakfast) is all about the master classes (from Apposing, Milky Tea and Uniform) and later, a clutch of impressive and very inspiring keynote speakers, all under one roof at Camp and Furnace. Kicking off proceedings will be London based Belgian graphic designer Sara De Bondt. Since launching her studio in 2003, De Bondt has collaborated with the likes of ICA, Tate, V&A and Artissima, and will be discussing the realities of working in this field.

Next up, freelance graphic designer James Jarvis. In 2002, Jarvis, along with Sofia Prantera and Russell Waterman, set up Amos (pictured above), pioneering the vinyl toy boom of the late 90s. He also finds the time to produce a daily cartoon strip, Spheric Dialogues, and will focus on his experience in live doodling.

Simon Manchipp, Creative Director & Co-Founder of award winning London practice SomeOne, will be grappling with the sometimes thorny relationship between business and design. Last up, very much in the mould of headliner is the legendary designer of the Mexico ’68 Olympics branding, Lance Wyman, who will be providing an insight into “the means and method” of this most iconic of designs (pictured).

Rounding things off nicely, the talks will be followed by a discussion (chaired by the editor of Creative Review, Patrick Burgoyne) between Jarvis and Manchipp, focusing on the relative success or otherwise of the London 2012 Olympic design, as well as dealing with that constant source of debate, the death of the logo.

Designival Thursday 22nd – Friday 23rd £65/£25 student pass

Posted on 16/11/2012 by thedoublenegative