Design Brighton off to a promising start.

After an initial clash with England playing in the Word Cup last week it was standing room only as over 120 representatives from Brighton businesses attended the rescheduled pre-launch of Design Brighton at the Brighthelm Centre in the city centre.

Design Brighton’s vision is to create a leading design week focused on the city’s rich built environment promoting Brighton’s global reputation as a city that has design and diversity at its core. The festival will celebrate and promote exceptional designers, producers and educator’s to provide a strong collaborative network for local businesses and communities.

Our School of Architecture and Design colleagues Frank O Sullivan and Duncan Baker Brown are both involved in taking forward the strategy for taking this initiative forward as one of the key aims of Design Brighton is to both attract students (and retain them beyond graduation). Collectively Design Brighton hopes to inspire young people to explore and seek out opportunities within design and producer’s industries and engage them to stay in the city after qualification.

The week-long festival, due to take place in October 2019, will be officially launched in October 2018, once an outline for the programme has been developed.

The festival will encompass five key areas:
• Local: promoting local talent, producers and resources for local developments supporting the localism and sustainability agenda
• Talent: highlighting the wealth of talent and resources available for local, national or international projects
• Move: positioning Brighton and the surrounding areas as fertile ground for new and existing businesses to thrive in a creative and diverse community
• Improve: analysing the sites and opportunities to improve Brighton’s living and working space
• Educate: profiling Brighton’s education experience and encouraging those in education to stay and work in the region’s creative and technical industries.

Festival Co-Founder John Cowell commented: “We are delighted by the level of attendance achieved at last week’s event. Everyone we speak to is extremely positive about the festival and we’ve already received a lot of interest from potential supporters and sponsors. We’re looking forward to developing a programme which helps put Brighton and the surrounding areas on the map in terms of fantastic urban design, both nationally and across the globe.”

Co-Founder Nick Stickland of Stickland Wright, a local architect and interiors firm, explained: “We want Design Brighton to represent us all and to tell a story about Brighton and its greater regions.

“We care about creating a thriving circular economy where greater opportunity is generated locally and where talent is nurtured locally. Collaboration between commercial and academic design talent is a key component of our vision, as well as encouraging those in education to find a home for their ambitions within the design sector and in our city.

“Our ambitions are great. Design Brighton will be a prism through which we will collectively shout about our skills, our thoughts, our collaborations to a global audience.”

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