DM16 Festival: - Full Listings

Design Manchester has announced DM16’s full line up of 37 events including talks, workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, debates and more, running from the 12th to 23rd October.

By Matthew Tyas | 26 September 2016

Share this story

Design Manchester has announced DM16’s full line up of 37 events including talks, workshops, exhibitions, film screenings, debates and more, running from the 12th to 23rd October.


The events will run in venues across the city, taking in bars and clubs in the Northern Quarter, in addition to the city’s landmark venues including the Old Granada Studios, London Road Fire Station, the Royal Northern College of Music, The Lowry, HOME, The Sharp Project and the Co-op’s head office in Angel Square.

Now in its fourth year, the festival celebrates the part design plays in making Manchester and other cities great to live in, and has become a cornerstone of the city’s internationally renowned cultural calendar.

Last year’s festival drew over 20,000 visitors including designers, architects, artists, filmmakers, educators, students, families and many others interested in design.

Full listings can be found below, for tickets and further info visit:

WEDNESDAY 12th – FRIDAY 21st OCTOBER, 10am-6pm
Alan Kitching – A Life in Letterpress
Manchester School of Art

Alan Kitching is one of the world’s foremost practitioners of letterpress typographic design and printmaking. He is renowned for his expressive use of wood and metal letterforms in creating visuals for commissions and limited edition prints.

This exhibition has toured selected venues across the UK starting in London’s Somerset House. As well as showcasing finished pieces of work it will show the method and process behind key works with sketches, proofs and roughs gathered from Alan’s own archive.
Objects, artefacts and equipment from Alan’s workshops will enlighten visitors to the inspiration and motivation behind the work.

The exhibition is accompanied by the release of an illustrated biography of the same name, featuring over 400 prints and published by Laurence King. As an exclusive to Design Manchester, Alan will be creating bespoke items for sale during the festival and will also host a masterclass, details of which will be announced soon.

A Life in Letterpress can be seen every day from 12th to 21st October, except Sunday 16th October when the building is closed.

THURSDAY 13th OCTOBER, 12pm-6pm
Women in Print Exhibition
The Co-Op, Angel Square (partner event)

From political reformists to palaeobotanists, the work of women has helped to shape Manchester into the great city it is today. Women in Print is an exhibition of work by a host of local designers, print-makers and illustrators which celebrates the life and achievements of iconic female figures who have made a significant contribution to Manchester.

Expanded from its launch earlier this year the project will feature an exhibition, talks and debates taking place in the iconic Co-Op HQ and Northern Quarter creative space PLY.

THURSDAY 13th OCTOBER, 12.30pm-6pm
Design City Conference
Royal Northern College of Music
Tickets £36 / students with a valid NUS card: £18

Now in its fourth year, this day-long conference of ideas and inspiration features internationally celebrated and influential speakers discussing ‘Design City’ and showing an insight into their creative work.

The conference will be hosted by Patrick Burgoyne, editor of Creative Review. Speakers include multidisciplinary interaction designer Jason Bruges, immersive tech artists FIELD, graphic designer Alexandra Wood, Dutch design collective Trapped in Suburbia, Warner Bros.’ senior VP of creative affairs and head of Blue Ribbon content Peter Girardi, with more to be announced. Ben Young and Joe Hartley from the the Pilcrow pub will also be there, explaining how the community has designed and built a contemporary pub in Sadler’s Yard.

The Royal Northern College will host a full afternoon of creativity, with supporters G. F Smith hosting a showcase of print and others joining them in the foyer to be announced.

SATURDAY 15th and FRIDAY 21st OCTOBER, 11am-1pm
Street Art Tour – Northern Quarter

A recent history of the Northern Quarter, told through its street art. As featured in the Telegraph’s Incredible Street Arts Tours.

Learn about the creation of the Northern Quarter as we know it today, find out the major names behind some of the area’s oldest street art and why it became concentrated here, and explore the recent wave of paste ups, murals and paintings that create the unique feel of the Northern Quarter. An insight into how modern art movements in Manchester hope to continue to drive creativity within the neighbourhood, and how art was key in the redevelopment of a fast decaying area of the city.

“We’ve long thought the best way to get to know a place is through its art and its artists. Hayley absolutely proved this theory by presenting us with a completely alternative view of a city we thought we already knew fairly well. Her depth of knowledge, thrown together with an easy manner and a ton of passion made for a really great, tailored experience that left us wanting to know more!” – East Street Arts.

Tours are hosted by award winning writer Hayley Flynn. They are family friendly and will run from 11am until 1pm.

SATURDAY 15th – SUNDAY 16th OCTOBER, 10am-5pm
Design City Fair
London Road Fire Station

The Design City Fair is a celebration of creatives, makers and print in collaboration with G. F Smith, Manchester Print Fair and Hot Bed Press.

Now in its third year, it has relocated to the stunning surrounds of The London Road Fire Station, where we will host more than 100 creatives over two days, with affordable works for sale and a schedule of workshops including screenprinting, letterpressing, book-binding, frame-making and a special origami workshop.

During the day, live artworks will be created around this unique space and there will be many opportunities to get involved: most workshops are completely free or require a small donation.

In the courtyard there will be music with local DJs alongside food and drink including a special festival beer with local brewery Alphabet.

This is a free family friendly event open to all, put together with help from Allied London. If you are interested in exhibiting/selling your work please contact Manchester Print Fair or Manchester Artists Book Fair.

Design City Film Season

Manchester’s annual design festival, DM16, this year features the Design City film season at HOME, which includes screenings of acclaimed films and introductory talks from celebrated industry experts.

The films, being shown between October 16th and 23rd as part of Design Manchester, are David Fincher’s Fight Club, Alfred Hitchock’s Vertigo, Stanley Kubrick’s Dr Strangelove and Charles Atlas’s docufantasy Hail the New Puritan.

The Design City Film Season screenings will be introduced with a design perspective from industry professionals. These experts, who will share personal stories and critiques, are production designer Alex McDowell, design commentator Alice Rawsthorn, film culture expert Sir Christopher Frayling and acclaimed graphic designer Malcolm Garrett RDI.

WEDNESDAY 19th OCTOBER, 6.30pm-9pm
City ID: the Great Debate
Old Granada Studios
FREE, but pre-registration is required

Supported by Pannone Corporate, the Great Debate will this year discuss city identity – the nature and character of our cities of the future – in the striking surroundings of the bonded warehouse at Old Granada Studios.

The event will involve high levels of audience engagement. The panel includes digital pioneer Emer Coleman; former cabinet minister, EU Trade Commissioner and now Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University Peter Mandelson; Designer Republic’s Ian Anderson; Andy Burnham MP, the Leigh MP and Shadow Home Secretary who is standing to be Mayor of Greater Manchester; magneticNorth’s Lou Cordwell; Claire Mookerjee of Future Cities Catapult; and City ID’s Mike Rawlinson.

Specific topics will include city devolution, from Liverpool to Hull, ‘Brexit means what?’, transport, digital/tech, education & skills, how we are connected and more. Places are limited.

THURSDAY 20th OCTOBER, 6pm-11pm
Manchester Moleskine
Old Granada Studios
FREE, but pre-registration is required

For almost two years, Jon Massey and Adam Stanway have documented Manchester’s affluent creative landscape. Bound within an A5 Moleskine sketchbook, the project has captured the narrative of an entire city and catalogued over 50 local visionaries.
The pair will close DM16 and their travelling book in the iconic Old Granada Studios.

During the evening, final submissions will be created and projected live, and the book will be exhibited in its entirety for the first time. Alongside a feast of musical treats and local DJ’s, there will be food and drink plus more surprises, as yet to be announced.

For further information, announcements, updates and ticket information please visit:

Design Manchester

Design Manchester’s annual festival celebrates collaboration and inclusivity in design, producing international level events that champion the worlds of design, art, architecture, digital, illustration, film, animation, photography and music.

The headline sponsor of this year’s festival is the Co-op. DM16 is supported by Manchester City Council, St John’s Manchester, Manchester School of Art, Transport for Greater Manchester and G.F Smith, in addition to a host of event and programme partners.

Design Manchester supports and promotes design thinking and practice in and from one of the world’s great design cities with a range of programmes and events in Manchester and elsewhere.

Events and contributors in previous years have included the popular Adidas SPEZIAL exhibition, Helen Storey, John Cooper Clarke, Kate Moross, Mark Kennedy, Nat Hunter, Liam Hopkins (LAZARIAN), Daren Newman, Adrian Shaughnessy, Rejane Dal Bello, Supermundane’s Rob Lowe, Ross Phillips and Michael C Place of Build.

Design Manchester’s annual festival is curated by designers John Owens (Instruct Studio) and Malcolm Garrett RDI (Images&Co). Culture publicist Fiona McGarva of Sundae Communications is festival director and the writer Kasper de Graaf of Images&Co is the partnerships director. The Design Manchester Advisory Board is chaired by Lou Cordwell, founder and CEO of digital design agency magneticNorth and a member of the Local Enterprise Partnership. Last year’s festival, DM15, was supported by Manchester City Council, Arts Council England and Manchester School of Art, with commercial and event sponsors including G.F Smith papers, Design Week and the law firm Shoosmiths.