The selection of the month: design events not to be missed in June

Highlights of the month include the Birmingham Design Festival and Salone del Mobile, as well as a magazine design conference.

Festival: Birmingham Design Festival

Birmingham’s annual design festival will take over the city center for three days this month, with the theme of freedom at its heart. There will be 60 free talks to attend, followed by three evening events, plus a wide selection of workshops. The program, which includes 80 speakers from the graphic design, digital, product and illustration sectors, is part of the festival team’s desire to “connect designers to the people who matter”.

The festival’s Creative City exhibit will also return to the arenas, having made its debut last year. The exhibition will include works by more than 100 local illustrators, designers, typographers, printmakers and artists, spread across the mall’s three floors. Expect plenty of discussions about creative freedom in the industry, as well as a variety of hands-on workshops.

The Birmingham Design Festival takes place in various locations across the city, June 9-11. For more information visit the festival website.


Lecture: Teamwork makes the dream work by Holly Catford, at the St Bride Foundation

In this talk, Holly Catford of Esterson Associates will discuss the world of editorial design and collaboration, focusing primarily on magazine creation. His goal ? Emphasize that creating a magazine is a team effort. Fittingly, his philosophy is, “Everything I do is better when I work with other people.”

Catford will discuss the projects she has worked on over the past ten years, including Pit and Cheese magazines (which she founded). This year she was shortlisted for Art Direction of the Year at the British Society of Magazine Editors. Catford has also taken on various projects as art director of History Today, art editor of Eye and Pulp, and worked on redesigns of The Guardian and The Sunday Times.

Four of his favorite collaborators share the stage: Pit co-founder Robert Billington, social influencer reporting illustrator Reena Makwana; illustrator Sarah Cliff whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Refinery 29; and Wendy Wong who contributed her personal experience on the delicate subject of MSG, a controversial food ingredient, for the ninth issue of Pit magazine.

The conference will take place at the St Bride Library in London and online on June 16. Tickets are available on the The St Bride website.


Book: Who the Hell is Müller-Brockmann?: Conversations about the Swiss Style, by Demian Conrad

Photo courtesy of Niggli Verlag

For his next book, Swiss designer Demian Conrad has materialized a week-long research project that raises questions about Swiss-style typography in the field of graphic design. With a focus on composition, Conrad attempts to explore its impact on a global community, the success and failure of design manifestos, the value of cultural exchange, and whether the contemporary scene is still truly innovative. The book studies the authority of the Swiss style, compares approaches to graphic design and analyzes exchanges with different specialists.

It contains conversations with experts, including anecdotes, stories and scandals involving typesetters, graphic designers, artists and curators. This volume includes design artefacts from Conrad’s guests, each representing the various interactions of Swiss typography within the international design scene. Conrad’s goal is to build a bridge between typographic traditions and practices, celebrating dialogue and collaboration without ignoring differences and conflicts.

Who the hell is Müller-Brockmann?: Conversations on Swiss Style, by Demian Conrad is published by Niggli Verlag. It is available for purchase on June 30 for around £12.


Conference: Right-aligned panel discussion on mental health in design

The Right Aligned program revolves around a series of lectures addressing issues facing the design industry. It features students, grads, juniors, freelancers, and founders through its “In Conversation” sessions. Its aim is to “empower the creators of tomorrow by sharing the stories of people working in the design industry”.

This month’s event aims to explore the experiences of people who have or continue to be affected by mental health. The panel includes Koto studio creative director Deanna German, Bristol-based studio Bellow founder Gareth Rutter, and Studio Beuro founder and graphic designer James Kirkup. Members of the public are encouraged to join in the conversation, so questions are welcome at the conference. All content is currently virtual and can be viewed from anywhere.

The conference will take place online on June 17. Tickets are available at Eventbrite.


Festival: Salon del Mobile

Sustainability is the key theme at this year’s Salone del Mobile in Milan, which returns as an in-person event for the first time since 2019. This year, the festival welcomes more than 2,000 exhibitors, of which more than 600 will have less 35 years old. The unusually high number of young designers reflects the show’s effort to help future generations who “grew up in crisis”, so their work will be prominently displayed at the entrance.

In order to set an example for other exhibitors, the organizers have endeavored to ensure that all materials used at the show and in common areas are reusable or recovered, and made from materials with low environmental impact. Made entirely from waste and upcycled and upcycled materials from natural supply chains, the star of this year’s show is architect Mario Cucinella’s 1,400m² Design with Nature. Participants can choose to interact with each other or be alone among the various elements of greenery in this installation. You can read our preview here.

Salone del Mobile will take place from June 7 to 12, 2022 at Fiera Milano Rho. More information on tickets is available at Salone del Mobile website.

About Raymond A. Bentley

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