It may coincide with the behemoth fair that is Milan's Salone del Mobile this month, but there's a young design fair on the block, whose notably different approach has seen it become a go-to fair for creatives and design-appreciators alike. Unlike similar festivals which tend to serve as a launch-pad for designers to showcase their newest works, the Cheltenham Design Festival works primarily to unite members of the industry with the public through interactive activities and discussion.
The Cheltenham Design Festival launched last year, and its success has it returning for a second wind this April. The title of the festival, 'Who Cares About the Future of Design?' acts as a theme for the fair's schedule, with all events aiming to answer, in one way or another, the posed question.
Held in the Parabola Arts Centre in Gloucestershire, the four-day event (from 11 to 14 April) hosts an impressive line-up of talks and events from design magnates, who'll approach and explore the importance and influence of the creative industry on the world we live in.
Design veteran Sir John Sorrell will be deliberating on the creative industry's ability to help develop the economic and intellectual growth of a nation, and journalist Peter York will delve into society's complex relationships with design. Meanwhile aeronautical designer Dr Norman Wood will explore the future of flight and the new generation of aircraft design. Other speakers include Adrian Shaughnessy, Alice Rawsthorn and Paola Antonelli, all of whom will tackle a range design-related topics. There will also be workshops for visitors to participate in, including a drawing class and an 'invention' workshop.
The festival's philosophy is essentially geared to induce creative rhetoric amongst attendees, and thus educating people on the relevance and importance of the creative industry. Founder Sir John Hegarty is a prominent figure within the advertising and creative sector - working for Saatchi & Saatchi, later co-founding creative agency, TBWA, and starting up Bartle Bogle Hegarty. As well as putting on the event, Hegarty will be speaking about design and its ability to combine a functional element with a pleasing aesthetic.