The best art, design and architecture talks at Hay Festival 2018


We round up our favourite art, design and architecture talks happening at Hay Festival 2018.


Nestled in the beautiful Brecon Beacons is the quaint bookshop town of Hay-on-Way which transforms every year, becoming home to the celebrated Hay Literary Festival. Bringing together readers and writers of all ages, as well as experts from a range of back grounds, Hay Festival will again become a hub for the dynamic exchange of ideas in 2018.

To share in Hay Festival’s dynamic exploration of everything from the arts to the sciences, DesignCurial have put together a few of our favourite art, design and architecture talks that are happening this year. These nsightful discussions will reveal how important these industries are for our day-to-day lives – and for those visiting the spectacular Festival, the talks are definitely not to be missed!

From the forging of humanity to the way design will change our futures, here is our pick of the best art, design and architecture talks at Hay Festival 2018:

Two Museums 
27th May

The Exhibition Road project at the V&A Museum in London, and the new Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon, might be two very different design projects – but they do have something in common. They were both designed by RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architect, Amanda Levete. In Two Museums, the founder of AL_A will be discussing her approach to these very different, exceptional urban projects.

Dull Margaret
27th May


Image: Steven Hatten

Inspired by Pieter Bruegel’s 16th Century painting Dulle Griet (also known as Mad Meg), Academy-award winning actor Jim Broadbent has created his first graphic novel, in collaboration with the artist, Dix. Discussing the work in their talk at the Hay Festival, Broadbent and Dix will share how they used the historic, vivid painting to create the novel, Dull Margaret, and explore what the rest of “Margaret’s” life may have been like.

The Founders Lecture: Humanity
28th May

Historian Simon Schama explores the ways that art and creativity have significantly helped in forging humanity as we know it – across the centuries, rising and falling empires, and cultures around the world. In this fascinating talk, Schama will look at how - in an age of profound hostility - artistic imagination remains our best hope for empathy and understanding.

Design as an Attitude 
29th May


Image: Michael Leckie

During this time of constant, unpredictable change, design and culture commentator Alice Rawsthorn looks at how design is increasingly becoming a way to benefit from change and find opportunities in it. In Design as an Attitude, Rawsthorn will map the way that design is responding to our political and ecological instability, highlighting the positive steps that designers have taken that will help us adapt and reinvent the way we live.

Modernists and Mavericks: Bacon, Freud, Hockney and the London Painters
30th May

In this insightful talk, art critic Martin Gayford will be demonstrating how painting thrived in London between the 1940s and 60s – thanks to the help of the ‘London Painters’, including the likes of Francis Bacon, Lucien Freud and David Hockney. Drawing from first-hand interviews and important witnesses, Gayford will locate the thread that connected these painters’ lives, discovering how painting in London managed to develop and thrive during this turbulent period of history.

Madam and Eve: Women portraying Women 
2nd June

Exploring the female gaze as it focuses on other women, Madam and Eve is hosted by artist and photographer Liz Rideal, respected curator Kathleen Soriano, and writer and broadcaster Joan Bakewell. The three women will be investigating the female gaze within the arts, asking how women represent and portray one another in everything from performance to photography.

Britain’s Best Railway Stations
3rd June

Journalist and author of Britain’s 100 Best Railway Stations, Simon Jenkins, will be discussing these – often overlooked – phenomenal buildings that both help shape and connect our nation. Looking at their geography, architecture and symbolism, Jenkins will explore these pieces of national heritage with his usual passion and insight.

For more information on the Hay Festival or to find tickets for any of the talks mentioned above, please visit the official Hay Festival website here.

Feature image: Elisabeth Broekaert 





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