Sheffield Design Week 2015

Sheffield Design Week identity by The Designers Republic


Following a successful debut last summer, Sheffield Design Week returns to Yorkshire from June 13 to 21. Events include a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the British road sign, a one-day conference with talks from Henrik Kubel, Andy Altmann and Anthony Peters, an exhibition of British street furniture and the launch of a new guide to Sheffield’s modernist architecture…

Founded last year by Made North gallery director Patrick Murphy, Sheffield Design Week is an annual programme of talks, exhibitions, screenings and workshops spanning architecture, design and visual art.

Road signs by Mike Dempsey (left) and Spin

This year’s event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the launch of Jock Kinnear and Margaret Calvert’s road signage system. To celebrate, Made North has commissioned 50 designers from Jonathan Barnbrook to Kubel, Spin, Mike Dempsey and Mark Bonner to create their own version of the road sign.

Designs will be on show at Made North Gallery from June 17 until August 1, and again at London Design Festival in September.

Designs by Mark Bonner (left) and Henrik Kubel


The headline event is a one-day conference organised by Made North, which takes place at Sheffield Hallam University on June 18.

Design Museum director Deyan Sudijic will chair a session on how design can improve environments and transform behaviours, featuring Kubel, Ben Terrett, director of design at the Government Digital Service and Corin Mellor, director of David Mellor Design; and Sheffield Institute of the Arts is hosting a session on the transformative power of visual communication. Speakers include Andy Altmann, co-founder of Why Not Associates and Danny Antrobus, founder of the Better with Data Society.

Jonathan Barnbrook

There’s also a session reflecting on the benefits of experiencing other cultures and a talk from Anthony Peters followed by a screening of his new film on the UK creative industry, Made You Look, which features interviews with graphic artists from Anthony Burrill to Hattie Stewart and Helen Musselwhite.

Other events include an exhibition of street furniture by David Mellor, who redesigned Britain’s bus shelters, bins and traffic lights in the 1950s and 60s (his traffic lights are still used today), and the launch of a new guide to Sheffield’s Modernist architecture at the Park Hill flats on June 13. Park Hill is also hosting a pop-up showcase of work from local design studios this weekend, including The Designers Republic.

Modernist map of Sheffield, featured in the Modernist Guide to Sheffield, designed by TDR

Talks and workshops span architecture, urban regeneration and digital design: Sheffield Digital Campus is hosting a sonic pattern symposium on June 16 and 17, which promises to explore “diverse viewpoints on weaving, knitting, live coding and digital making” and Sheffield Hallam is hosting a talk on health tech in the home on June 20.

For a full list of events, see Tickets for the Made North Conference cost £45 for a full day, or £15 for students. We also have 10 tickets to the Made North conference to give away exclusively to CR readers. To register for one, click here.