5 design things to look out for in April 2019

This month, you can delve into the art of video games, explore the sordid world of Stanley Kubrick and learn about the highs and lows of freelance illustration from Isabel Greenberg.

Exhibition: Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick filming in the Centrifuge set, 2001: A Space Odyssey

What: The dark, twisted and captivating work of director Stanley Kubrick will be explored at the Design Museum’s new show this month, which is being designed by Pentagram partner Marina Willer. A step back in time, the exhibition will relive scenes from seminal films such as The Shining, A Clockwork Orange, Full Metal Jacket and 2001: A Space Odyssey, and will feature footage and projections, memorabilia such as props, costumes, set designs and original storyboards, and filmed interviews with Kubrick. Fittingly, the museum will explore the design and architectural inspiration behind Kubrick’s films, who worked with the likes of graphic designer Saul Bass and set designer Ken Adam on various feature films. Kubrick’s disturbing style was recently explored at an exhibition at London’s Somerset House in 2016, which involved 45 artists being commissioned to reinterpret the weird and wonderful world of the director, delving into themes such as sex, violence and dystopia.

When: Stanley Kubrick: The Exhibition runs 26 April – 15 September 2019.

Where: Design Museum, 224-238 Kensington High Street, Kensington, London W8 6AG.

Info: Tickets cost £16, and £12 for concessions.


Exhibition: Video Games — Design/Play/Disrupt

Arcade backpack, UCLA Games Lab, photo © Robin Baumgarten.

What: Last year, an exhibition analysing the art of video games opened at London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, looking at how various games, from arcade numbers to smartphone apps, are designed and crafted. Social issues surrounding gaming were also explored, including how gender and sexuality are represented in the animated format, as well as how unconscious bias of game designers can play out in the finished product. This month, the show moves to the recently-opened V&A Dundee in Scotland, and visitors will be able to play with interactive exhibits, delve into the creative process of making “radical and provocative” games and observe large-scale installations. Talks, workshops and events complement the exhibition.

When: Video Games: Design/Play/Disrupt runs 20 April – 8 September 2019.

Where: V&A Dundee, 1 Riverside Esplanade, Dundee, Scotland DD1 4EZ.

Info: Tickets cost £11, and £9 for concessions.


Conference: Offset Dublin 2019

Courtesy of Offset Dublin 2019

What: Dublin’s celebrated, three-day-long design festival is marking its 10th year, and will see speakers including graphic designer Lance Wyman and Pentagram partner Yuri Suzuki take to the stage. Other interesting additions include political illustrator Edel Rodriquez, well-known for his satirical visual interpretations of US president Donald Trump among others, and stop motion animation extraordinaire Anna Mantzaris, who recently worked on Wes Anderson’s film, Isle of Dogs. The conference’s second stage will see a selection of panel talks, including discussions on Irish design, while a special “archive” stage features for the first time this year, which will show curated footage from some of the best Offset Dublin talks of the last 10 years.

When: Offset Dublin 2019 takes place 5-7 April 2019.

Where: Point Square, East Wall Road, Dublin, Ireland D01 E0K6.

Info: Tickets cost €99 (£85) for one day and €295 (£252) for the whole conference, and €55 (£47) for one day and €125 (£107) for the whole conference for students. A conference ticket costs €170 (£145.50) for recent graduates. Read our round-up of speakers to catch at the conference here.


Talk: Isabel Greenberg: being a freelance illustrator

By Isabel Greenberg, courtesy of the artist

What: London-based illustrator Isabel Greenberg is well-versed in a range of print and digital formats, including graphic novels, comic books, children’s books, and moving image and animation. Some of her work includes a series of colourful, informative kids’ books on different civilisations from history, including the Romans and Ancient Egyptians. Her first graphic novel, The Encyclopaedia of Early Earth, which is a mythical take on the creation of the world, was published in 2013, and was lauded by both The Guardian and the New York Times. In this talk at The Cass art school in London, Greenberg will discuss the trials and tribulations of being a freelance illustrator, and how to juggle various jobs and responsibilities.

When: Isabel Greenberg: being a freelance illustrator – juggling many different hats takes place 1.15-2pm, 12 April 2019.

Where: The Cass, London Metropolitan University (LMU), Calcutta House, Old Castle Street, Whitechapel, London E1 7NT.

Info: Tickets are free for LMU students and staff, and £6 for members of the public.


Fundraiser: The Modernist Society

The Modernist magazine, courtesy of The Modernist Society

What: The Modernist Society was originally founded in 2009 as The Manchester Modernist Society, as an organisation to champion art and design in the North of England through printed publications, events and exhibitions. The group’s quarterly printed magazine – aptly named The Modernist – was launched in 2011. For the last 10 years, the group has organised itself digitally, but now it is branching out into a multi-floor physical space, with the ground floor used for purposes including exhibitions, talks, film screenings and a public art shop, while the upper floors will be reserved as office space for The Modernist Society staff and production of its magazine. The new venue, which will be based in Manchester’s thriving Northern Quarter, is due to open on 1 May 2019, but in the meantime, the group is crowdfunding money to cover the costs of making the project happen. Those willing to contribute are being offered credit to spend on The Modernist Society’s online shop.

When: The crowdfunding campaign for The Modernist Society starts on 5 April 2019. The venue is due to open on 1 May 2019.

Where: 58 Port Street, Manchester M1 2EQ.

Info: Find out more about The Modernist Society.


Other stuff to catch:

by Abram Games, courtesy of the National Army Museum
  • The Art of Persuasion: an exhibition exploring the work of war poster graphic designer, Abram Games, at the National Army Museum.
  • The Art of Storytelling: A day-long masterclass and conference by the Frieze Academy exploring different visual ways to tell stories, at London’s Mortimer House.
  • Offf Barcelona 2019: This coveted design conference takes place 25-27 April in Barcelona, Spain, and will see speakers including Handsome Frank, Edel Rodriguez, and Pentagram partners Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell.
  • Now Play This and Earth Day: Two exciting events take place at London’s Somerset House this month, including annual games festival Now Play This, and Earth Day Season 2019, a two-week series of events and installations exploring the environment and climate change.

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