Design Manchester returns from 12-16 November with DM20: Go Global, Stay Local!

Design Manchester’s annual celebration of creativity and design, DM20, is going global while staying local this year – with five new commissions running from 12 to 16 November 2020 (and beyond) connecting the worlds of design, fashion, sustainability, activism and play.

Being locked down has increased our connectivity, and DM20 is embracing the opportunity to work with global partners, devising creative solutions to counter the absence of live events.

Building on Design Manchester’s partnership with World Design Weeks, the Open Collab + DM20 – Connect workshop – a collaboration with the University of Salford and Birmingham City University – will link cities including Manchester, Salford, Berlin, Barcelona, Stuttgart and Rotterdam in an interactive online experience, reaching an international audience via Patrick Thomas and Jonathan Auch’s ‘Open Collab‘ platform.

Closer to home, as part of Bee in the City’s COVID safe, city-wide art trail, will be 50 Windows of Creativity, created by Wild in Art.  

DM20 will showcase what play means to us in our living spaces with the project Playhouse, created by three Manchester design studios – Playground, Ben Clark Design and Barney Ibbotson Illustration – which will be on show at Hilton House until 5th December

Playhouse is featured in an ongoing virtual exhibition representing Design Manchester’s contribution to this year’s Dutch Design Week festival, as part of a collaboration with World Design Weeks.

“Scale-up Sessions” [SUS] is a series of events for startups, microbusinesses and SMEs organised jointly by Design Manchester and the Business & IP Centre at Manchester Central Library.

SUS will feature interviews and discussions with experts, mentors and entrepreneurs.

SUS1, titled “Pandemic Stations! WTF do we do now?,” takes place as a virtual event on Thursday 12th November from 6-7 pm.

The programme will feature an interview with GM LEP Co-Chair Lou Cordwell OBE and a panel discussion/Q+A chaired by Creative Boom editor Katy Cowan.

On Wednesday 11th November, Design Manchester will host two sessions at Creative Coalition 2020, led by the Creative Industries Federation.

Lost Horizon: A Real Festival in a Virtual World, will give an insight into the ground-breaking virtual festival from the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La, which launched to 4.36m people in July.

Virtual Worlds, Real Business will then widen the discussion to consider how viable digital experiences are and how businesses can capitalise on these new realities.

Sessions feature Kaye Dunnings (Shangri-La, Lost Horizon), Robin Collings (Boomtown, Shangri-La, Lost Horizon), Sedef Gavaz, (Natural History Museum), Dr Kirsty Fairclough (SODA at MMU).

MODA-FAD, Design Manchester and the British Council are partnering on a new project spanning DM20 and Barcelona Design Week.

The Sustainable Challenge 2020 invites 40 students from Spain and the United Kingdom to develop and present design and fashion projects that focus on gender perspective.

DM20 will also host a series of gallery tours and talks of its Yours Truthfully exhibition, co-curated by Kaye Dunnings and Malcolm Garrett MBE, for July’s global virtual reality festival, Lost Horizon, created by the team behind Glastonbury’s Shangri-La.

The exhibition features work from 70 artists including Jeremy Deller, Anthony Burill, Sarah Boris and Morag Myerscough addressing themes of Truth, Justice and Freedom, and calling attention to the most pressing social issues in the world today.

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.

DM20 takes place throughout November 2020, details on all events can be found at

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