Cornwall Design Forum 2018

The 2018 Cornwall Design Forum, supported by Cultivator, was a brilliant opportunity to meet other creatives and find out about some of the design projects taking place across the region.

Hosted in the recently refurbished Old Cathedral School in Truro, the Forum began with a presentation about the restoration project from Koha Architects. They talked about its transformation from a Grade-Two listed former School House into a mixed use Arts, Music and Education Centre. Along with before and after photographs, they revealed how the South-West Archway was opened up to create light and connect the building with nearby Green and Cathedral. They also hosted a tour of the School, showing how the space had been re-designed to preserve aspects of the building’s heritage, such as school boy graffiti in the attic meeting room and beautifully restored stained glass windows.


Kathryn Woolf from service design agency Made Open Communications shared about their community-led research on the RNLI’s Design Out Drowning project, which I was honoured to be involved with. She talked about the organisation’s human-centred design process, which involved gathering stories from people who live in Cornwall and Devon, hosting workshops with subject matter experts, and engaging with key stakeholders to identity how and why people get into trouble at the coast. These key findings have been consolidated into a series of design briefs, which will be open in the New Year for creative thinkers, makers and doers to respond to.

The Forum finished with a brief overview of some of the work taking place to promote Cornwall-based designers and makers to wider industry influencers. Martin Nixon from Nixon Design spoke about their involvement in the 2018 Clerkenwell Design Week, using their new London-based office to showcase some of Cornwall’s best creative projects. Cultivator also presented their Design Frontier initiative, working to put Cornwall at the forefront of the contemporary design world.

Bethia Naughton-Rumbo