Belfast Design Week 2015 kicks off today, with an ambitious vision for its inaugural year. Over the next seven days, BDW organisers are setting out to both celebrate and cultivate the creative economy of Northern Ireland’s biggest city, through an array of inspiring events…
Curated by the slightly mysterious-sounding Design Salon collective – a group of makers and design enthusiasts that includes Catherine McGinnis, director of Maven – the packed schedule for Belfast’s first design week is undeniably impressive. Starting today, this débutante design festival aims to showcase Northern Irish creative talent in all its forms.
Beginning as they mean to go on, there’ll be an expansive exhibition of ceramics, illustration, photography, graphic design, interiors, textiles and fashion taking place at Framewerk, the gallery and framing store that will also host the closing party next Saturday. Attendees can then head to PLACE on Lower Garfield Street, to see the 2015 Architectural Association of Ireland Awards travelling exhibition of winning entries, which will run throughout the rest of the week.
Also happening today is the first in a series of constructive talks for the creative business owner, including the Blick Academy for Creative Start-Ups and a Mobile Monday masterclass in mobile user experience design. The latter will provide a taster of a Mobile Academy course set to run at the University of Ulster early next year.
Tomorrow, the predictably popular Design Camp day of talks – with speakers like Alex Milton, director of ID2015, and Barney Starling, Sales Manager at Hay – is unfortunately sold out, but happily anyone can pop along to some of Belfast’s best design stores for a Shopping Evening of unbridled retail therapy.
For one night only, Maven will be offering a generous 10% discount on purchases at their cutting-edge interiors store, as well as a floral styling workshop and refreshments in the form of cinnamon buns and Peroni beer. Nearby, another Image Interiors & Living favourite, ReFound, will be hosting an artist showcase featuring two up-and-coming young printmakers, Amanda Nicholl and Anna Trainor, who will exhibit their fabrics and give an insight into their design and production processes. ReFound will also offer a discount of 10% off everything under £150, as well as some celebratory bubbles. See details of the other stores taking part here.
For the remainder of the week, the Belfast-bound can look forward to many more design-focused happenings, like the HomeGrown series of talks from 10 Ulster designers of varied disciplines at the Belfast School of Art; a panel discussion with Marc O’Riain, current President of the Institute of Designers in Ireland; Craft NI’s Making It Exhibition; a Makers’ Day; the launch of the [email protected] exhibition at Atelier-Design, and more.
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