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Monday 8 May Friday 12 May 2017

Unit X Festival 2017

The Unit X Festival is a week of pop-up exhibitions showing the work of some of the best up and coming Artists, Designers, Filmmakers and Photographers emerging in the city.

These free exhibitions will be taking place across Manchester in venues including Manchester Art Gallery, The Deaf Institute, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, Cass Arts, Soup Kitchen and Caustic Coastal. Scroll down to discover more about this exciting week of events.

Exhibitions & Events

8 May

Future Intelligence

The Unit X Festival begins with an exhibition at Manchester School of Art featuring the work from two live briefs run in collaboration with professional companies.

Manchester School of Art

5pm – 8pm

More details

9 12 May

Inspired by Ceremony / NEO

Animators, Filmmakers and Photographers will show 30 very short films on the large digital screens. Unit X have responded to Phil Collins’ Engels-inspired work for Manchester International Festival and an open brief from Bruntwood.

Bruntwood Office Space Neo

Charlotte St, M1 4ET

Private View 9 May 5–6pm
Public launch 6–8pm
Then open to the public Wed–Fri 8am–6pm

9 11 May


Contemporary takes on the Isokon building – a centre for intellectual life in the 1930's and 40's. Created as an experiment in minimalist urban living its famous residents included influential Bauhaus émigrés, spies and Agatha Christie.

Manchester Craft and Design Centre

17 Oak St, M4 5JD

Preview on 9 May 5pm–8pm
Open Wed 10am–5pm & Thu 12noon–4.30pm

10 May


Unit X 3D Designers and Interior Designers have explored the theme of identity to create a range of individual objects, artwork and designs then set them within Manchester's quirkiest independent bookshop.

Chapter One Books

Chatsworth House, 19 Lever Street, M1 1BY

Preview 10 May 6pm–8pm
Open Thu 10am–6pm

10 12 May

Punk Project

Working with influential designer Malcolm Garrett, Unit X have explored the punk movement, rebellion, style and how punk concepts are interpreted and portrayed today.

Cass Art

Oldham Street, M1 1JG

Preview 10 May 5pm–6.30pm
Open Thu & Fri 10am–5pm

More details

11 May

Creativity in Motion

Unit X Fashion Designers, Art Directors and Interactive Artists have been inspired to create artworks and films from the movement of creative people including dancers from the Northern Ballet School.

Deaf Institute

135 Grosvenor St, M1 7HE

6pm – 9pm

11 May

Festival Square

Manchester International Festival is the biggest festival of new work in the world. Festival Square is it's beating heart. Unit X design ideas to bring the square to life in collaboration with MIF, Ferrious, OH OK Ltd, Office for Crafted Architecture and Practice Architecture.


Redfern Building, Sadlers Yard, NOMA, M60 0AB

5.30pm – 7.30pm

11 May

Identical Lunch

Exhibition exploring adventures in food, eating, cultural creativity and the recent upsurge in food fetishism.

Grosvenor Gallery

5pm – 7pm

11 26 May

Iterate - Encrypt - Stock

18 exploratory publications from Unit X. Formed from starting points such as iterate, encrypt and stock, the exhibition will showcase promotional print forms and Kickstarter films for each publishing venture.

Soup Kitchen

31-33 Spear Street, M1 1DF

Preview 11 May 6pm–11pm Open 12 – 26 May 12noon–late

11 May

Narrative Encounters

The Pre-Raphaelites were a secret society of artists. Their paintings used imagery and symbolism to hide many more secrets. Manchester City Art Gallery curators have unlocked the hidden meanings for Unit X to creatively respond to.

Manchester City Art Gallery

Mosley St, M2 3JL

6pm – 8pm

11 May

Permeated, Perplexities, Perpetuated

Accidents Happen, Beauty and Place, are the three themes that have inspired works in this eclectic exhibition of over 100 Unit X Artists, Curators and Art Historians.

Caustic Coastal

Unit 2, Regents Trading Estate, Oldfield Road, M5 4DE

6pm – 9pm

11 May

Sign o’the times

Unit X Graphic Designers and Illustrators create responses to activate or provoke interest. Your opinion needs you!


67 Lever St, M1 1FL

6pm – 9pm

11 May

Small Steps Art Activism 1

An evening of music, workshops, art work and much more across three Norther Quarter venues raising money for the Sea Life Foundation and Rape Crisis.


10 Tariff St, M1 2FF

6pm – 10.30pm

11 May

Small Steps Art Activism 2

Twenty Twenty Two

20 Dale Street, M1 1EZ

6pm – 10.30pm

11 12 May

Small Steps Art Activism 3

Stage and Radio

43 Port Street, M1 2EQ

10.30pm – 3am

11 16 May

Textiles in Practice

Unit X Textile Designers create an exhibition of ideas around a theme.

Eighth Day Café

111 Oxford Rd, M1 7DU

Preview 11 May 5pm–7pm
Open Fri, Mon, Tue 9am–7pm, Sat 10am–5pm

12 14 May

Dreams Never End

An exploration into the role of artists in the redevelopment of urban spaces and the rebranding of post-industrial cityscapes.

Rogue Artists' Studios

66-72 Chapeltown Street, Piccadilly, M1 2WH

Preview 12 May 5–7pm
Open Sat & Sun 11am–5pm

More details

12 May

MIAO and Rebel Tartan

An exhibition that compares and contrasts two ancient textiles techniques and practices, inspired by Miao embroidery and blue heart tartan.

Centre for Chinese Contemporary Arts

13 Thomas St, M4 1EU

5pm – 8pm