RTC North, Loftus House, Colima Avenue, Sunderland SR5 3XB

Friday 14th June: 10:00 – 12:30

As the great William Morris said, 'only have in your home things you know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful'.

Words which should really also apply to the spaces themselves.

And many of the spaces we spend time in are neither beautiful nor useful.

So we'll be hearing from some people who are working hard to make sure that the places we live and work in truly are beautiful, and are described in a way that makes them appealing

Speakers include -

Michael Pagan, Blue Moon Marketing

After a long career with global brand creators DECIDE, Michael is now Managing Director of Sunderland based Blue Moon Marketing, who work closely with a number of companies in the contruction sector.

Often seen as a somewhat conservative industry, the team at Blue Moon have injected fresh thinking and a design led approach with clients such as RE:GEN, helping them get the right message across about the beautiful spaces they create for clients across the North.

Michael will tell us more about their unique approach.

Neil Wilson, NWD

Neil is a hugely talented designer, having created beautiful restaurants and cafes all over the North East, as well as lighting, furniture, packaging and hi-fi products.

His most recent creation is a range of acoustic panelling designed to make spaces more comfortable and liveable.

Echowall is made from recycled coffee grounds and other natural byproducts, although you'd never know to look at them. While the Soundart collection, currently part of an exhibition at the Baltic Art Gallery, pays homage to specific plant varieties, seamlessly intertwining aesthetics with exceptional acoustic performance, while prioritising sustainability.

Neil will share with us the story behind these products, and some other examples from his design journey.


Further speakers will be announced soon


Rise and Design lasts for approximately three hours, and includes networking before and after speakers. There is a chance to pitch at the end of the speakers' presentations. We encourage all delegates to stay after presentations for networking - it is one of the most valuable parts of Rise and Design.



Design Network North was established in 2007 with the aim of...

‘increasing the contribution that design makes to the economy’

We firmly believe that great design can improve any product, service or business. If you’re a business who needs some design input to develop a new product or to improve something you do already, we can introduce you to someone who can help.