A FESTIVAL designed to get people thinking about solutions to today’s big issues is being staged in York.

Organisers of York Design Week have launched the seven-day programme of events which focus on different topics and ask attendees to consider ways to make the world a better place.

The interactive festival explores possible solutions to issues, from climate change to cities of the future, while drawing on the expertise of York professionals within the creative industry.

Back for a third year, the event runs from Wednesday, October 20 to Tuesday, October 26, with exhibitions, workshops, installations, talks and live music, all free to attend.

York Design Week is run by volunteers working across different design disciplines in and around York, working with city partners, including the MCN Network, York Civic Trust, York Architectural Association, XR Stories, Guild of Media Arts, York College, York St John University and City of York Council, who have lent support from their Additional Recovery Grant.

Rebecca Carr, founder of Kaizen Arts CIC, who helped set up York Design Week, said: “We’re living in challenging times. Multiple and complex issues around mental health and wellbeing, the housing system, the biodiversity and climate crises, poverty, inequality, racism, and increasing uncertainty about the future can often leave us feeling powerless and fearful.

“York Design Week 2021 sets out to ask: what if we weren’t in such a pickle? What would that look, feel and be like? How could we design a way there? And how can we work together to do this?”

Festival highlights include:

York Press:

  • 'How to start a student housing revolution' is an online event from 4pm to 5.30pm on Wednesday, October 20, from 4pm to 5.30pm, hosted by James Neward, co-founder of YorSpace CLT. With students making up more than 10 per cent of York’s population, there is a focus on housing which can sometimes be substandard and expensive. This event explores conversations around creating co-ops and action to ease the current student housing crisis.
  • Drawsome! at Spark features family-friendly workshops, a print swap exhibition, indie market and music with Young Thugs Records.
  • Artist Roanna Wells invites residents to take part in a painting installation at the Temperature of the City event, from Thursday to Saturday, October, 21 to 23, 10am to 5pm, at York Theatre Royal, by responding to questions on personal wellbeing via brushstrokes.
  • What If? at 7pm on Thursday, October 21 features Podcast host, author and founder of the Transition Network, Rob Hopkins, exploring how wild ideas could be future reality, at an interactive online event - from embracing holistic development policies to ensuring that marginalised members of society are heard and the impact this could have.

Festival co-founder Owen Turner, of United by Design, said: “We’re really excited to be sharing such a meaningful project with some brilliant partners this year, who are all doing pioneering work in our city, whether that’s in housing, learning, social work, food or social innovation."

Richard Corrigan of Dogeatcog, a creative agency in York also involved in setting up the event, said: "The team has worked very hard to bring a diverse array of perspectives to the table this year, to discuss and explore possible solutions to the complex challenges we face and to bring a festival to our city that amplifies the unheard voices in our communities and in nature.”

Visit www.yorkdesignweek.com