Inspiration, Design & Shopping: The British Library’s Spring Festival
Do you know how brilliant the British Library is? And how hands-on useful? Of course if you work in academia, research or are a freelancer, you may well already use it. But if you are a designer or illustrator, artist or decorator, or are simply interested in these things, or if you plan to set up your own small business, you could be mining it for all kinds of help – both creative and administrative (the Library has an excellent Business and IP Centre for the latter, offering all kinds of free advice).
On the creative front: the Library’s archive and collections are a treasure trove for ideas and inspiration. We found the wallpaper used on this very page (and all our pages) in the Library’s Olga Hirsch Collection of Decorative Papers. Wow, there are some beautiful designs and prints in that collection - see them here online. Or you could look through Japanese woodcuts, textile designs, fashion magazines, vintage knitting patterns, photographs, maps, stamps, or listen to sound recordings. If you don’t know where to start you can ask advice from one of the Library’s curators. They are actively keen to help – we know because we’ve been exploring non-commercial repeat patterns and prints for ages, and in five minutes were shown the Olga Hirsch Collection, which is everything we’ve been looking for.
To showcase all this, the British Library is holding a Spring Festival in the first week in March, aimed specifically at designers, illustrators, and makers, but available to everyone. It sounds fantastic. Most of the workshops (eg: The Art of Illustration with Quentin Blake, Posy Simmonds, Jamie Hewlett and Martin Rowson) have sold out - though do check here for full details of all of them. There are still some spaces left for one on typography, and others may be webcast. But the bit we’re going to is the Spring Market in the Library’s Piazza, which is open all day on Thursday 1st March, and will be filled with stalls manned by the 12 winners (out of over 80 applicants) of the Library’s Spring Market competition, all of whom have used the Library in some way in developing their designs and work. We’re especially excited to see Yinka Ilori’s recycled furniture, and Xiang Zeng’s magnetic fairytale wallpaper (see below for photos of both) – but the point is, the Spring Fair will be full of products by designers that are waiting to be discovered. Apart from anything else, what a fabulous shopping opportunity.
PS: While you are there, do make sure you see Royal Manuscripts, one of our favourite exhibitions of last year, which ends soon on March 13th.
|What:||The British Library's Spring Festival|
|When:||1 - 5 March 2012. The Spring Market is Thur 1 March, 9.30am - 5.30pm|
|Where:||The British Library, 96 Euston Road, NW1 2DB|
|Price:||The Spring Market is free, as is entrance to the British Library|
|Tel:||0870 444 1500|
|Tags:||amazing archive, British Library, business advice, Butterscotch and Beesting, design inspiration, Emma-Jayne Parkes, great shopping, Jamie Hewlett, new products, Olga Hirsch, our wallpaper, Posy Simmonds, product designers, Quentin Blake, Sarah Cole, Spring Festival, Spring Market, workshops, Xiang Zeng, Yinka Ilori|
|Posted in:||Address Book, Art, Going Out, Interiors, Shopping|
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23rd February 2012