The Margate School’s mission is to establish an international peer-reviewed design festival in Margate which brings together local creatives, national and international designers and our community to investigate our social and environmental challenges through the medium of design.

In doing so we aim to provide an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the work of The Margate School’s Design, Society, Nature postgraduate course student work and act as a hub for industry and community connectivity and co-creation.


Margate Festival of Design 2022 featured a lively programme of exhibitions, talks, walks and workshops drawing together education, community and industry. 

Weekend One focussed on ‘Society’. As social beings, visual language is critical to the way humans interact with the world. From politics to navigating spaces to what we eat, design influences people and their behaviours.

Weekend Two focussed on ‘Nature’. Our world’s survival depends on the well-being and preservation of the natural world. The climate crisis and its growing impact is one of the most pressing and existential challenges we all face and learning how to live in a more sustainable world is of the utmost importance. Sustainable design and its beneficial impact on our lives and the environment are key to helping forge the path for a brighter, greener future for the next generation.

Additional talks and displays featured in between.

It is a Festival for all, with many events free to attend. The hub is at The Margate School, supported by other locations in Margate High Street.

Find out more about themargateschool.com and join the mailing list for the latest Festival and School news.


Margate is a seaside town on the north coast of Kent in South-East England, in the District of Thanet. The town is 16 miles North-East of Canterbury, 80 miles from London and 22 miles from the port of Dover.

Margate became a popular place for holidaymakers in the 18th century, owing to easy access via the Thames, and later with the arrival of the railways.

During the late 20th century, the town went into decline along with other British seaside resorts, but it’s being revitalised.

Margate is the epitome of seaside kitsch. It has sandy beaches, fish n’ chips, seafood stalls and a vintage amusement park – Dreamland. 

From the golden skies that inspired JMW Turner, to the subterranean seashell grotto and caves beneath our feet, Margate has a lot to offer. It hosts a myriad of creative events, people and exhibitions. The town has a burgeoning food and drink scene, is brimming with galleries, artist studios and performance spaces.

It has a thriving design community, but as yet, no central event or location to draw this community together.

Margate, and Thanet, also have their difficulties. Margate’s high street is one of the most struggling in the country. Thanet, home to Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate, is the most deprived local authority in Kent. It has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the South-East. Five of its neighbourhoods are in the top 10 percent of England’s most deprived wards, according to the Index of Multiple Deprivation, and are within a four-mile radius of each other. In the summer we see huge numbers of beach goers. Our beaches and seas are often left strewn with rubbish. 

The Margate School is at the centre of this, on Margate High Street. We welcome everyone with our open door policy and we encourage discussions which will help tackle these issues.