Look at York through a new lens…

York Design Week is a brand new seven-day festival that celebrates the creative industry sector in York. The organisers describe it as “offering attendants a surprising new perception of our historic city, and exploring how, in such uncertain and complex times, design can help us adapt, grow and learn.”

The week will consist of a variety of different events all related to design, including talks, open studios, family workshops, VR experiences, and exhibitions.

York Design Week invites all residents to participate, explore and play through over 20 events across the city.


Here are a few of the highlights. For our full listings for York Design Week events go here.

Printed programmes will also be available from Visit York, Snowhome, Spark York, and York Ghost Merchants.

York Design Week is Wednesday 23 October to Wednesday 30 October.

All week: Grow!

Germinate your own oak tree at home! Snowhome is teaming up with York Design Week to distribute 246 acorns to start to take small steps to reduce carbon footprint. Use the hashtag #yorkoak to share your oakling growing! Collect your acorn and instructions from Snowhome.

GROW! Snowhome x York Design Week

GROW! Snowhome x York Design Week
Wed Oct 23 @ 10.00 am - Wed Oct 30 @ 5.00 pm
Snowhome
42 Gillygate
York, YO31 7EQ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

24-31 October: Lighting up the Minster

See York Minster in a different light this autumn as the awe-inspiring Northern Lights returns by popular demand.

The sound and light installation, which debuted to sell-out audiences in June 2018, will again transform the cathedral’s cavernous Nave with images and audio inspired by the medieval Minster’s stained glass and stone.

25 October: Favourite colour

Ever wondered what the colour of York would be? Join GF Smith at York St. John for a talk all about ‘The World’s Favourite Colour’, part of their international study into colour, emotions and associations.

The Worlds Favourite Colour

The Worlds Favourite Colour
Fri Oct 25 @ 4.00 pm - 5.00 pm
York St John University
Lord Mayor's Walk
York, YO31 7EX United Kingdom
+ Google Map

26-27 October: Jellyfishin’

Step into an underwater virtual world! This free VR experience is aimed at primary school children to help raise awareness about the effects of plastic on the ocean. Listen and interact with the sea creatures about what they have to say.

Digital Creativity Labs Present: TECH FUTURES

Sat Oct 26 @ 12.00 pm - Sun Oct 27 @ 4.00 pm
Spark:York
17-21 Piccadilly
York, YO1 9PB
+ Google Map

26 October-2 November: Playful data

An interactive installation that asks what you feel about transport and sustainability! Situated in the National Railway Museum, take a journey through a series of arches and answer questions by mapping a ribbon through multiple-choice holes. Watch how it slowly transforms into a tunnel of colour the more people take part.

Generate (Playful Data)

Generate (Playful Data)
Sat Oct 26 @ 10.00 am - Sat Nov 2 @ 4.00 pm
National Railway Museum
Leeman Road
York, YO26 4XJ United Kingdom
+ Google Map

27 October: Family workshop

Explore playful 3D shapes and designs in a family workshop led by designer Anna Manfield. This workshop encourages children to come and design their own play space using craft materials.

An Invitation to Play, intergenerational workshop with Anna Manfield

An Invitation to Play, intergenerational workshop with Anna Manfield
Sun Oct 27 @ 12.00 pm - 4.00 pm
Spark:York
17-21 Piccadilly
York, YO1 9PB
+ Google Map

28 October: Found fiction

It takes a city to write a story! The Writing Desk have toured literary festivals across the UK and are here for York Design Week. Help ‘co-write a masterpiece’ and visit the desk to add a line to an ongoing short story.

Found Fiction: Collaborative Writing Desk

Found Fiction: Collaborative Writing Desk
Mon Oct 28 @ 10.00 am - Wed Oct 30 @ 9.00 am
Partisan & The French House
112 Micklegate
York, YO1 6JX United Kingdom
+ Google Map

30 October: Whose problem?

This long table event is a collaborative conversation for our future. Everyone is invited to join in the discussion – ‘historians, councillors, teenagers, creative practitioners, students, environmental activists’. This discussion will promote the message that everyone is creative, that culture is made by us, and inspiring a move towards cultural democracy.

What is the problem and whose problem is it?

What is the problem and whose problem is it?
Wed Oct 30 @ 6.30 pm - 8.30 pm
York St John University
Lord Mayor's Walk
York, YO31 7EX United Kingdom
+ Google Map