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Get fully immersed in the world of design, and be exposed to new areas of thinking, innovation and process with actionable advice and inspiration from the most diverse group of design talent. 

Come for 1 or 2 days of great festival atmosphere with the amazing impact and content of a conference.

Sad times…

The CDF19 event is now over for this year. Don’t be sad, we’re coming back in April 2021.

Look who’s talkin’

We have some amazing speakers lined up from amazing organisations such as The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Monotype, adidas, BBC, UK Government, The Royal College of Art, Aardman Animations and more…

Friday: Featured Speakers

Patrick Grant
Community Clothing
Ambreen Shah Small
Dr Ambreen Shah
Design Council
Alexander Taylor
Alexander Taylor
Alexander Taylor Studio
Jim Sutherland
Jim Sutherland
Studio Sutherl&
Paul Boag
Paul Boag
Boagworks Ltd
Camilla Buchanan
Camilla Buchanan
Policy Lab, UK Cabinet Office

Saturday: Featured Speakers

Cat Drew
Design Council
Gavin Strange
Gavin Strange
Aardman Animations
Steve Matteson
Steve Matteson
Monotype
Tina Touli
Tina Touli
Tina Touli Design
Craig Oldham
Craig Oldham
The Office of Craig
Yoko Sen
Yoko Sen
Sen Sound

Schedule

Day 1 Friday 1st Nov

8:00 - 9:00
1 hr

Registration

9:15
15 mins
Welcome

An introduction to the Cheltenham Festival by Andy Thorne - Festival Co-director.

9:30 - 10:00
40 mins
Talk: From Loveable to Liveable
Rama Gheerawo Director - The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art
Stop ignoring. Start listening. Improve lives

With a track record of over 150 projects, Rama demonstrates how putting people at the heart of design improves lives; from design for an ageing population to our future with driverless cars.

Rama Gheerawo
10:15 - 11:00
40 mins
Talk: Designing Government Policy
Camilla Buchanan Senior Policy Designer - Policy Lab, UK Cabinet Office
Can design be the saviour of government?

How methods from the design world are being used to improve government policy in the UK and around the world.

Camilla Buchanan
11:00 - 11:20
20 mins
Break time.

Croissants and coffee (or tea)

11:20 - 12:00
40 mins
Talk: Developing Democratic Space
Andy Puncher Founder/Director - pH+
How can architecture bring a city together?

Exploring how mixed-use architecture can build cohesive and successful communities and ultimately the cities they combine to form.

Andy Puncher
12:00 - 12:30
30 mins
Panel Debate: Patrick Grant, Jim Sutherland, Marcus Lyon, Paul Boag, Catherine Greig

What is the role of a designer?

Do we just design stuff, or do we change the way people think, in order to innovate and solve complex problems?

12:30 - 12:40
10 mins
Quick break time

12:40 - 1:20
40 mins
Talk: Dream Big
Alexander Taylor Industrial Designer, Alexander Taylor Studio, Innovation Consultant adidas
Can we clean entire oceans with design & collaboration

Why changing the way we do business can make amazing things happen.

Alexander Taylor
1:20 - 2:10
45 mins
Lunch time

Time to break for lunch.

2:10 - 2:55
40 mins
Talk: Customer Journey Mapping
Paul Boag User Experience & Service Design Consultant
How to hide complexity and design a seamless experience

Customer journeys are more complex than ever. How can design help bring together digital and physical channels to deliver a great overall experience?

Paul Boag
2:55 - 3:25
30 mins
Talk: Designing a Future Economy
Dr Ambreen Shah Director of policy, research & communications - Design Council
The billion pound question - Where are all the designers?

The design economy generated £85.2 billion GVA to the UK; the demand for design skills is growing. How do we ensure we have enough designers to secure our future economy?

Dr Ambreen Shah
3:25 - 4:10
40 mins
Talk: Happy, healthy & human collaborations
Catherine Greig Director - make:good
Design is not for designers, it’s for communities

How design can facilitate positive change through strong supportive community relationships.

Catherine Greig
4:10 - 4:30
20 mins
Afternoon break time

The last break before the final talks...

4:30 - 5:15
40 mins
Talk: A Human Atlas
Jim Sutherland & Marcus Lyon
What drives us and what can we become?

Who are we? Exploring diversity of identity through multimedia, photography, image activated soundscapes and DNA

Jim Sutherland
5:15 - 6:00
40 mins
Talk: How green are your trousers?
Patrick Grant Fashion Designer, Director Norton & Sons, BBC's Great British Sewing Bee
Do you feel comfortable in the clothes you're wearing?

Cheap fashion makes us uncomfortable; with poor working conditions and environmental harm caused by the clothes we buy. Can we overcome the environmental cost? Is a happier future possible?

Patrick Grant
6:00
Closing Remarks

Day 2 Saturday 2nd Nov

8:00 - 9:00
1 hr

Registration

9:15
15 mins
Welcome

An introduction to the Cheltenham Festival by Andy Thorne - Festival Co-director.

9:30 - 10:00
40 mins
Talk: Graft, Craft and Being Daft
Gavin Strange Designer & Director - Aardman Animations
How can you be your best creative self?

Treat your goals like a game. Identify the easier levels, but don’t get stuck on the pause menu.

Gavin Strange
10:15 - 11:00
40 mins
Talk: Storytelling Through Digital Experience
Tommy Howard Head Creative - Holition Creative Retail
How to translate data into meaningful, beautiful stories

Designing disruptive digital experiences can show us the future of how to shop or draw our attention to world issues such as global refugee victims and the effect of migration.

Tommy Howard
11:00 - 11:20
20 mins
Break time.

Croissants and coffee (or tea)

11:20 - 12:00
40 mins
Talk: Five Colourful Histories
Kassia St Clair Author of The Secret Lives of Colour
Alarming & thought-provoking colours that defined our destiny

A vivid history of the fascinating relationship we have with colour.

Kassia St Clair
12:00 - 12:30
30 mins
Panel Debate: Gavin Strange, Craig Oldham, Tina Touli, Steve Matteson

What is the role of a designer?

Do we just design stuff, or do we change the way people think, in order to innovate and solve complex problems?

12:30 - 12:40
10 mins
Quick break time

12:40 - 1:20
40 mins
Talk:New Tech, Old Answers
Steve Matteson Creative Type Director - Monotype
How forgotten design principles can transform the future

How having a foot in the past helps improve new and emerging technologies.

Steve Matteson
1:20 - 2:10
45 mins
Lunch time

Time to break for lunch.

2:10 - 2:55
40 mins
Talk:Tools of Protest
Craig Oldham Designer, Lecturer, Writer, Artist, Publisher & Film-maker
I predict a riot!

Living in divisive times, how can we influence actions greater than ourselves? Learn how protest movements use creativity to trigger change and how we as designers can command that too.

Craig Oldham
12:00 - 12:30
30 mins
Panel Debate: Yoko Sen, Cat Drew, Tommy Howard, Kassia St Clair

What is designs role?

Is design just what we see on the surface, or does it run deeper? Can design change the world, and how?

12:30 - 12:40
10 mins
Quick break time

3:25 - 4:10
40 mins
Talk: Blending the Physical & Digital World
Tina Touli Creative director, graphic communication designer
Do what you always do, or uncover a new way? Time to decide

Looking beyond your own profession to discover unexplored areas of design.

Tina Touli
4:10 - 4:30
20 mins
Afternoon break time

The last break before the final talks...

4:30 - 5:15
40 mins
Talk: The Double Diamond Design Process
Cat Drew Chief Design Officer - Design Council
Demystifying the creative process to solve any process

The Double Diamond, not just a tool for designers, but a road map for everyone to use to understand problems (big & small) and how they can solve them.

Cat Drew
5:15 - 6:00
40 mins
Talk: Beepets and Beeped
Yoko Sen Sound Alchemist and Founder of Sen Sound
Transforming disease-centred cultures to melodic experiences

The Future of Hospital Sound - How Yoko is on a mission to transform hospitals from disease-centred cultures into harmonious human-centred experiences.

Yoko Sen
6:00
Closing Remarks

Where's the Design Festival?

The Parabola Arts Centre will be home to the Cheltenham Design Festival from 1st – 3rd November.

The 325-seat auditorium is very atmospheric, and it’s circular shape brings audiences together and encourages debate and discussion.

The Parabola Arts Centre, Parabola Rd, Cheltenham GL50 3AA

Previous Festivals

Take a look at these showreels to give you a flavour of what to expect from the Cheltenham Design Festival.