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SDS Talks and Events

Photograph of audience listening to SDS talk

The Society offers a regular programme of talks designed to inspire, improve practice and encourage innovation. We cover a wide range of topics from design and associated disciplines to academic research, technology, processes and standards.

Our talks are usually monthly, take place in London and are often hosted by SDS members. For members that are unable to join in person the talks are livestreamed via our dedicated member Facebook page and recordings posted in the talks archive. Subject to availability and other conditions, non-members and guests are very welcome to attend.

The 2018 SDS Events Programme

To help with your diary planning we include outline details of forthcoming events in ‘The Dates for your Diary’ section, found in the right hand column.

Please Note: The details listed in the events diary (including the date) may be subject to change.


Measuring Design Effectiveness

Thursday 11th October 2018   About this event In a world driven by the availability of big data, clients increasingly expect evidence to underpin design choices as well as investment decisions. But design deals a lot in things that have always seemed Read More...

Billy’s Big SDS Debate 2: Is Wayfinding Relevant?

Thursday 13th September 2018 About this event Disney Studios will tell you that wayfinding began with the Polynesian community 3,000 years ago and hasn’t changed much since then. At SDS however, we beg to differ. On the 13th of September, we will host Read More...

SDS on Tour: Sensory Wayfinding, Documenting Historical Signs and Birmingham Interconnect Case Study

The SDS on Tour in Birmingham event promises a mix of academic and practice-based talks, a graphic design exhibition, Birmingham City University architecture and graphic communication graduate degree shows and a short city signage tour.

How to Improve the Usability of Maps and Plans Through Design

This seminar will feature two presentations, by PhD students Peter B Lloyd and Andrew McIlwraith, who will be talking about how design impacts on the usability of maps and plans.

Exploring Dynamic Signage

Thursday 19 April 2018 During this talk there will be two presentations. Ed Griffith (accompanied by James Sirmin, Papercast client) will present an overview of Jedco Product Design, different digital display technologies and applications, with specific reference to the Papercast Digital Bus Stop project which uses E-Paper technology. Paul Cook will argue that the design is just as important as well as the instruction message in digital solutions.

HS2: Setting the Benchmark for Wayfinding and Sign Design

Wednesday 28 March 2018 During this talk Laura Kidd, Head of Architecture, will present the HS2 vision and the impact that this has on design thinking. She will outline the design approach for stations and discuss the station common design elements and wayfinding and signage requirements.

Brick Lane Threads

Thursday 22 February 2018 Steer Davies Gleave were contracted by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to develop a dedicated connectivity and wayfinding strategy for Brick Lane to capture and spread the footfall along the entire street. During this talk they discuss their strategy to turn Brick Lane into a key pedestrian north-south route, linking all the attractions in the area and reinforcing the street's competitiveness.

Celebrating the Best in British Wayfinding

Thursday 25 January 2018  The SDS New Year Party Come and join the party and hear from the winning entries in the 2017 British Sign Awards. We celebrate the best in class in wayfinding with presentations from two of the shortlisted projects Read More...

London Underground sign design: when good intentions get ignored

Thursday 23 November 2017  Sign design often involves integrating/extending a client’s brand and identity. Consistency of information and design is also at the heart of reliable wayfinding systems. But what about after installation? How do we ensure our clients appreciate the need Read More...

Designing for an Ageing Population

Wednesday 6 September 2017 In a departure from our usual format, September will see the first SDS Big debate. With the help of a multidisciplinary panel we’ll be addressing the role of wayfinding consultancy within the built environment.

The Big Debate – Architecture versus People

Wednesday 6 September 2017 In a departure from our usual format, September will see the first SDS Big debate. With the help of a multidisciplinary panel we’ll be addressing the role of wayfinding consultancy within the built environment. We’ll be exploring whether it’s really needed, why it’s needed and perhaps touch upon what the future holds for those practicing the art Read More...

Collaborate to Innovate

Thursday 11 May 2017 Man drawing mind map of experiential design ideas Innovation is driving the heart of our future economies. As we push for greater innovation the need to collaborate across widely different specialisms has become a requirement to gain more and more innovative solutions. The question is HOW? How do we enable professionals who have long been separate, or even incompatible, and ask them to produce something new and innova Read More...

The Adventures of a Type Tourist

Tuesday 4 April 2017 Type designer David Quay is fascinated by urban typography and how cities use typefaces to express their individual identities. Describing himself as a ‘Type Tourist’, David has visited and extensively photographed the type styles that characterise many cities Read More...

Wayfinding for industrial estates and business parks

Thursday 16th March 2017 Spaces where vehicles and pedestrians interact and interchange is no more felt than at a busy and bustling industrial estate or business park. In this talk, Jonathan Docksey from wayfinding agency Design JD will explore the different needs of pedestrians and vehicles on industrial estates. He will also explain how the agency engages with users to ensure success. Read More...