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Pop Up Design Museum Exhibition

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In our Malone Road studios, we currently have an  on going exhibition where we have curated some of the artworks from the Belfast Design Week Pop Up Museum.

The artworks are in response to the Belfast Design Week 2020 theme : Environment. We love the different interpretations of theme and the diversity of work that was produced.

We wanted to highlight some of the artists & designers that took part of the pop up museum and showcase the work that is currently at our Malone Road studios.


Designer: Ciaran Hurson of Hurson
Theme: Environment: COMMUNICATE

“As part of my brief I was asked to explore the environment, way-finding, navigation. As I started to pull some  thoughts together the words ‘You Are Here’ sprung to mind based on those way-finding maps that denote  your physical location generally with a red dot.

My typographic poster celebrates those individuals who sensibly journey into the city centre either as a  local or a visitor to support are local and independent traders. It acknowledges that you being here at this  moment in time is a matter of importance and benefit to these traders as they are try to find their way through  a challenging and turbulent economic environment. ”



Designer: Elham Hemmat
Theme: Environment: SOCIETY

“The dove and olive branch has been a symbol of peace for thousands of years in many different cultures. Early Christians portrayed baptism accompanied by a dove, often on their sepulchres and in the story of Noah in the Bible, when the flood waters receded, Noah sent out a dove which returned with an olive leaf, to show that the Biblical flood was over and that life had returned to Earth.

Beyond symbolism, the current state of world affairs seems to be very different. How does the ‘dove’ look like in reality? Can it fly freely? Or the rise of nationalism worldwide is hampering any peace effort.

In this poster, the dove has been shown with torn feathers, unable to fly, and the olive branch is sewn onto the background, depicting the current situation.”


Designer: Emma Stewart (Robinson) of Emma Stewart Photography
Theme: Environment: HOME

“My work explores the ideas of home, thresholds and their environments. Home is a starting point for understanding our relationship with space, place and the objects around us. It exists as a pre-conscious embedded experience- contrasting with “design”, which develops as a conscious, abstract idea and then becomes implemented in the world around us.  Perhaps home is the underlying bedrock through which our approach to design is mediated.

My explorations of threshold and home are fleshed out primarily through photography, which captures something of the environment where I grew up- a byre, the view between my Grandparents house and my own, the lane, the view out the kitchen window- and many more places in between. The heirloom map is a nod to the tension between cartography (applied logically/rationally) and oral traditions (which are placed/embedded) that define home – now and in the past. When the map is juxtaposed with a subtle view that this document itself inhabits, we find that memories and daydreams begin to fill out the spaces of home in-between.”


Designer: Benji Connell of Concrete Clouds
Theme: Environment: WORK

“The illustration I have drawn for Belfast Design Week, shows the history of Belfast’s industry in the docks; from the days of the Titanic and shipbuilding through to the days of Game of Thrones and film studios. I like to juxtaposition weird fantastical elements in my work alongside reality, in this case, I just thought, wouldn’t it be cool to see some dragons sitting on top of the Titanic. It very quickly sums up an important part of Belfast and it’s long history – in one illustration – at least I tried to!”


Designer: Nichola Irvine
Theme: Environment: NATURE

“A motivational illustration to inspire others to think about the environment.”


Designer: Hannah Sharp
Theme: Environment: TRANSPORT

“As someone who has primarily used public transport and other environmental forms of transport in NI their whole life, I wanted to encapsulate little moments across that whole experience, while also thinking about the wider environmental picture. I use public transport all the time because I don’t drive, so this has been my natural environment for years. It’s been really scary to see this change so dramatically due to covid.

I’m really interested in the idea of the Slow Travel movement where travellers look at enjoying the quality of the journey, not just getting to the destination as fast as possible. Sometimes in NI, we’re almost forced into a longer journey if we choose alternative modes of transport. At it’s best it allows us to see more of the natural landscape we are preserving by choosing slower but more environmentally friendly methods of travel.”

#blickstudios on
Looking forward to having our spaces filled with busy creatives again. Hopefully in the not too distant future
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We just wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas and a Happy New year! ⁠
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What a year it has been, with everything going on. We hope that you all take the time to relax, and have a well deserved break and slow down over the Christmas season.⁠
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Spend time with your loved ones and stay safe! ⁠
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See you all in 2021!
Gorgeous sunny start to the week at our Hill St studios 🌞☀️
All 4 episodes of our @stbdpodcast audio documentary 'The World Turned Upside Down' on the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries in Northern Ireland are available now for listening on Soundcloud Spotify and iTunes with full details on our blog (link in bio) 

https://www.blickstudios.org/.../small-town-big-dream.../

Big thanks to project co-creators and hosts @karishmasworld and @graeme_theory and academic partner Dr Brian Dixon and project funders FutureScreensNI and @northernirelandscreen
@belfastdesignwk took place from 2nd-8th November 2020 and included a Pop-Up Design Museum in venues across Belfast city centre with work by commissioned designers.

It was great to see such variety of work from designers & makers, the different types of people collaborating together and the will to keep going and showing up, despite how testing 2020 has been. 

The theme of Belfast Design Week 2020 was "Environment" and it was great to see the broad spectrum of how people interpreted the theme within their work. 

Thanks to everyone that joined us and supported us this year!
These are some of the highlights from this year's Belfast Design Week as filmed by @foreversocialweddings
We are excited to introduce our newest Blick Resident - @dannisimpsonart ⁠
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Danni is an Australian artist who specialises in Commercial murals and Illustrations. Her style is an urban fusion of detailed floral illustrations where wildlife clashes with architecture and typography, sprinkled through with dashes of art deco and mandala patterns.⁠
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Danni has a side project, The Creatives Market which showcases local NI Makers and Creators will be holding a virtual Black Friday Christmas Market to encourage people to Shop Small and local this year. ⁠
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Head over to her page today to check it out or visit her website at www.dannisimpsonart.com⁠
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Be sure to check out the full interview on our website https://www.blickstudios.org/meettheresidents/meettheresident-danni-simpson/⁠
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Filming this week in our main room in our Malone studios which is currently available to rent hourly or for the day or evening, prices and info on our website or get in touch for more info

#creativespace #creativeworkspace #coworkingspace #creativehub #workspace #studiospace #Belfast #southbelfast
We had some gorgeous light shinning on our Malone Road studio this morning! Feels like the last of those crisp autumnal mornings before winter arrives!
Monday morning vibes at our Cotton Court Studios! ⁠
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We love how different all of our different studio spaces are but still have the same feel about them. ⁠
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We make sure in all studio spaces that there is a relaxing communal place for everyone to come together ( socially distanced of course). ⁠
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#blickstudios #creativespaces⁠
We've got that Friday feeling at our Hill Street Studios! We hope that you all have a great weekend and keep cozy!
The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact across the globe across all industries.

As a creative business-focused organization, we wanted to understand how other creatives have been affected by the pandemic as well as how they have coped with the situation that has been forced upon us.

The toolkit provides an insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the creative industries in Northern Ireland and gives practical advice and guidance on how to stay positive during this period of uncertainty.

The toolkit was compiled by Dr. Brian Dixon Ulster University from evidence gathered from the Small Town Big Dreams audio documentary ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ about the impact of the pandemic on NI creatives.

To get access to the toolkit, click the link in our bio and it can be downloaded or visit our website at www.blickstudios.org
Very sad to see the Cathedral Quarter so empty on a Saturday evening 😥
The 4-part audio documentary series has come to an end. It has been amazing to hear different people's experiences and perspectives on how they have been navigating the pandemic. We wanted to revisit the 4 episodes which are available to listen to on our website - www.blickstudios.org⁠
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Episode 1 - The Great Disruption ⁠
Our guests - Jacky, Patricia, Noxy, Sean D, and Sean McC ⁠
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Episode 2 - Together Apart ⁠
Our guests: Aisling Rusk, David Moody, Nisha Tandon & Ryan Ward ⁠
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Episode 3 - Connection Lost?⁠
Our guests: Shannon Delores O’Neill, Emma Johnston, Andi Jarvis & Lauren Taylor⁠
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Episode 4 - Staying Sane⁠
Our guests: Paddy Raff, Tessa Ann, and Matt & Abby Bonner.⁠
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We will be releasing a creative enterprise toolkit designed by Dr. Brian Dixon on Sunday as part of @belfastdesignweek⁠
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We are looking back to our final episode of the 4 part documentary - The World Turned Upside Down in collaboration with @stbdpodcast

This 4 part audio documentary series of sharing stories of how the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of people working in the creative industries in Northern Ireland. 

In part 4, we find out how creative entrepreneurs have attempted to maintain mental health and well-being during this very challenging time. 

Here is a snippet of comedian @paddyraffcomedy sharing his experience during the pandemic.

You can listen to all 4 episodes at www.smalltownbigdreams.co.uk
Belfast Design Week is starting next week from  2/11/20 - 8/11/20 and we are very happy to be involved again this year. 

The theme for Design Week this year is Environment. Design influences all aspects of our environment which in turn impacts our lives and surroundings and how we experience and live in the world. 

All of the events are now live on the Belfast Design Week website, so visit www.belfastdesignweek.com
Behind the team of Small Town Big Dreams - Dr Brian Dixon

Dr. Brian Dixon was our academic partner for Small Town Big Dreams audio documentary 'The World Turned Upside Down'. He worked with us throughout the series to shape the direction and select participants and to use the evidence gathered to create a Creative Enterprise Toolkit which we are launching next week as part of Belfast Design Week.

We asked Brian to tell us a bit about himself and share his experiences of the pandemic and its impact on University education as well as what he learned from the interviews for this project.

To read the full article, visit https://www.blickstudios.org/small-town-big-dreams/meet-the-team-small-town-big-dreams-dr-brian-dixon/
The World Turned Upside Down is a 4-part audio documentary sharing stories of how the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the lives and livelihoods of people working in the creative industries in Northern Ireland.

In Part 4, we find out how creative entrepreneurs have attempted to maintain mental health and wellbeing during this very unusual time.

With the world having been turned upside down, many people have struggled to make sense of the new normal. With so much uncertainty and when what’s at risk is as serious as people potentially dying, it’s no wonder that it has been so difficult to stay mentally well at this time, no matter how hard we try. 

But 2020 has also offered a pause for thought. It has forced us to re-evaluate how we live and work. Whether we really need to go to all of those in-person work meetings, or even have as many. Whether we need to buy fast fashion or whether we can do with consuming less. 

Whether we should finally do that thing we have been putting off, whether that is learning to cook or proposing to a partner.

But has 2020 fundamentally changed us as a society? Has it permanently altered the way in which we work in the creative industries? Or is it a glitch in time before we simply move on and Covid-19 eventually becomes just a distant memory?

In our season finale, you’ll hear from creative entrepreneurs Tessa Ann of the Sound Healing Spa, Matt & Abby Bonner from Forever Social - Film + Photo, and comedian Paddy Raff.

Thanks also to Alex McMillian, Katie Ireland, Chris Thompson, Dara Flanagan, and Meadhbh McIlgorm for their call-in contributions, reflecting on their experiences during 2020.

Presented by Karishma Kusurkar and Graeme Watson.

Produced in association with Blick Shared Studios, with support from Future Screens NI, Northern Ireland Screen, and Ulster University.

Supporting Academic Research by Dr. Brian Dixon.

Full Episode Details: https://www.blickstudios.org/small-town-big-dreams/audio-documentary-the-world-turned-upside-down-episode-4-staying-sane/
Behind the team of Small Town Big Dreams - Introducing Karishma Kusurkar who is one of the co-founders of Small Town Big Dreams, Co-Director of Belfast Design Week, and is a multidisciplinary designer based in Belfast.⁠
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We asked her to share her experience of how lockdown was for her, what impact the pandemic caused for her business and how she was able to get through the experience. ⁠
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Karishma's key takeaway from the guests she had on the series, was how resilient everyone has been.⁠
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This seems to be the key theme in all creative businesses in the current client. Learning how to adapt to the uncertainty and learning how to move forward despite the chaos of the world. ⁠
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To read the full interview, visit our website at https://www.blickstudios.org/small-town-big-dreams/the-team-behind-small-town-big-dreams-karishma-kusurkar/⁠
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We love to share the new residents that join Blick Studios. We are passionate about the creative industry here in Belfast because we get to learn and develop long-term, meaningful relationships with other creatives. 

We want to introduce our newest resident @jenny_eva_design

We got to catch up with Jenny a few weeks ago where she shares her journey of becoming self-employed, what keeps her motivated, and tips for other creatives that are just starting out. 

It is always lovely to hear other people's experiences because it can give you the clarity that you need, or just hear that other people share the same struggles. 

To read the full interview, please visit our website https://www.blickstudios.org/uncategorised/meettheresident-jenny-eva-design/
We are reminiscing about our Belfast Design Week Big Design Day Out 2019, where we had created an array of different events last year for both kids and adults throughout Belfast City. 

It was a magical time being able to connect with different people and celebrate all things design related!

Unfortunately, this year isn’t possible to run the same type of events as we have done in previous years, but there are still lots of exciting things coming up for Belfast Design Week 2020!

The program is being released next week, so be sure to keep an eye on their feed to see what’s coming up! 

Follow @belfastdesignwk or visit www.belfastdesignweek.com for details on this years festival 

Video by Ross McConaghy
Part 2 of our new Small Town Big Dreams 4-part audio documentary ‘The World Turned Upside Down’ sharing stories of how the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has impacted upon the lives and livelihoods of people working in the creative industries in Northern Ireland is out now.

In Part 2 we look at how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected communities and networks. We speak to architect Aisling Rusk Studio Idir, videographer and fellow podcaster Ryan Ward Morning Coffee Podcast , film-maker David Moody, and arts organisation director Nisha Tandon Arts Ekta

Self-Isolation. Social Distancing. Herd Immunity. Working From Home. Social Bubbles. These phrases have all become synonymous with 2020 as we navigate the various relationships in our lives and how we can look after them even at a distance.

 People have rekindled their long lost hobbies and found newfangled ones too, from music to DIY to making poetry. What’s been more important than ever before is community – which can mean different things to different people, from our families, friends and work colleagues to the collectives we belong to. “We are all in this together” is a phrase we have heard many times before but this actually does ring true, both on a local and global scale for the first time this century.

The World Turned Upside Down is presented by Graeme Watson and Karishma Kusurkar with support from Future Screens NI, Northern Ireland Screen, and Dr Brian Dixon Ulster University.

Full episode details and info: www.smalltownbigdreams.co.uk or listen on Soundcloud Spotify or iTtunes