Design Manchester 2016 – the annual citywide festival of art and design – comes to town this month. These festivals are always built around a common theme and the theme this time round is Design City, looking at how design impacts the experience of living and working in a city. For the thrifty design freak, we’ve taken a look through the programme to bring you our picks of the best free events on offer this October.

Helen Storey Q & A at Manchester School of Art
Fashion designer and academic Helen Storey kicks off the festival with a Q & A session at the Manchester School of Art. Wrapped around the broad topic of Adversity as Creative Fuel, the talk starts with a series of short films highlighting Storey’s varied career and some of her past collaborations. Booking through Eventbrite is essential.
Wed 12 Oct, Manchester School of Art, Benzie Building, Higher Ormond Street, Manchester, M15 6BR. 3pm -4.30pm,

Benji Reid Exhibition at Contact (pictured)
Local artist and physical theatre practitioner Benji Reid brings his first photography exhibition to the festival. A Thousand Words is the name of the show, aptly hosted at Oxford Road’s Contact Theatre and featuring a series of portraits that draw heavily from Reid’s varies artistic background. It was commissioned as part of Black History Month, and runs through until December.
Wed 12 Oct – Sat 17 Dec, Contact, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6JA. 10am -10pm,

Design City Fair at London Road Fire Station
If you’ve enjoyed any of Manchester’s print fairs over the past year, this is the motherlode. London Road Fire Station is being taken over for a weekend-long print extravaganza, with cheap workshops and plenty of affordable art from local and national printmakers. They’ll also be taking over the station’s courtyard, with DJs, street food and guest beers from Alphabet Brewing Co. – including an ale specially made for the festival.
Sat 15 Oct – Sun 16 Oct, London Road Fire Station, Piccadilly Station Approach, Manchester. 10am – 5pm,

Ideas Worth Fighting For at People’s History Museum
Another exhibition running at the festival is this one at PHM. Ideas Worth Fighting For is a celebration of art’s role in the cementing of democracy and freedom of expression. The museum have taken commissions from 13 different artists including Mackenzie Thorpe, Rob Ryan, Humberto Velez and Malcolm Garrett, working in every medium from sculpture to tapestry, to look at our hard-won freedoms – as well as some of the freedoms we’re still fighting for.
Mon 17 Oct – Sun 23 Oct, People’s History Museum, Left Bank, Spinningfields, Manchester, M3 3ER. Tel: 0161 838 9190, 10am – 5pm,

City ID Debate at Old Granada Studios
What will the cities of the future look like? And how will a sense of local identity be transformed or fragmented as our landscapes are radically transformed? These are the issues that this year’s Great Debate at Old Granada Studios aims to tackle. Taking part in the discussion are urban planner Mike Rawlinson, digital pioneer Emer Coleman, Designer Republic’s Ian Anderson, Lou Cordwell of design agency magneticNorth, Claire Mookerjee of Future Cities Catapult, Peter Mandelson and the presumed future mayor of Manchester Andy Burnham.
Wed 19 Oct, Old Granada Studios, Quay House, Quay Street, Manchester, M3 3JE. 6.30pm – 9pm,

Wed 12 Oct – Sun 23 Oct, Design Manchester 16,

Wed 12 Oct - Sun 23 Oct
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Tue 18 Oct 2016