The British Council’s new director of Architecture, Design and Fashion shares her pick of the best shows and events this February
Sevra Davis is director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council, responsible for creating new opportunities for the UK design sector around the world through collaboration and exchange. She has also held senior leadership positions at the Design Museum and the Royal Society for the Arts (RSA). She is an experienced architect, design advocate and leader in design for social change.
Young Creatives Takeover Event
When I worked at the Design Museum, this was one of the highlights of the calendar. This day is not only a showcase of the work that young people at the museum have created over the past year, but it is also co-programmed by the Young Creatives. I love that this day celebrates young people’s creativity and gives them a chance to showcase work that they think is important and hear from speakers that they have chosen. It’s free, too! Design Museum, London
We Will Walk – Art and Resistance from the American South
From 7 February until 3 May
This exhibition will showcase not only extraordinary works of 20th-century craft and design by underrepresented African-American artists and makers living in America’s deep south, but importantly will demonstrate how their creativity was inspired by and helped to provoke important social change and the fight for civil rights. Turner Contemporary, Margate
Design Indaba Festival
Design Indaba always features amazing cutting-edge architects, designers, design researchers and thinkers, but this year it is featuring one of my favourite UK-based designers, Natsai Audrey Chieza. Plus, the British Council is supporting Dominique Heyse- Moore, a researcher and textile curator from the Whitworth in Manchester to attend the festival this year, where she will connect with Sub-Saharan African designers with a view to unlocking future opportunities between the UK and the region. Cape Town
Kitching in Ditchling
Until 19 April
I love the work of typographer Alan Kitching and this exhibition of his work at the Ditchling Museum is a great celebration of London and graphic design — and a bit of fun. Steph Fuller, the museum’s director, has done an amazing job with her team over the past few years to bring a wealth of new exhibitions and content to this area. Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, East Sussex
In the Maker Stories podcast, researcher Karen Patel interviews inspirational craftswomen from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. The podcast, in collaboration with Crafts Council UK, emerged at the end of last year but there are more episodes planned for 2020. I was introduced to it through my connection with textiles practitioner and author Rose Sinclair, who has been a long-time colleague and friend and is featured in episode two. I love that this podcast celebrates untold stories in design and craft.
The Royal Academy will host a day-long symposium to accompany its Eco-Visionaries exhibition, bringing together artists, architects, academics and the public to discuss and share new research that will help understand the complexities of the current climate crisis but crucially, suggest how we might live differently. Royal Academy of Arts, London