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New Andy Burnham

Design Manchester's Great Debate: a recap of the night

26th October, 2016

It’s been a fantastic two weeks of talks, workshops and exhibitions from Design Manchester 2016 and we’re sad that it’s over for another year! We’ve been proud to be a partner of such a successful event, and even prouder to be involved in their annual Great Debate. Our very own Lou Cordwell had the fun task of mediating between some of the country’s most talented and influential creatives at The Old Granada Studios to a sold out audience.  


Neurodiversity in the City at DM16

26th September, 2016

Over the past few months we’ve been preparing for a very exciting event as part of Design Manchester 2016 in collaboration with BBC CAPE and Hyper Island and we are now ready to let you know all the details...

This year's Design Manchester festival (DM16) is celebrating the part design plays in making Manchester and other cities great to live in. Inclusivity and accessibility for all is a big part of this, so our recent work with the BBC CAPE team was a perfect opportunity to explore this. 


Celebrating neurodiversity

24th August, 2016

Over the last few months we’ve been working with the BBC to develop the visual identity for project CAPE (Creative a Positive Environment) – a brand new diversity initiative that aims to raise awareness of the positive role neurodiversity can have in the workplace. As part of this, we were delighted to be invited along to the BBC’s recent Connecting The Dots event at New Broadcasting House, London. This was the first public presentation of the project and it was fantastic to see our work up in lights for the first time at the event.

Originally coined by a scientist in the 1980s, neurodiversity refers to the range of neurological differences experienced by people with ‘conditions’ such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia.

Design Manchester group

In conversation with Design Manchester: partnerships & DM16

10th August, 2016

“Design thinking is the key to making the best of the emerging digital world”

As an official supporter of DM 16, we’re excited to see that this year’s festival is going to be bigger and better than ever. In the months running up to DM 16 (12-23rd October), we’ll be sharing a series of articles sharing the story behind the festival.

In our first piece the Design Manchester team discussed the impact of Brexit on the creative industries and the steps that need to be taken to ensure we continue to innovate and grow.

In the second part of our series, we chat to them about the importance of collaboration and partnerships for Design Manchester and this year’s festival.

DM Brexit 1

In conversation with Design Manchester: Brexit & the creative industries

28th July, 2016

“Now is the time to do something.”

Malcolm Garrett, Design Manchester co-founder and creative director at Images&Co, could be talking about a new city-wide initiative here, but he’s not. He’s talking about the fallout from the UK’s decision to leave the European Union. Malcolm reflected on the result in a chat with us, and he had plenty to say. 

“You’ll have seen that I wrote a tweet immediately saying that now is the time more than ever for creative industries to actually stand up and do something,” he says. “It’s all our responsibility. That has been the most re-tweeted of our tweets so we know there is an appetite for the creative industries in Manchester, or the followers of Design Manchester because let’s not forget Design Manchester was always about balancing the UK. It’s as important to London as it is to Manchester and the North.”


IWD2016: Celebrating Manchester’s Great Girl Geeks

7th March, 2016

For over a century, Manchester has been home to some of the most pioneering women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine. The STEM timeline is scattered with ground-breaking females with a Manchester connection - from Marie Stopes in 1904 who became a Lecturer in Palaeobotany at the University of Manchester, a post that gave her the accolade of first female academic of the University as well as being best known for her role in developing birth control for women.

Design Manchester 2015

Malcolm, Kasper & Design Manchester

17th December, 2015

Design Manchester is an ‘originative week-long festival celebrating creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in art, design, film and music’. The theme for this year’s festival, ‘the how, the what and the why’, brought together a rich programme of talks, workshops, exhibitions, screenings and debates, with a full weekend celebrating the love of print with the Manchester Print Festival at the People’s History Museum.

Two of the key players behind Design Manchester, Malcolm Garrett & Kasper De Graaf, were kind enough to share some thoughts with us…

Reasons To

Our highlights from Reasons To Be Creative

9th October, 2015

It’s almost a month since we headed over to Brighton for the annual Reasons To Be Creative conference. Every year the very best international creative and developer speakers take to the stage to wow, inspire, inform, entertain, thrill, teach and mix with web designers and coders that attend from all over the world. One month on, we’ve been reflecting on the highlights from this year’s event that have stayed with us left us inspired for the winter months ahead.

If the unlimited free Redbull or the crazy opening titles weren't enough to blow our minds, then the abundance of brilliant speakers absolutely did.

EU app challenge

#EULife App Challenge introduction

21st August, 2015

On the 10th of September we will be opening our doors to the best of Manchester’s dev talent, excited to take part in the #EULife App Challenge - with a £15,000 prize fund.

We will be visited by the App Challenge team, who will be presenting a taster session at the mN studio. Following an introduction to the challenge with an opportunity for questions, there will be a chance for everyone to chat over drinks and nibbles about potential collaborations and anything else tech.

If you fancy coming along, register for your free tickets here. The event will run from 6pm until 8pm, followed by optional post meet-up drinks at a nearby pub. We hope to see you there!

Walls&Pictures - Aliyah

Aliyah Hussain adds a splash of colour to Walls & Pictures

6th August, 2015

With summer turning out to be more than a little unpredictable this year, for the second instalment of our exhibition series Walls & Pictures, we wanted something bright and beautiful to bring a bit of sunshine to the mN studio. So we were delighted when we came across the wonderful work of Aliyah Hussain. Originally from Blackburn, Aliyah is a visual artist based in Manchester. She’s a busy lady; with her practice encompassing performance, photography, painting, printmaking, collage, sound and costume. Aliyah experiments with different media and techniques to create works that reference futurist narratives, utopian visions and ritualistic practices embedded in the everyday. She is also interested in experimenting with distortion, using colours, forms and sculptural motifs as a means to create unexpected structures and disruptions in the landscape; blurring the distinction between the real and the imaginary.

ManchesterInFlux - Ocean Screen - Deansgate 1

It’s festival season! Digital visualisation for MIF15

16th July, 2015

To celebrate the return of Manchester International Festival (MIF) we have been working in collaboration with Bruntwood and MIF to create an exciting new digital visualisation project.

ManchesterInFlux’ has been created to exhibit the buzz of activity and energy that the Festival brings to the city. By displaying a ‘world’ view and a view of Manchester, the project illustrates the Festival in an engaging new way and celebrates all of the individual events as a whole. ManchesterInFlux also provides an opportunity to see where commissions travel to after MIF15 is over.

Lincoln Castle

‘Castle Explorer’: an immersive tablet experience for Lincoln Castle

11th June, 2015

We are delighted to announce that we have been commissioned to create a tablet-based experience to guide visitors around the newly restored Victorian Prison and archaeology area of Lincoln Castle

For the last few months we have been working with the team at Lincolnshire County Council to create a two-fold experience that will allow visitors to discover untold stories from the castle’s fascinating history.

Mark Atkin Crossover Labs

In conversation with Mark Atkin: Interactive Filmmaking at Thinking Digital

21st May, 2015

This week we’re up at Thinking Digital in Gateshead; a conference for those curious about how technology is shaping the future. If you haven’t already got yourself a ticket there’s no need to miss all the fun, you can Livestream the event by registering online (which we highly recommend you do!).

We kicked off our visit with the Interactive Filmmaking workshop, brought to us by Crossover Labs in collaboration with Sheffield Documentary Festival.

After the workshop we caught up with Mark Atkin, Director of Crossover Labs, to give us his thoughts on the emerging field of interactive filmmaking.


Introducing ‘Walls & Pictures’: our brand new exhibition series

25th February, 2015

As a digital design agency, we are always searching for artistic inspiration. From internationally renowned masterpieces to student projects, there is incredible work to be discovered around every corner.

Recently, we have been scratching our heads trying to think of a fun way to celebrate the work that inspires us.  Then we had a lightbulb moment: why not create our very own exhibition space right here in the mN studio?

Introducing ‘Walls & Pictures’: a brand new series of exhibitions curated by magneticNorth. Walls & Pictures will run throughout the year, featuring specially selected pieces from our favourite creatives. 

CE50 Image

magneticNorth selected as one of the Creative England 50

27th January, 2015

As part of their showcase event last week, Creative England, a leading investor in the film, TV, games and digital media industry, selected their top 50 creative companies in the country. Here at magneticNorth, we were thrilled to be recognised as one of these companies. What a great way to beat the January blues!

The Creative England Live event took place at the Oxo Tower in London, where we met the other businesses honoured in the list. From state of the art Oculus Rift gaming to cutting edge film, everywhere you looked there was something inspiring yet completely different. Attendees also spanned multiple sectors and specialisms, with guests including performing arts guru Harvey Goldsmith CBE and Culture Secretary Rt. Hon Sajid Javid MP.

mN Recommends: Connected Digital Economies Catapult Centre

24th November, 2014

Last week Tom and Ian from our new business team were at the newly opened ‘Connected Digital Economies Catapult Centre’ in London. The space opened in early November and is pitched as ‘a national centre to rapidly advance the UK’s best digital ideas’.

As well as attending a number of the seminars we were also invited to showcase our MiGuide project as part of the launch exhibition within the centre’s ‘Innovator Centre’.

David Lynch

Design Manchester Festival movieNight screening of David Lynch's 'Meditation, Creativity, Peace'

16th October, 2014

We get excited about every film we show as part of our movieNight series, however as our office is teeming with Twin Peaks fans there is an extra special buzz about our next movieNight.

As part of the Design Manchester Festival programme, we’ll be hosting one of the first UK screenings of ‘Meditation, Creativity, Peace’ a documentary by uber director and all round dude David Lynch. 

This fascinating documentary follows him on a 16-country tour of Europe, the Middle East, and Latin America to spread the word about the individual and global impact of meditation – something he has practised for the last 41 years.

With wit and passion in equal measure, Meditation, Creativity, Peace shows the director’s commitment to Transcendental Meditation as a way of changing the world, starting from within.

The film also offers a rare insight into Lynch’s creative process, through interviews and revealing moments from the tour. 

If you’d like to come to the screening on Tuesday 28th October you can register for tickets on the Eventbrite page. Tickets are very limited so be quick!

The Design Manchester Festival (running from 21st -31st October) celebrates creativity, collaboration and inclusivity in the worlds of art, design, illustration, animation and photography.

In addition to our movieNight we are also taking part in another DM14 event, ‘North – The Great Debate’ on Wednesday 29th October. Our CEO Lou Cordwell will be part of the panel where politicians, educators, creatives and entrepreneurs from across the region and the country will tackle the hot topic of design and devolution. The event will be chaired by The Observer's assistant editor Robert Yates and tickets are available on Eventbrite


mN Recommends: BIMA Digital Day

13th October, 2014

This week Caroline and Nathan from the magnetic North team polished their school shoes and headed to Burnage Academy for Boys to host a ‘Digital Day’ session.  Run by BIMA, Digital Day or D Day for short, is a series of nationwide events that link digital professionals (that’s us by the way) and young people in schools and colleges.

The session involved Caroline and Nathan giving the Year 10 boys an overview of what it is like to work in the industry and the kind of work we do at mN. Following this was a lively practical session around the theme of connected devices and the Internet of Things.

Working alongside the Head of Technology from the school, Caroline and Nathan helped the boys work up ideas for their own connected device services. There were a whole heap of great ideas including one for connected bins that notify the council when they are full and one for an app that alerts you when your front door is unlocked.

It was great to see the enthusiasm that all the pupils had for the challenge and the team left the school impressed by everything they’d seen on the day.

They also got to have a school dinner without a ladle of lumpy custard in sight. Progress hey?


Pulp venue

movieNight #3 Pulp

25th September, 2014

They came, they saw, they watched him thrust.

We had a packed house for our movieNight screening of the Pulp documentary at Manchester’s Deaf institute last night. It was our biggest event to date and over 150 people watched with delight as we were taken through the journey of the band's final gig in Sheffield. Peppered with great sound bites from the group, commentary from the colourful characters of Sheffield and plenty of gyrating from Jarvis it was a really enjoyable watch. We also discovered that Jarvis once had a Saturday job in a fishmonger.  Who knew?

Details of our next movieNight will be released soon, watch our Twitter feed for announcements.

digital rev

mN Recommends: Digital Revolution at The Barbican

4th September, 2014

Over the last few months, quite a few of the team at Magnetic North have been to the Digital Revolution exhibition at The Barbican.

The immersive and interactive exhibition brings together a range of artists, filmmakers, architects, designers, musicians and game developers, all pushing the boundaries of their fields using digital media.

It also looks at the developments in the areas of creative coding and DIY culture and the endless creative possibilities offered by things like wearable tech and 3-D printing.

We spent a good few hours wandering around but our collective highlight has to be the historical computing section at the start of the exhibition – Digital Archaeology.

It looks at the history of the digital revolution, with hardware and projects set out in a timeline. We loved seeing work like Chris Milk's "The Wilderness Downtown" for Arcade Fire and Jonathan Harris’s "We Feel Fine" project alongside the things that many of us grew up with, including The Sims, Gameboys and Game & Watch LCD games like Donkey Kong and Mario Bros (which Magnetic North's Head of New Business Tom says he still has a “boat load of”).

It was fascinating seeing all these familiar digital projects elevated into an exhibition environment and getting the chance to explore the links and influences between them.

Another highlight for many of us was the Creative Spaces section. It explores how visual effects have developed from James Cameron’s The Abyss back in the day through to Tim Webber’s Oscar-winning visual voodoo in Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity. We love to pull things apart and so naturally liked seeing all the elements that made up the final shots.

There is loads to see, touch and play with throughout the exhibition and well worth a visit before it finishes on 14th September.


movieNight #3: Pulp: a film about Life, Death and Supermarkets

4th September, 2014

We are practically beside ourselves with excitement that we have managed to bag a screening of Pulp: a film about Life, Death and Supermarkets aka Pulp the Movie for our next movieNight.

Billed as a music-film like no other – funny, moving, life affirming and (occasionally) bewildering the documentary had its premiere at South By South West Festival earlier this year and has gone on to receive amazing reviews.

Pulp found fame on the world stage in the 1990s and 25 years (and 10 million album sales) later, they return to Sheffield for their last UK concert. The film follows the iconic 90s band on the lead up to this momentous gig.

Set against a backdrop of the city that gave birth to the band, the film sees the members of Pulp share their thoughts on fame, love, mortality - & car maintenance.

Jarvis Cocker talking about changing tyres and fanbelts? We are IN.

We will be holding the movieNight screening of ‘Pulp’ on Wednesday 24th September at The Deaf Institute in Manchester. Space is limited but if you’d like to come along to the screening drop us an email to and we’ll see if we can get you sorted (for E’s and Wizz – sorry we couldn’t help ourselves). 

ladieszzzzzz uxxx

mN recommends: LadiesThatUX

22nd August, 2014

It feels like there is some sort of meet-up or geek-out going on in Manchester every night of the week. The magnetic North team goes to lots of the events and nights that people put on (as well as hosting our own movieNight) and we thought that it was time that we gave a shout out to one of the meet-ups we’ve been really enjoying recently. Step forward LadiesThatUX.

LadiesThatUX are a friendly and collaborative bunch of women who get together once a month to talk about all things UX and life in general. They are open to anyone (even guys if they really want to go along) who is interested in making the world a better place for users – it doesn’t matter whether or not you have UX in your job title.

Started by Lizzie Dyson and Georgie Bottomley in Manchester 12 months ago, they now have ‘chapters’ in over 15 different cities, from Brighton to Barcelona to Boston. And are launching in even more locations over the next few months. 

As part of our recent on-demand garden project, Plot, the group held their August gathering there. They had a picnic to celebrate their 1st birthday party and we were so pleased to be able to be part of the celebrations. We got to eat cake while we had some really interesting conversations around everything from specific UX problems through to bigger questions about design techniques and best practices.

It was a properly lovely afternoon with a great turnout (you can read a full review from Lizzie on their blog) and the sun did what it is supposed to do and shone.

The magnetic North team are looking forward to the next meet-up on 17th September, which will bring with it a new format and new location (Whiskey Jar in the Northern Quarter). You can find more details about that meet-up and meet-ups in other cities via their Twitter.

Plot - show

Plot - the response

13th August, 2014

It has been just over a week since we launched Plot - a pilot project that explores the concept of ‘on-demand’ gardens.  It launched as part of the urban gardening festival ‘Dig the City’ and we’ll park our usual modesty-motor temporarily and say that people went pretty freaking wild for it!

movieNight #2 Sign Painters sign

movieNight #2 Sign Painters

18th June, 2014

Last week we held our second movieNight at the Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester. About sixty of mN’s nearest and dearest came together to watch ‘Sign Painters’ - a documentary that charts the history of traditional sign painting.

It was full of brilliant characters and gave a real understanding of how the industry boomed and then went into swift decline in the 80s. When it was ‘overrun by the techno-fuelled promise of quicker and cheaper.’

In addition to our clients and friends we sought out and invited the small number of traditional sign painters there are remaining in the region. In fact we commissioned one of them, Jim Medway, to create us a new magneticNorth sign. It is the sign you see in the image above and it’s wonderful. Thanks Jim.

We’ve done a Storify about movieNight you can have a read of. Also, if you want to come to one of our future movieNights or suggest a film for us to show just let us know via our Twitter @mNwork.


CBBC Live! wearable tech project

29th May, 2014

We have collaborated with CBBC to create an interactive experience for the CBBC Live event that takes place in NewcastleGateshead from 29th - 31st May. Using wristbands containing RFID tech, kids will be able to take part in an interactive quiz trail encouraging them to test their CBBC knowledge whilst exploring the whole site.

The event is aimed at children from 6 to 12-years-old and takes place in and around Baltic Square on Gateshead’s famous quayside. The wristband-powered trail created by the team at CBBC and magneticNorth, provides a whole new way of experiencing live events by enabling the CBBC audience a way to get closer to the brands, characters and presenters they love – from Dodge T. Dog to the cast of The Dumping Ground.

At each ‘station’ at the event, kids will be able to check-in using their wristband for a chance to prove their CBBC knowledge. Once questions have been answered across the stations they will be rewarded with a special memento of the day to take home.

As well as using RFID to create the trail, the system that powers the experience uses Raspberry Pi hardware. It has been a brilliant project for us to work on and some of the mN team are up in Gateshead for the next few days seeing it in action. We should have a film of the event in the next few weeks so we’ll share that, along with more details about the project, as soon as we can.

movieNight #2 Sign Painters

Announcing movieNight #2: Sign Painters

14th May, 2014

movieNight is back. And he’s badder than ever. Sorry, that is actually a reference to an old Arnie Schwarzenegger film. What we meant to say is our very own series of film screenings ‘movieNight’ is back and better than ever with the next one confirmed to take place on Wednesday 11th June.

We’ll be showing ‘Sign Painters’ – a charming documentary that looks at the history and current revival of traditional sign painting.

The official blurb about the film is below and you can watch the trailer here.

There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. As with many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fuelled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade.

Like our first movieNight, the event is invite only but we’ll be giving away tickets on Twitter in the next few weeks. If you really, really, really want to come please drop us a line at and we’ll see if we can sort you some tickets.

Don’t say we never give you anything!

Proms 2014 v2

BBC Proms 2014 Season

30th April, 2014

Exciting news for classical music fans… the programme for the 2014 season of the BBC Proms has been announced, with an eclectic line-up that will bring the best classical music to the widest possible audience. 

This year’s festival, which will run from 18th July to 13th September, features debut performances from musicians including the Pet Shop Boys, Paloma Faith and Rufus Wainwright, a War Horse Prom that will include the life-sized puppets from the National Theatre’s stage production and a Mary Poppins sing-along to mark the 50th anniversary of the Disney film.

In the spirit of the Proms’ enduring mission to make the best classical music available to everyone, there will be more Proms content available to listen to online for longer than ever before across desktop, mobile and tablet. The Proms site, re-launched by mN in 2011 and refreshed by us for each season since, is the place to go to explore the 2014 calendar of events, book tickets and catch-up on the broadcast performances. 


CitySessions Event

23rd April, 2014

Why is a thriving digital and creative community vital to creating and maintaining a vibrant, progressive Manchester? 

This was the theme for the 'CitySession' event with mN's CEO Lou Cordwell last night.  The event was hosted by Martin Bryant Editor-in-Chief of The Next Web and organised by CityCo (the city centre management company who strive to make Manchester a better place to work, visit and live - and whose Board Lou was recently invited to join).

As well as giving an overview of mN's work, past and present, Lou also talked about the company's projects in the 'smart cities' space. Lou and Martin also chatted about the interdependency between creative economies and a city's success as well as the opportunities that 'being a city that is small enough but big enough for excellent collaboration' bring to Manchester.

It was a great evening and we were happy to see so many people come along on the first day back after the Easter break. Thanks again to Martin and to all at CityCo for making the event happen.

movieNight post event

movieNight #1 The Human Scale

24th March, 2014

For us, one of the best things about our first movieNight, which we held last week, was not only having a full house but also having a room full of people who stayed and discussed the issues the film raised once it had finished. In this case  - how do you make cities better places to live in?

Ray; head of our mN Cities team had selected the ‘The Human Scale’ – a documentary from Gehl Architects about urban planning and how many modern cities need rethinking to truly consider how people live within them.

There were some fascinating case studies including a look at how New York City reclaimed Times Square for pedestrians and the opportunities and challenges presented to the planning team rebuilding Christchurch after the 2011 earthquake.

The evening, like the film was great, with a broad mix of mN’s ‘nearest and dearest’ in attendance and for us it was exactly what we want our movieNights to be: the chance to show inspiring and thought provoking films which create debate within the audience  - all with a liberal sprinkling of beer and sugar laden snacks.

We’ll be announcing details of our next movieNight in the next few weeks, so watch this space if you want to come along.  

movieNight ticket giveaway

movieNight ticket giveaway

17th March, 2014

Our pick ‘n’ mix is packed and the mN studio is getting pretty hyped for our first movieNight this Wednesday – a screening of the documentary ‘The Human Scale’. We are almost at a full house in terms of numbers but wanted to give away the one remaining pair of tickets to you lovely bunch. If you want the pair of tickets just drop us a tweet to @mNwork or an email to We’ll put all the tweets and emails we get into a hat and pick someone at random by 12pm on Tuesday 18th March. The film starts at 6.30pm on Wednesday 19th March at The Cornerhouse. 

The Human Scale

mN movieNight

18th February, 2014

Like proud pushy parents, we’re thrilled to announce that the first ‘mN movieNight’ will be taking place on Wednesday 19th March. It will be the first in a series of screenings of films and documentaries selected by the mN team that will be hosted at venues across Manchester. The inaugural one, taking place at The Cornerhouse, will be a screening of the ’The Human Scale’ – a fascinating film that looks at the way in which we live in urban areas.

‘50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2050 this will increase to 80%. Life in a mega city is both enchanting and problematic. Today we face climate change, loneliness and severe health issues due to our way of life. But why? Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl has studied human behaviour in cities through 40 years. The Human Scale documents how modern cities repel human interaction, and argues that we can build cities in a way which takes human needs for inclusion and intimacy into account.'

The Human Scale was selected by Ray; head of our Cities team – as a film that he feels reflects mN’s focus on ‘digital cities’ as a core specialism. He’ll be saying a few words at the beginning of the screening about why it was his pick.   

For the first movieNight event we’ve decided to just invite mN’s ‘nearest and dearest’ (i.e. people on our Christmas card list) but will absolutely be opening up the invitation list and ticketing to a wider audience for future events. In fact, for those of you who really want to come to the screening we’ll be giving away a few sets of tickets on our Twitter feed over the next few weeks.

Manc Digital Talent Day

Manchester Digital Talent Day

13th February, 2014

Earlier this week, Laura spent the day over at Manchester Digital Talent Day reppin' magneticNorth and chatting with students aspiring to a career in digital. She headed over to the event armed with goodies from our studio - including a huge bowl of sweet treats - and spoke to ambitious designers, developers, marketers who had come from far and wide (everywhere from Lincoln to London) to find out about what it's really like working in the digital industry.

We met some interesting people and we also used it as an opportunity to invite students along to be a part of some user testing sessions that we've be holding in our studio. Win win all round we reckon!

We regularly hold user testing sessions at mN, so if you're keen to get involved or help out then feel free to drop us an email at



5th February, 2014

We've long been attendees of FutureEverything and last year our CEO Lou was appointed as Chair of the Festival, which attracts an eclectic mix of speakers and audience from all over the world. Now in its 19th year, FutureEverything brings people together to discover, share and experience new ideas about the future.  Pioneering the idea of a ‘festival as laboratory’, it combines innovative art and performance with new technology, insightful discussion and playful social experimentation. The theme for this years festival, which takes place from the 27th March until the 1st April, is 'Tools for Unknown Futures'.

There is loads to look forward to and the team here are particularly looking forward to listening to what Liam Young, the architect who founded the urban futures think tank Tomorrows Thoughts Today has to say. We are also hopefully heading out en-masse to see DARKSIDE - the collaborative duo of electro producer Nicholas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington who are playing at The Ritz.

There's so much on that is worth checking out and if you do come to Manchester for the festival our studio door is always open, so feel free to come and say hi.  


Guru for the day

6th December, 2013

It's the 2nd December, 2013 and after a scenic trip, I’ve arrived in Scotland’s fourth-largest city, Dundee. Famous for Jute, Jam and Journalism, as I had been forewarned, the city is going through a major re-development. The vast waterfront presently being a construction zone for Dundee’s new Victoria and Albert Museum.

I’m here at the invitation of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design to be a guru for the day. Lending my advice and guidance to students studying Digital Interaction Design and Product Design. After getting over the disappointment that this doesn’t involve ceremonial robes or a badge of honour, I get stuck into meeting the fifteen of the sixty students I’ve been allocated.

Base Glasgow Conference

Base Glasgow Conference

13th November, 2013

Yesterday, Ray spoke at Base Glasgow - a Low-carbon built environment & infrastructure conference and exhibition.

In a day pretty full with talks about high-level top-down approaches to changing cities and the use of data, Ray’s session ‘Smarter Cities: The Virtuous Circle’ was centered around how we need to bring the focus to the actual people within cities, enabling them to make changes and design their cities as they want them to be.

He was on a panel with Jamie Caffrey from IBM, Andy Kerr from Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation and our good friend, architect Jim Webster from Haus Collective – with whom we have worked closely on the NOMA project.

Playful Conference

Playful Conference

4th November, 2013

A few weeks ago Gareth and Julien headed to London for the Playful Conference. It's always great to get out the office to feed your brain and Playful continually delivers an impressive line-up of 'brain broadening' speakers.

Gareth did a write up on his GoodWorkSon blog and we’ve reposted it on our site so the entire Universe and beyond can enjoy it as much as we did.   

D&AD Creative Brief-in

D&AD Creative Brief-in

30th October, 2013

Our Creative Director Adam has been talking about all things UX+D today at the D&AD Creative Brief-In. The event, which ran at 2022NQ as part of Design Manchester 13, allows students to develop techniques on how best to interrogate a brief, identify insights and prototype ideas.

Adam’s presentation was on the theme of radio and aimed at students with an interest in visual and user-experience design. It explored how radio has been re-invented throughout its existence and shared thoughts about how it could be developed in the future. Also speaking words of wisdom at the event was Tom Bradley from BBC Knowledge and Learning

After their talks, they hosted workshops with the students on current themes, trends and practices to help them develop their responses to the D&AD New Blood Awards briefs. A great day was had by all!

Image from @DandADNewBlood

One Angel Square

Digital Heritage

16th October, 2013

Lou and Ray spent the day over at the IHBC Digital Heritage event held at 1 Angel Square NOMA, where they gave a talk around the theme of 'digital interpretation' to a conference of people who work in the heritage sector with historic buildings. Their focus was to question how digital is currently being used in interpretation across the culture and heritage sectors.

As part of the presentation they showed many examples of different types of digital interpretation, and suggested that the focus should always be on creating experiences as opposed to what the latest and flashiest tech is.