Design Manchester returns this month with DM20: Go Global, Stay Local

All events will be exclusively online, featuring a Virtual Reality Festival & 3D Viewing Exhibitions!

By Ciara Martin | 4 November 2020

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This year, Design Manchester’s annual celebration is going global, while staying local – see what they did there?

The celebration of creativity and design will connect the worlds of design, fashion, sustainability, activism and play.

Being locked down this year has really increased our connectivity. Granted, some of us may have spent most of the year glued to TikTok and our IG feeds (no shame here) but there is no denying that many creative opportunities, collaborations and solutions have emerged to counter the absence of live events.

Yours Truthfully VR Exhibition

With the recent announcement of Lockdown 2.0 *eye roll*, independent artists/businesses need our help more than EVER before, which is why I’m so pleased to see that DM20 has gone completely online.

Giving many artists and designers the chance to gain exposure, events such as this one are so important to our city – remember, lockdown CAN NOT stop us from enjoying the arts!

Here’s a couple of things we’re got our eyes on:

Yours Truthfully VR Exhibition
Guided Tours Sat Nov 14

Yours Truthfully is a virtual exhibition co-curated by celebrated graphic designer and co-artistic director of Design Manchester Malcolm Garrett, and Lost Horizon and Shangri-La creative director Kaye Dunnings.

Featured on the towering billboards inside a VR world, the brief for the exhibition welcomed submissions & personal messages from artists to the world on the themes of Truth, Justice and Freedom, calling attention to the most pressing social issues in the world today.

There’s over 70 (!!) internationally acclaimed artists and studios showcasing there.

During DM20 there will be guided tours and interviews with some of the participating artists involved.

We’re told that the details are to be published soon, so stay up to date using the button below.

And you love the look of the artwork, some of the epic work from the artists featured can be purchased over in the ShangrilART Shop.

50 Windows of Creativity – PLAYHOUSE

Available Now

As part of Bee in the City’s COVID safe city-wide art trail, 50 Windows of Creativity, DM20 is showcasing what ‘play’ means to us in our living spaces with their project PLAYHOUSE.

PLAYHOUSE was a competition to encourage creatives from all backgrounds to design something to enable people to play at home during lockdown – in total, there were 142 entries from 40 different countries!

It was actually due to be on show as an interactive exhibition at Manchester’s Hilton House, but with that scrapped due to lockdown, I’ve figured out how you can still enjoy Playhouse from the comfort of your own home…

You can head over to the Dutch Design Week site and take yourself on a free 3D Viewing room, or you can pre-order the Playhouse Book to enjoy in lockdown (of which all profits will go towards the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal).

Appropriately, the PLAYHOUSE competition provided a great opportunity to support and promote creatives during a difficult period, while bringing some much-needed light-relief through play.

Visit The 3D Viewing Room
Pre Order The Playhouse Book

You CAN still enjoy the arts during this second lockdown and support our city’s independent artists by enjoying their work. Be sure to keep updated on our site for more virtual art events & exhibitions.

Malcolm Garrett of DM20 commented:

“Even as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of local communities and real-world contact, so there is a growing awareness that we are all connected. This year, we get to realise a long-held ambition of co-locating events with our international partners, with designers and students in a dozen cities collaborating in real time, responding to new challenges with shared values and fresh ideas.”


DM20 takes place throughout November 2020, full details on all events can be found via the button below.

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DM20 is supported by Manchester City Council, Arts Council England, the British Council, Manchester School of Art at Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford and World Design Weeks.