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We’ll be announcing more speakers and contributors throughout June & July.  Event and workshop details will be released in early July when tickets for events will be released.

Inclusive ticketing:  Tickets will range in price from FREE to £10. There will always be ‘pay what you can’ and FREE tickets available for each event. 

If you’re interested in getting involved, please contact


David Shillinglaw is a UK based artist, best known for his works exploring human nature, success and failure, and the language people use to describe their experiences. David’s practice shifts between the street and studio using a variety of materials and mediums creating work that ranges from drawings and collages to large scale murals and installations. David Shillinglaw lives and works in Margate, UK

"David Shillinglaw explores the conflicted, messy human condition: a relentless need for control within a disordered world. His vibrant, vital paintings present a tumultuous system in which natural forms, freely connected words and human features both burst from and are contained within grids, boxes and organised lines."
Emily Steer, Editor of Elephant magazine

Photo credit: Joanna Dudderidge


Shelly Grotto is an ornate subterranean drag queen, currently ranked as the No. 1 visitor attraction in Margate. Alongside her notable performance accolades and self appointed crowning as queen of Margate's the Shell Grotto, she is a keen zinester. Shelly has published zines on a wide array of subjects including: how to become a drag queen, Queer Cuntry and the history of Margate drag.

Shelly will be discussing her zine practice and creative ethos whilst giving you a draggy starting point to make your own zine in a workshop for the Margate Festival of Design.

Greg Bunbury profile picture


Greg Bunbury is a Graphic Designer, Creative Consultant and D&I consultant. His mission is to change the world by design, enabling purpose-driven businesses and organisations to connect with diverse audiences.

Greg was formerly Head of Creative for an award-winning agency, but as a passionate advocate for equality and antiracism his work shifted to a social focus. In addition to design, he now advises on diversity & inclusion, and delivers workshops on socially conscious design. Greg is the founder of Black Outdoor Art, a project that uses outdoor advertising space as a platform for creative Black expression. In addition to this, he hosts the Design For The People podcast, spotlighting designers and creatives working towards positive social change.


Becky Thomas (beckyismyname) is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Thanet. With over 20 years industry experience she has worked with many local businesses as well as establishing Margate’s first post-graduate course in Visual Communication at The Margate School.

Becky set up the screen-printing facility at the School and runs regular workshops in the space. She has had a passion for print since completing her degree in Print Media at London College of Communication in the late nineties.

At the festival this year Becky will be hosting a 'design activism' half day screen-printing workshop in the TMS Print Space.


Emmi Salonen / Studio Emmi Everything Emmi does is underpinned by a simple but powerful idea: Positive Creativity. From the creative process to the final output, Emmi believes design can bring people together, create sustainable choices and foster wellbeing.

She set up Studio Emmi in 2005 to partner with clients and creatives who want to make a positive contribution to society and planet. Emmi is a Graphic Designer, Creative Director and certified Happiness Facilitator. She regularly gives talks about Creative Ecosystem, a model she has created guiding creatives in their wellbeing and careers. Born in Finland, Emmi studied graphic design in the UK at the University of Brighton. In 2001 she moved to northern Italy to work at Fabrica, Benetton Group’s prestigious communication research studio for young designers. She then worked at Karlssonwilker in New York, and Futerra sustainability agency as their UK Creative Director.


Studio Sutherl& was set in London up by Jim Sutherland in 2014. He has rebranded the Natural History Museum, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis, The Arts Society, Williams F1, Prostate Cancer UK, National Museums Scotland, Welsh National Opera, and Start-rite shoes. He has designed over 50 stamps to date for Royal Mail including the Agatha Christie set in 2016. Awards include 97 pencils at D&AD. He has judged D&AD nine times (including Foreman of the Branding Jury in 2023). Studio Sutherl& was the most awarded design studio at D&AD in 2017, and came number one in the Computer Arts UK studio rankings in 2017 and 2018.

Jim will join Aidan McCarthy in conversation about their collaborative project, 'Compartment Syndrome'

Portrait photograph of Aidan McCarthy


Aidan is a London based photographer and film maker, with a background in the fashion industry. He is very interested in examining social and political issues through the lens, particularly relating to identity and civil liberties.

Recently he has collaborated with Sutherl&Editions to produce ‘Compartment Syndrome’. The series was photographed over six years from 2015 to 2021 in the village of Cliffsend, on the Kent coast. The title ‘Compartment Syndrome’ is a medical term for an increase in pressure inside a muscle, which restricts blood flow and causes pain, a reference to the Brexit referendum that took place as Aidan began the project. It is an examination of the elusive characteristics of Englishness, a representation of the divisions and striations that resulted from the Referendum. We hope to be able to exhibit the work in Margate for the festival. Aidan will join Jim Sutherland in conversation about this work.



Rob Lowe (also know as Supermundane) is an artist using instinctive geometry and universal humanism, along with his distinctive humour and hyper-colourful imagination, to play with optical effects and the meaning of words. He sees lines as deeply human things: both physically and metaphorically.

He has been published and exhibited worldwide and has worked with charities such as Comic Relief, British Red Cross and War Child. Permanent installations can be seen in Leeds train station, Great Ormond Street & Covent Garden.

Cat Drew


Cat Drew is the Chief Design Officer at the Design Council where she champions Design for Planet, bringing together practitioners from across the design economy to develop new regenerative practice and create the conditions for designers to do their best work. Previously, Cat has held leadership positions at FutureGov and Uscreates, was a co-founder of the UK Government’s Policy Lab, and combines 10 years of experience in Government with an MA in Graphic Design.

She speaks widely about the value of design and co-presented BBC Radio 4 The Fix. Cat is member of the RSA’s Decolonising Design Commission, on the faculty of States of Change, and advisory boards for the Institute of Coding, the Well_Lab at Work and the Design Age Institute, and a member of D&AD’s Impact Council. She is a member of The Point People and a member of the East London WaterWorks Park. Cat will be talking about the Design Council's Design for Planet mission and call to action.