Design Season 3

Following on from our first Design Season in Autumn 2018, we celebrated the work of designers through a range of 60+ events, exhibitions and activities across Leicester, over 3 weeks in October 2019. The events that happened are listed below in date order under themes:

Pre Season teaser events
Talks and events
Family activities and guided walks
Design Trail exhibitions, exhibits and Open 
Design Trail Day

Follow developments here and on Twitter


All events are free to attend and open to all unless otherwise stated

LA/LRSA = a Leics & Rutland Society of Architects Love Architecture festival event
INT = a DS2 event with International reach


Made in Leics logo words only

Tues 24 Sept 1-4pm Made in Leicester : networking day for artists and designer-makers
LCB Depot, £5

why design matters banner

Sat 28 Sept 1.30-5pm Why Design Matters : a talk from three London-based designers : Michael Johnson, Rejane Dal Bello and Tina Touli
Some Bright Spark, 33 Yeoman Street, Leicester LE1 1UT

Landmark Planning

Mon 30 Sept 6pm Landmark Planning : Mainstreaming Good Sustainability Practice
The Parcel Yard, 48a London Road, Leicester LE2 0QB

what's the point of city centre

Tues 1 Oct 6-8.30pm LA/LRSA Leicester Planning Forum Talk : What’s the point of city centre?
Join LRSA for a round table discussion about the future of our city centres.
LCB Depot


all saints church

Weds 2 Oct 6-9pm  DESIGN SEASON 2 LAUNCH  *** INVITE ONLY ***
All Saints Church, 107 Highcross Street, Leicester LE1 4PH


RIBA CPD Seminar

Fri 4 Oct 2.15-4.30pm LA/LRSA/RIBA CPD Seminar : Inclusive Environments – designing for neighbourhoods of the future
This interactive seminar will provide you with an understanding of inclusive environments through simple measures such as short quizzes, small group discussion as well as live interactive polls.
LCB Depot, £18 – £110

exhibition launch

Fri 4 Oct 6-9pm Loop Open 2 Launch
Come to the opening of our open-call graphic design and illustration exhibition
LCB Depot


Sat 5 Oct 12-4pm Loop Typography exhibition launch
The Mill, North Mills, Frog Island, Leicester LE3 5DL

pub crawl

Sat 5 Oct 2-7pm LA/LRSA pub crawl of historic public houses in the city centre
Various venues, starts at The Bowling Green, 44 Oxford Street, Leicester LE1 5XW

Presidents Prize launch

Tues 8 Oct 1-6pm LA/LRSA President’s Prize launch & judging
For staff/students of DMU and Loughborough Uni only
DMU School of Architecture

RIBS Stirling Prize banner unofficial
LRSA awards evening

Tues 8 Oct 4-10pm LA/LRSA Awards Evening
including live-streaming of the 2019 Stirling Prize ceremony – will the Leicestershire nominee win?
LCB Depot

creative coffee 9 October

Weds 9 Oct 10am-12pm Creative Coffee networking & tile-making workshop
Create your own handmade tile with Peter Wood of Royce Wood Studio
LCB Depot with Parkside Tiles

Creative Triangle workshop

Weds 9 Oct 2-4pm Get the best from your creative agency
A workshop exploring the creative process, brief writing and more with UK Top 100 Design Agency Creative Triangle
150 Upper New Walk, Leicester LE1 7QA

LCB Lightbox front window

Weds 9 Oct 5.30-8pm Design & Location: Urban Graphic Heritage
presentation and exhibition about graphic representations of urban heritage. The event will also introduce the DS2 Design Trail App from Cuttlefish Mapps
LCB Depot

TedX Leicester

Weds 9 Oct 6-8.30pm INT Designing Dignity
TEDx Leicester event on human-centered design and social innovation
LCB Depot

Curve Leicester

Weds 9 Oct 6-8.30pm LA/LRSA CPD Seminar : Photography for Architects
Professional architectural photographer Keith Cooper will explain how photography can communicate your message better than the written word and why bad photography can actually harm your business.
LCB Depot

Nevill Holt Opera photo by Helene Binet

Thurs 10 Oct 6-8.30pm LA/LRSA/RIBA Great British Buildings
talk with 2019 Stirling Prize nominees (and 2013 Stirling Prize winners) Witherford Watson Mann architects (pic above : Nevill Holt Opera, Market Harborough, shortlisted for the 2019 Stirling Prize)
LCB Depot £10 / £7.50 RIBA members / £5 student & concessions

workroom four Hanoi

Fri 11 Oct 4-6pm INT Graphic design in Vietnam: the innovation of tradition: typography as cultural artefact
talk by printmaker Giang Nguyen
Leicester Print Workshop, 50 St George Street, Leicester LE1 1QG

Meet the architect

Sat 12 Oct 12-4pm LA/LRSA Meet The Architect one-to-one architect-public discussion
Bring any home or design query; whether you are looking for advice to create more space in your home, or are looking for ways to bring in more natural light, LRSA architects will do their best to help you.
LCB Depot

K and G Curated Living Event

Sun 13 Oct 12-4.30pm K&G Curated Living Event
Vintage furniture & homewares plus work from local designer-makers : shop/social/vintage/modern
St John’s Street, Leicester LE1 3WL

Mon 14 Oct 6.30-10.30pm
Women in Creative Industries  Film Night : Citizen Jane – Battle for the City
This Love Architecture event, sponsored by the RIBA ‘Women in Architecture’ initiative, will involve a screening of the celebrated documentary Citizen Jane: Battle for the City (2016, dir. Matt Tyrnauer, running time 92 mins) preceded by a short introductory talk on Jane Jacobs’ life, work and legacy by architecture historian Dr. Simon Richards of Loughborough University Architecture.
LCB Depot

LCB Depot front

Mon 14 Oct 5.30-7pm Stop selling your time – design to scale
Join Leicester Startups to hear how design agencies based in LCB Depot have successfully reconfigured their businesses to enable them to discover innovative and scalable new products
LCB Depot

More or Leics Pecha Kucha

Tues 15 Oct 6-8.30pm LA/LRSA Pecha Kucha : More or Leics Quickfire presentations from some of Leicester’s best creatives. Followed by refreshments and an opportunity to network and meet the speakers!
LCB Depot

CAMEo banner

Weds 16 Oct 5.30-7pm INT Designing Real Utopias
ACAMEo event exploring the possibility for real urban utopias Speakers: David M. BellUtopianism
Catalina Pollak Williamson (Public Interventions): P for: Participation, Play, Performance and PedagogyKevin Walker (Royal College of Art): RCA Space Programme and Utopia as Method
LCB Depot

Loop Late

Thurs 17 Oct 6-9pm Loop Late
Late opening for our open graphic design exhibition with paper weaving workshop by Grey House England sponsored by G F Smith
LCB Depot

Sustainability in Design Panel

Thurs 17 Oct 6-7pm Sustainability in Design
Panel discussion aimed at architects and designers
Hosted by DS2 Design Award sponsor Parkside Architectural Tiles, Barnsdale Way, Enderby, Leicester LE19 1SN
(NB Meet at LCB Depot 5pm for transport to and from Enderby)

creative cocktails

Thurs 17 Oct 7-10pm Creative Cocktails networking with the Creative Coffee team, with award-winning virtual reality filmmaker and founder of CATS are not PEAS Alex Ruhl as first guest speaker
Manhattan Bar, 34 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1RD

grand egyptian museum

Fri 18 Oct 6-9pm INT
Hear about Leicester agency Haley Sharpe’s designs for the Grand Egyptian Museum
LCB Depot

Monday 21 Oct  1.45pm-4.30pm
A regional meeting to support a report by the TCPA on the progress of the government’s engagement with the Raynsford Review of Planning with the Town & Country Planning Association
LCB Depot

Gillian Adair punctured paper

Tues 22 Oct 2-4pm Creative Leicestershire Webinart live Facebook interview with visual artist Gillian Adair
‘WebinArt is Creative Leicestershire’s flagship one-year Professional Development Programme for early-career creatives + artists in Leicestershire. We collaborate with experienced professionals online + in-person to help creative start-ups navigate their way to confidence and success.’
LCB Depot

slow design teamaker

Tues 22 Oct 6-8pm Slow Design in the Anthropocene
with the University of Leicester Anthropocene Research Group
Slow design aims at reducing the exploitation of natural and human resources, celebrating their value and increasing the lifespans of products based on quality and local traditions, as well as connecting products with producers and end-users.
LCB Depot

LRSA three exemplars

Weds 23 Oct 5-8.30pm RIBA East Midlands Exemplar Housing Design evening
This is an opportunity for developers, clients, architects, local authorities and housing associations in the region to find out more about exemplars of good design for medium scale new housing in the East Midlands and also to hear first-hand, national policy related to the future design of UK housing.
LCB Depot

Andrew Tanner

Weds 23 Oct 6-8pm An Audience With … design consultant Andrew Tanner 
The Unloved, The Foister Building, 128 Charles Street, Leicester LE1 1LB

Create Leicester banner

Thurs 24 Oct 11.00am-4.30pm Create Leicester Day Event
Insightful talks from national digital leaders. Create’s first day-long event at Curve will host speakers from the BBC, FutureGov and The Co-op and more. Leicester will welcome diverse digital talent from all over the UK to learn from inspirational speakers here in the heart of the UK digital scene.
An after-party at The Exchange will provide an opportunity to share ideas, make contacts and meet the speakers.
Curve, 60 Rutland Street, Leicester LE1 1SB, £75


Fri 25 Oct 5-10pm LastFriday street food night, and closing party for Design Season 2
LCB Depot

Out of the woods

Sat 2 Nov 3-5pm Exhibition Closing Event . In Conversation with Nick Mobbs & Serena Smith
Leicester Print Workshop, 50 St George Street, Leicester LE1 1QG

Opportunities to take part in Design activities led by city designers and design businesses

Cathedral Quarter walk

Sat 5 Oct 12-2pm LA/LRSA Guided walk around the Cathedral Quarter
This tour focuses on buildings and views at the established LRSA Trail stations around the Cathedral Quarter. Join LRSA architects and see this part of the city in a whole new light!
Meeting point is Leicester Cathedral

lego Leicester

Sat 12 Oct 12-4pm Easy Saturday family day: DS2 special Family-friendly creative activities including Build your own Lego Leicester / Collage / Typeface / Draw Leicester / Polyopoly – explore narrative and creativity through a giant game / Explore an ancient language and discover new stories; plus Sock It To The Moon – make your own sock puppet alien before taking it to the moon using green screen technology 
LCB Depot

cultural quarter guided walk

Sat 12 Oct 12-2pm LA/LRSA Guided walk around the Cultural Quarter
Discover more about Leicester’s Cultural Quarter by joining an informative, architect-led guided walk covering the history and recent transformation of the area from hosiery and boot making to today’s creative industries, with Nils Feldmann
Starts at LCB Depot

two queens logo

Sat 12 Oct 12-4pm CQ Earlies @ Two Queens: Giant Collage Workshop
Two Queens, 2 Queen Street, Leicester LE1 1QW

Design Your Own VR

Sat 12 Oct 12-4pm CQ Earlies @ Phoenix: Design Your Own Virtual Reality
In this family workshop you can create a design on paper and turn it into a virtual world you can view through a VR headset
Phoenix, 4 Midland Street, Leicester LE1 1TG

CQ Earlies logo

Sat 12 Oct 12-4pm CQ Earlies @ LPW: Digital Pattern Generation Workshop
Leicester Print Workshop 50 St George Street, Leicester LE1 1QG

Design Your City

Sat 19 Oct 12-4pm Design Your City
Explore architecture & urban design through family-friendly activities, with carers talks for teenagers and college students. Activities led by Leicester City Council Planners and Urban Designers, alongside LRSA architects. This event aims to create awareness of planning and public sector jobs and career paths, which involve design skills . How would you design Leicester to be a child-friendly city? Draw Your City – map Leicester with buildings important to you; Make a model city out of card; Careers tours around Design season Open Studios. Just turn up on the day.
LCB Depot

Challenge the architect

Sat 19 Oct 12-4pm Challenge the Architect
Challenge the LRSA team and draw and build any well-known building in Leics/Rutland.
LCB Depot

teen tech logo

Thurs 24 Oct 9am-2.45pm Teen Tech
Tech challenges for pupils with designers, tech pros & Maggie Philbin
Morningside Arena, Charter Street, Leicester LE1 3UD

The Design Season Design Trail comprises exhibitions, exhibits and the first ever open studios day – October 19th – across the city developed and commissioned by DS2 partner businesses and stakeholders

DS2: Design Trail – Exhibitions / Exhibits

Out of the woods detail

10 Aug – 2 Nov Out of the Woods : Nick Mobbs & Serena Smith
Leicester Print Workshop: Galleries 1 & 2


26 July – 26 Oct GIVE: An exhibition of prints kindly donated by LPW artists and supporters past and present. Purchase a print and support LPW fundraising.
Leicester Print Workshop: Gallery 2

photo competition exhibition

30 Sept – 13 Oct (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm) LA/LRSA Architectural photography competition exhibition
Selections from a competition that aimed to celebrate outstanding photographs of the built environment within the Leicestershire and Rutland area.
LCB Depot

Loop Open logo

4-25 Oct (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm) Loop Open 2 Exhibition
Selected submissions from an open call illustration and graphic design exhibition
LCB Depot

Love Architecture

4-25 Oct (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm) LA/LRSA Local Practice exhibition
Showcasing the recent work of LRSA member architect practices.
LCB Depot

typography exhibition

4-25 Oct (Mon-Fri 12-5pm) Loop Typography exhibition
The Mill, North Mills, Frog Island, Leicester LE3 5DL


14-19 Oct (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm) LA/LRSA RIBA Ambassador Exhibition
Work produced by local schools in partnership with LRSA member architect practices who participated in the National School Programme this year as Architecture Ambassadors
LCB Depot

16-24 Oct (Mon-Fri 9am-5.30pm) DMU Graduates Product Design Exhibition
LCB Depot

The Clayroom pic

4-25 Oct The Diversity of Ceramics Installation collab – Parkside Tiles and ceramic artist Jo Keogh
LCB Depot/Cultural Quarter

Acid TV Dead Buni

4-25 Oct ACiD TV : Reality TV 
A comment on whether reality TV contributes anything constructive to society or is it just bright lights that entice people to want to star in their own shows or become “famous”. The piece draws people closer during inspection just like the draw of stardom does – like a moth to a flame. By Dead Buni (Ben Kealey, keyboardist & vocalist for Kasabian)
Malcolm Arcade, Leicester LE1 5FT (joining Cank Street & Silver Street)

lace piano

12-19 Oct The Lace Piano interactive sound installation by Jenny Hibberd & Johnny McJohnston. Come and play the world’s first Lace Piano on Saturday 19 October 12-4pm! This fully-immersive, multi-sensory experience combines digital arts, textiles and sculpture; interactive fun for everyone.
Malcolm Arcade, Leicester LE1 5FT (joining Cank Street & Silver Street)

anthropocene banner

21-25 Oct The Cube – The Anthropocene Square Metre : exhibit representing a cubic metre of the earth and highlighting climate change and sustainability
LCB Depot/Cultural Quarter

One Giant Leap

11-20 Oct One Giant Leap and Brick Live :Outer Space Trail
50 years ago humans raced to the moon and this October half-term Leicester will host its very own Space Race! Your mission, should you choose accept it, is to explore Leicester city centre and locate all 15 of the space-themed LEGO® brick models. Navigate your way around the city by downloading the free LoyalFree app on your smartphone and following the Outer Space Trail – remember to stamp your space passport by scanning the QR code at all the locations you visit!

Marvel at the rockets that took us to the moon, stand side-by-side with famous astronauts and even make contact with aliens as you make your way around the trail.

Have some fun at the astronaut selfie zone – share your pictures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by using the hashtag #OneGiantLeapLeicester. The finishing line will be… the moon (see below)

museum of the moon

11-20 Oct Museum of the Moon (Inspirate) Luke Jerram’s stunning 7-metre Museum of the Moon
Measuring a huge seven metres in diameter, the internally-lit moon features detailed NASA imagery of the lunar surface and will create a truly awe-inspiring experience during the school half-term holiday.

As well as the chance to see the amazing moon installation suspend in the Cathedral nave from Friday 11 to Sunday 20 October, a series of evening events is being arranged for visitors who want to enjoy an added dimension to their moon-gazing experience.
Leicester Cathedral

Overview Effect

18-19 Oct 6.30-10.30pm Overview Effect (Metro Boulot Dodo/Inspirate) – outdoor audio-visual spectacular that celebrates the ambition and technical achievement of the 1969 moon landing. Using a bespoke soundscape and large scale projection mapping, our story will move from ground to stars, playing tricks with the public’s perception
Leicester New Market Square LE1 5HQ

retro games

11-20 Oct Retro Arcade Games in Space (Inspirate) – Get in touch with your inner gamer and play retro-style computer games inspired by the Moon landing! The games will be hosted on large-scale screens across the city. Simply come along and connect with your smartphone to take part 
Various sites in the city centre



Follow the Design Season Trail as design businesses open their doors to the public. Various venues.

See the interactive map of Design Trail locations at Gallery Without Walls

Fullalove clothing

Fullalove brand launch and fashion show 7-9.30pm (catwalk 8.30pm) profiling 247 Studios
Unit 28 Second Floor, Faircharm Industrial Estate, Evelyn Drive, Leicester LE3 2BU

Maber Architects Silver Arcade office

Maber Architects (12-4pm) Workshops on virtual reality, 3D printing, design literacy
3rd Floor, Silver Arcade, Leicester LE1 5FA

Bulb Studios

Bulb Studios (9am-1pm) Learn about working in Digital Design
25 New Walk, Leicester LE1 6TE

PRSPPL music mural

PPL PRS Ltd (12-5pm) Visit and experience the legendary music history cartoon wall
Mercury Place, St. George Street, Leicester LE1 1QG

Leicester Print Workshop
 (11-4pm) Visit Mary Hayes and Satta Hashem Studios on the Upper Floor of the workshop. 
50 St George St, Leicester, LE1 1QG

Leicester XR

Leicester XR: Virtual and Augmented Reality (11am-5pm) See the latest Virtual and Augmented Reality produced by artists and creative companies in Leicester 
Phoenix, 4 Midland Street, Leicester LE1 1TG


2 Queens Studios
247 Studios
Bulb Studios
Create Leicester
Creative Coffee
Creative Leicestershire
Creative Triangle
De Montfort University
Fibre Coworking Space
Grays Coffee Shop & Kitchen
Haley Sharpe
Holland Alexander
Interact Digital
Jo Keogh Ceramics
K&G Curated Space
LCB Depot
Leicester City Council
Leicester Print Workshop
Leicestershire & Rutland Society of Architects
Loughborough University
Maber Architects
Made in Leicestershire
Manhattan 34
Metro Boulot Dodo
Parkside Tiles
Some Bright Spark
TedX Leicester
The Unloved
University of Leicester
Will Wright



Watch DS2 videos on our YouTube channel


Read a preview of DS2 on the Cool As Leicester website

Leicester Mercury article on DS2

Plans for 2019 Leicester Design Season revealed, with exhibitions, events and workshops
Leicester Mercury article 16 July 2019