DESIGN agencies in York have joined forces to stage a festival which they hope will present a dynamic new vision of the city's creative industry.

More than 20 events including workshops, conferences and family activities are planned for the inaugural York Design Week.

Organisers say the community-focussed event is an opportunity to highlight York's creative talent, to champion home-grown ideas, bridge disparity and push for cultural democracy.

It runs from Wednesday, October 23 to Wednesday, October 30, spilling into the half-term holiday with events for families.

The programme highlights the need to regenerate York city centre sustainably and responsibly to create a more inclusive environment, and tackle potential future problems. "We believe we can do this through long-term, creative thinking," it adds.

Rebecca Carr, of creative consultancy Kaizen Arts Agency, collaborated with graphic design agency United by Design and Dogeatcog, a collective of designers and illustrators, to launch York Design Week.

She said it aimed to create a fresh dynamic vision of the city.

"A lot of the time we have things imposed upon us. We have lots of events and festivals aimed at tourists. We wanted to create a festival aimed at York residents to change the narrative, to highlight the creative talent in the city.

"We talk a lot about the city's heritage and narrative and this UNESCO Designation of Media Arts; trying to do new things and this juxtaposition with heritage."

A festival highlight will be an interactive Exhibition of Social Design at Spark, looking at how design can help positively impact on communities and well-being.

People will be invited to create objects, paper cities and playscapes while designers will host talks and workshops.

Also in the line-up is an event at York St John University on October 30 when attendants will be asked to consider 'what is the problem and whose problem is it?'

The discussion will attempt to build bridges, join up ideas, and influence an action plan for the city. Organisers hope to attract a wide-ranging audience, from historians and councillors to teenagers, creative practitioners and environmental activists, and promote the notion that culture is made by us, not for us.

During the festival, Snowhome and York Design Week will be distributing 246 acorns for people to germinate their own oak tree as a small step to reduce and offset their carbon footprint.

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