The selection of the month: design events not to be missed in April

A new exhibition on designing all things football and a black designer’s perspective on the industry are among our top picks this month.

Workshop: Drop-in + Design: Mazes, at V&A Dundee

Photo courtesy of Michael McGurk

The V&A Dundee series of walk-in sessions is a chance for families to learn more about the museum’s design projects, set up in the studios on site. This month, people of all ages can learn about playscapes, mazes and other sensory spaces. The theme is inspired by V&A Dundee’s Listening to Joy installation, an interactive playground by Yinka Ilori. Listening to Joy incorporates the designer’s signature playful use of pattern and color to create a different maze: the walls feature zippers that you can open and close to transform the environment. There are also two circular xylophones where you can test your musical skills.

Drop in + Design: Mazes takes place at the V&A Dundee on April 24, from 1-4pm. Listening to Joy is open until June 5. Visit the V&A Dundee website for more information.

Exhibition: Football: Designing the Beautiful Game, the Design Museum

To celebrate this year’s World Cup, the Design Museum in London takes a look at the design and creativity behind this beautiful game. “Paying homage to a game of unprecedented cultural significance, the exhibition will reveal how human creativity pushed the game to its technical and emotional limits,” the museum explains. It will showcase over 500 items – from team badges to kit innovation – and how they relate to the sport and some of its most famous players, including Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona. This is a comprehensive overview, looking at stadium design, hardware breakthroughs and of course the graphic design of fan favorite teams. Designed in conjunction with the National Football Museum in Manchester, there will also be an “immersive stadium reconstruction” as well as a section dedicated to fan culture.

Football: Designing the Beautiful Game runs from April 8 to August 29, 2022 at the Design Museum in London. For more information on opening hours and ticket prices, visit the museum’s website.

Book: Reinventing Design: Unlocking Strategic Innovation

Courtesy of MIT Press

In a time of growing uncertainty, what can design do to solve ever-changing problems? Designer Kevin Bethune tackles this thorny issue in his new book, through the lens of diversity and inclusion. Bethune started life as an engineer, before joining Nike as a designer. He now runs his own design think tank. In Reimagining Design, he draws on his experience as a black designer in the industry to highlight the challenges but also offer an optimistic point of view on the world to come. Along with discussing topics such as diversity in the workplace and in the industry, he discusses his career, including the design of Air Jordans. For Bethune, the book has a large audience. He hopes that professional designers can learn to harness their talents in “increasingly multidisciplinary situations”, while business leaders can learn from the “empathetic” mindset around design thinking.

Reimagining Design: Unlocking Strategic Innovation by Kevin Bethune is published by MIT Press and is available now. It costs around £15.45 on Amazon.

Podcast: About design, by Justyna Green

On Design’s new season continues in April, with a slew of guests including Yinka Ilori and Marina Willer of Pentagram. Hosted by London-based illustrator Justyna Green, the podcast is a lively and informal occasion where designers discuss their inspirations, their working methods and how they interact with the world around them. So far this season, sound designer Yuri Suzuki discussed the challenges of creating tactile sounds, while Superflux co-founder Anab Jain spoke about the studio’s work in the environmental and tech space.

You can watch all new episodes of On Design and listen to all previous episodes on most major streaming platforms. For more information, visit the On Design website.

D&AD Keeps Learning Live: Pali Palavathanan

Pali Palavathanan

How do design leaders keep their work fresh? Templo co-founder and creative director Pali Palavathanan joins current D&AD president Rebecca Wright this month to discuss his professional journey so far and why he’s not completing his apprenticeship. As well as getting advice and ideas from the designer – who has worked on projects for the UN and French business school CEDEP – you can also ask your own questions.

D&AD Still Learning Live will take place on April 27 online at 6 p.m. Participation is free. For more information, visit the D&AD website.

Other things to catch:

• Superheroes, Orphans & Origins: 125 years in comics is now open at the Foundling Museum. You can read our interview with the curator about how comics and graphic novels have explored themes of “experience of care” for over a century here. For more information on opening hours and ticket prices, visit the Foundling Museum website.
• Now Play View, at Somerset House. The Now Play This experimental games festival returns to London’s Somerset for two days from April 8. Expect lectures, films and installations around the theme of democracy and game design. For more information visit the Somerset House website.

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