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MancDesign Milan 2023

Milan 2023 – We Will Design

‘MancDesign’: a manifesto of principles, propositions and potential in relation to Manchester, people and place.

This exhibition presents ‘MancDesign’ as a concept of creative determination which uses a vernacular that we identify as Mancuian. We present work by academic staff from the Department of Design at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University, to show collectively how design is rooted in ‘place’, connected to Manchester’s past and present whilst being future-orientated. We ask what is missing in our city that can emphasise a ‘rich vernacular culture’, identity and inclusive social networks (Wolff 2015, 189).

For Milan Design Week, we consider ‘Manc-ness’ as bold yet open to interpretation, defining ‘MancDesign’ as based upon our rich culturally diverse urban setting in Manchester. We also playfully consider the Italian translation of the term ‘Manc’, meaning ‘missing’. Within this context, we use ‘Manc’ as a provocation, positioning design as an open space, a space to be filled, to converge, interact and transform into a new place of possibilities.

Whilst striving to respond, with innovation, to societal challenges through materials, making and creative experimentation, this exhibition will serve as a catalyst to discuss how design connects with place-based creative ecologies against the backdrop of paradigm-shifting national and global challenges. We draw upon the industrial past and popular culture of Manchester and its diverse communities to create a ‘MancDesign’ manifesto that enables us to define our design principles and how we invite people to contribute.