DM17: The Design City Reframed


Last week one our 3rd Year Advertising students, Jemma Redpath, attended the 5th annual Design Manchester all-day conference. She's kindly sent through some of her thoughts for Disciples...

The Design City Reframed conference was an experience full of diverse speeches and presentations that have certainly left an impression on me. The conference covered all sorts of topics including branding, architecture, film and modern art that were very refreshing. However, some were a little more random. One designer (not to mention names) spent his whole allotted time talking about writing songs for his LP- which would have been fantastic if we had seen some of the actual process. Half way through the talk he revealed, “by the way, you’re not actually going to hear any of my songs.” Not the best start to the event I must say!

There were however some really great speeches that made up for the disappointing start of the conference. Louis Mikolay from North gave a fantastic talk all about the rebranding of the Science Museum. As we know there was a lot of public backlash about ditching the existing brand image, but he represented his agency well and stood by North’s decisions and final work. I took away 3 main lessons from his talk… Number one: research is important. Number two: making visual observations of a brand will help you to identify ways to develop it further. Number three: be brave and stand up for what you creatively believe in, even when other people’s opinions might differ.

Tash Wilcox who is currently working with Hyper Island and Jane Murison, from the BCC, talked about very similar topics. Murison talked about how a lot of the time, we don’t make informed decisions due to our tendency to wait to be given information, and how social media has emotional consequences if we use it too much or too less. Wilcox relatedly discussed how we often seek the approvals of others on social media and how that can stop us from exercising our brain. Both talks were slightly anti-tech but amongst the humour and jokes they both highlighted some important advice. Firstly, we can make our own choices by making the good popular and the popular good. Secondly, we can put technology aside and strengthen our mind by developing our physically talents such as drawing and painting.

Overall, I would definitely attend the conference again. It was full of creativity and I genuinely left feeling motivated and more excited about my own projects. The general atmosphere was great to be in and it was reassuring to know that some of my own student creative worries were echoed amongst such successful and accomplished people. I look forward to attending similar events in the upcoming months and I most certainly am looking forward to attending the next Design City Reframed.

DM17 - Design Manchester - Manchester’s fifth annual festival of design


The fantastic Design Manchester festival will be taking place this year between the 11th and 22nd of October. There are a wide range of events (both ticketed and FREE) taking place, with the highlight being the Design City Conference.

It has been a great, inspiring event in recent years - plus there are potential networking opportunities and a chance to meet other designers.