Northern Design Festival

Friday 17 May 2024, 9:00am to Sunday 19 May 2024, 5:00pm


Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), Lancaster, Untied Kingdom, LA1 4YE - View Map

Open to

All Lancaster University (non-partner) students, Alumni, External Organisations, Families and young people, Postgraduates, Public, Staff, Undergraduates


Free to attend - registration required

Registration Info


Event Details

A student led festival bridging the gap between industry and community, showing that the future of design is in the hands of creatives.

Lancaster University students, keen to bridge the creative industry gap between the North and the South and create a balanced industry landscape, are to stage their very own Northern Design Festival (NDF).

The student-led Northern Designers Community Interest Company is eager to bridge the gaps between industry and community and industry and education and to demonstrate the future of design is in the hands of creatives.

The Northern Design Festival is a three-day festival that aims to serve as a creative launch pad for new and aspiring designers and creatives to explore the industry through different perspectives from experts in the community.

It will be held at various venues across Lancaster from May 17to 19, turning the city into a buzzing hub for Northern design.

With more than 20 speakers, it is open to anyone curious and passionate to learn more and will include panel discussions, workshops, exhibitions, a print fair, networking and mentoring.

The NDF team hope the festival will:

· Address a lack of creative opportunities.

· Build a network in the North.

· Empower aspiring designers.

· Address educational gaps.

· Showcase northern talent.

· Create a community that will inspire future designers.

Confirmed topics for the festival include ‘North + South; the story of a love-hate relationship’, ‘How AI will not steal your job’ and ‘The value of Design in the fight for climate change’ and many more.

Project Lead Toni Arbova, a third year BA Hons Design student, said: “The gap in our education system and industry is too big to allow opportunities for students like us to kick start our dream careers.

“We just wanted to share the skills we had learned throughout the past few years with people who would love to be part of this community.

The planning for the event, first started off as one talk but due to the high interest of speakers we saw an opportunity to create something more!”

"We couldn't be prouder of Toni and the team,” says Senior Lecturer in Design at Lancaster University, Dr Christopher Boyko.

"They took a real problem facing our design students -- the lack of creative opportunities in the North -- and proactively did something to address it.

“The Northern Design Festival offers industry, academia and communities the chance to come together to consider how design can be encouraged, and can thrive, in the North of England. This unique event looks to be brilliant and it's all down to Toni's vision of supporting design excellence in the region."

The festival has partnered with the UK’s Design Council, G.F Smith, Aire Global, Hotfoot, Two Stories, SUN (Studio Up North), Right Aligned Academy, Fraser House, EXP, Kellanova, and others to stage the event.

Ticketing will be through Eventbrite.

Contact Details

Name Antonia Arbova


Directions to Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA)

From Alexandra Square follow the North spine route.