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The top 20 design events of summer 2014

Still haven't made any plans for the summer? Not to worry, there are lots of great design events happening over the next few months to keep you educated and help you get inspired. From web design to typography to furniture making, we've selected the very best for you.

01. Paris Design Week

summer events 2014

More than 250 artists will exhibit at Paris Design Week

Whether you're a designer or design lover, this festival showcases the very best in furniture, decoration, fashion, gastronomy, art, and the art of living under the banner of design. With more than 250 artists exhibiting across 180 spaces, the extensive programme includes the likes of Desnoyers Amelia, Emmanuel Renoult, Florent Degourc, and Lancel and Maria Todorashko.

  • Date: 9-14 September
  • Location: Paris
  • Price: Varied
  • Focus: Design

02. Designs of the Year

Now in its seventh year, Designs of the Year is a summer-long event at London's Design Museum that covers a broad range of design, including fashion, graphic design and architecture.

The exhibition showcases all things innovative in the design space. This year, 67 projects are battling it out to win 'Design of the year', including The Dumb Ways To Die app, friendly lampposts and a recoiling mudguard for the discerning cyclist. Alongside the competition are a number of design-related events, including talks with Louis Kahn, Mark Miodownik and Daniel Weil.

  • Date: 26 March-25 August
  • Location: London
  • Price: £28 for unlimited exhibition access
  • Focus: Global Architecture, Digital, Fashion, Furniture, Graphic, Product and Transport design.

03. Helsinki Design Week

2014 marks 10 years of Helsinki's design week, which exhibits and promotes Finnish design at venues across the city. The largest design festival in the Nordic countries, this year's theme is Take the Leap and includes a program of exhibitions, and a new design-focused web publication.

The final programme is due to be published in August but make sure you're there to catch the birthday celebrations on Thursday 4 September.

  • Date: 5-14 September
  • Location: Venues across Helsinki, Finland
  • Price: TBC
  • Focus: Architecture and design

04. London Design Festival

London's annual design festival is regarded as one of the world's most important design events. The programme lists over 300 events and exhibitions that cover a broad spectrum of work from furniture design to fashion. This year's events include Archer Humphreys Architects' furniture designs, a live project by The Rag and Bone Man in the Queens Park Design District and Brett Ryder's stunning new Time Bandits silkscreen.

  • Date: 13-21 September​
  • Location: Venues across London, UK
  • Price: Varied
  • Focus: Graphic Design, Illustration, Furniture design, Architecture

05. London Festival of Architecture​

If you're quick, you can catch the end of this month-long festival, which includes over 150 exhibitions installations, film screenings, walking tours and even cycle rides! The headline event, a talk by Thomas Heatherwick, Dan Pearson & Joanna Lumley, takes place on the 26 June whilst other events on the programme examine areas from West London to Kingston.

  • Date: 1-30 June
  • Location: Venues across London
  • Price: Varied
  • Focus: Architecture

06. Melbourne Indesign: The Event

summer events 2014

One for those down under, this boutique architecture and design trade event (previously named 'Saturday in Design') runs every other year and includes a programme of product launches, talks, design trails, international guests, surprise collaborations, evening events and lots more. Artists include Coco Republic, award-winning breakthrough designers Adam Lynch and Dale Hardiman of LAB DE STU, the highly established Ross Gardam, and Anna Drummond of cutting edge multidisciplinary space-makers CoLAB Design Studio.

  • Date: 22-23 August
  • Location: Melbourne
  • Price: TBC
  • Focus: Architecture and design

07. D&AD New Blood

New Blood aims to reach young creatives from as far and wide as possible to offer inspiration, learning and genuine opportunities on the way into industry. There are a number of elements including:

  • The New Blood Exhibition, which gives university students the chance to flaunt their best work in the face of the industry to make meaningful connections that lands their first break.
  • The New Blood Festival - a creative takeover where multiple brands, agencies and studios open their doors for keen young minds to experience it from the inside.
  • The New Blood Academy, an intensive two-week bootcamp filled with inspiring and agitating talks, briefs, hacks and workshops. Young creatives who receive In Book or higher in the New Blood Awards, or who impress at the New Blood Exhibition, are invited on this unique learning experience.
  • Date:July 1 (exhibition), 1-3 (festival), 7-18 (academy)
  • Location:London
  • Focus:Young talent

08. Domaine de Boisbuchet

A cultural project launched in cooperation with Vitra Design Museum and Centre Pompidou, and realised by CIRECA (Centre International de Recherche et d'Éducation Culturel et Agricol), this event runs all summer-long. This year's theme is the natural and the artificial and, alongside an exhibition from the likes of Simón Vélez and Markus Heinsdorff, the event plays host to a number of practical workshops and seminars on everything from outdoor graphic design to vitrification to the extreme qualities of wool.

  • Date: June-September
  • Location: Boisbuchet, France
  • Price: Workshops prices vary from 835 € to 1125 €
  • Focus: Architecture and design

09. Kyoorius Designyatra

A festival for the design, creative and communication community in India, Kyoorius Designyatra attracts over 1300 delegates from across Asia and has become a hub for Indian design. Speakers at this year's event include Bart Kresa, founder of BARTKRESA Design; Laura Jordan Bambach, creative director of Dare UK; artist and illustrator Oliver Jeffers; and Andy Goodman, MD of Fjord. The Kyoorius Awards, launched last year, saw the launch of India's foremost design awards in partnership with D&AD.

  • Date: Sept 11-13
  • Location: Goa, India
  • Price: TBC
  • Focus: Designers and creative

10. DConstruct

This one-day event in Brighton is so much more than a technology conference. This year's theme is Living With The Network and includes a programme of artists, writers, hackers and coders all talking about surveillance, connected devices, big data, and just about everything the network touches. Speakers include Warren Ellis, Mandy Brown, Tom Scott and Jen Lowe.

  • Date: 5 September
  • Location: Brighton
  • Price: £150+ VAT
  • Focus: Technology and society

11. OFFF Cincinnati 2014

summer events 2014

A spin-off from the infamous Barcelona-based OFFF festival, this one-day event in Cincinnati brings together artists and designers to share techniques from analog and handcraft to cutting edge digital processes. Held in partnership with Cincinnati Design Week, the programme includes speakers such as Gmunk, James White, Cocolab and Digital Kitchen.

  • Date: 24 July
  • Location: Cincinnati
  • Price: $50 professional/$30 students
  • Focus: Design and technology

12. OFFF Saint Petersburg

Russia's OFFF-shoot again focuses on a broad range of subjects form graphic design to digital art and motion and interaction design. The two-day event takes place in a unique listed building and creative cluster, and includes artists such as Anton Repponen and Irene Pereyra, César Pesquera, B-Reel, and The Mill.

  • Date: July 5-6
  • Location: Saint Petersburg
  • Price: 4,000 RUB
  • Focus: Design and technology

13. WebVisions

This annual event held in cities around the world explores the future of web and mobile design, technology, user experience and digital media. The September Chicago event held at the Siskel Film Center includes a programme of talks and workshops, including a visionaries panel on how design, technology and the web will reshape cities by 2040, content strategy user experience and web animation.

  • Date: September 25-26
  • Location: Chicago, US
  • Price: $275.00​Two-Day Pass (Early Bird)
  • Focus: Design and technology

14. UX Week

This event brings together some of the world's biggest UX design professionals for four days of talks and workshops. Speakers include Amanda Dameron, editor-in-chief at Dwell, author Ken Jennings and Karina Van Schaardenburg, UX research lead at Foursquare. Workshops cover a range of topics from experience mapping to how developers think about and approach UX design.

  • Date: Sept 09-12
  • Location: San Francisco, US
  • Price: Early Bird Round 4 Price: $2,595
  • Focus: UX Design

15. TypeCon2014

summer events 2014

This annual conference is organised by the non-profit Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA), an international organization dedicated to the promotion, study, and support of typography and related arts, and explores type for the screen, printing history, Dutch design, type in motion, Arabic calligraphy, the American Arts and Crafts movement, experimental typography, web fonts, and much more. Speakers include special presentations by Dana Tanamachi and Tobias Frere-Jones.

  • Date: July 30-Aug 3
  • Location: Washington DC, USA
  • Price: $310 early bird professional for main conference
  • Focus: Typography

16. An Event Apart

This well-established web design conference founded by world CSS authority Eric Meyer and 'godfather of web standards' Jeffrey Zeldman, explores the practice of modern web design and development. Taking place across three different US cities this summer - as well as events in the autumn/winter - speakers include the likes of Jeffrey Zeldman, Founder, Happy Cog and A List Apart; Luke Wroblewski, CEO and co-founder of Input Factory Inc; and Samantha Warren, Designer at Twitter.

  • Date/location: Washington DC July 21-23, 2014; Chicago August 25-27; Austin September 22-24, 2014
  • Price: $995.00 Conference Pass
  • Focus: Web design

17. Reasons to be Creative

Aimed at digital designers who are passionate about their craft, this conference is for you brings together some of the world's most talented designers, coders, creatives, film makers, animators, installation builders, illustrators, and artists presenting three tracks over three full days.

  • Date: 1-3 September
  • Location: Brighton, UK
  • Price: Early bird £299
  • Focus: "Web designers, coders, & anyone with a creative mind"

18. New Designers 2014

A festival dedicated to graduate design, this event takes place over two weeks and is split over two parts. The first part focuses on textiles, fashion and accessories, contemporary applied arts (inc. ceramics and glass), and jewellery and precious metalwork. The second examines visual communications (including graphic design and illustration), furniture and product design (including spatial and industrial design), and motion arts and theatre design - all in one venue.

  • Date: Part 1 25-28 June; Part 2 02-05 July
  • Location: London
  • Price: Standard day tickets from £10.50
  • Focus: Graduate design

19. HybridConf 2014

This two-day of conference features 17 talks from great international speakers including Carl Smith (nGenworks), Tom Soderstrom (Nasa), Tobias Ahlin (Github), Sara Chipps (Flatiron School), John O'Nolan (Ghost) and Travis Schmeisser (Square). Plus the organisers promise
"fabulous after parties on both evenings with generous bar tabs".

  • Date: 21-24 August
  • Location: Stockholm, Sweden
  • Price: £436.25
  • Focus: Web design

20. Generate London

summer events 2014

It's next stop London for our own web design event!

How could we write an article about summer design events without dropping in our very own event! (Okay, maybe we're stretching the definition of summer, but we're certain the sun will still be shining on the UK capital come 26th September...).

Building on the success of last year's inaugural London event and the first Generate in New York earlier this summer, our conference for web designers and developers is returning to London this September.

Held in conjunction with net magazine, the one-day event will feature talks from the likes of Remy Sharp, Gavin Strange, Jeremy Keith, and Jake Archibald from Google Chrome's developer relations team. Not to mention all the amazing networking opportunities you won't find at any other event. All in all, it's one amazing day that's not to be missed...

  • Date: 26 September
  • Location: London
  • Price: £275
  • Focus: Web design and development

Have we missed any summer design events off the list? Let us know in the box below.

Words: Natalie Brandweiner

Natalie Brandweiner has a background in journalism. After writing about social media marketing for two and a half years in her previous role, she decided to practice what she'd preached and joined the wonderful world of social media management for ThirtyThree.