If you're in the vicinity of Newcastle or Gateshead in the next week, you're in for a treat—the Northern Design Festival is coming to town. The theme for this year's festival is Material Matters, and the programme offers a vibrant range of events, exhibitions and activities exploring and celebrating the work of leading designers from the North of England, and investigating the role of materials within the design process.
Things kick off this Friday with the Design NOW symposium, featuring speakers including Anthony Burrill, Sarah Hyndman, Jimmy Turrell and GF Smith's Paul Scharf. Alongside, and running for the following six days, are multi-disciplinary exhibitions including the titular Material Matters, a showcase of fine Northern design from Newcastle College alumni and current students; Art on Paper Since 1885, a retrospective of GF Smith's beautiful promotional materials drawn from their archives, featuring work from Saul
Bass, Milton Glaser, Paul Rand, SEA, Made
Thought, and Studio Makgill; and Material Explorations, an exhibition of the innovative and inspiring contents of SCIN, the UK's largest independent materials library.
Entry to the exhibitions at Newcastle's Assembly House is a very reasonable £2.50, and many of the other venues offer free entry, making this a remarkably affordable and accessible event in the design calendar. For more information about the Festival, the exhibitions and other ticketed events, visit their website.