Introducing Unboxed: A pageant of creativity for the UK

Jokingly dubbed by some as the Festival of Brexit when it was first announced that the UK would host a celebration of creativity back in 2018, the team behind the upcoming festival has finally revealed details of what the public can expect from it.

The £120 million project, which is funded by the four governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, is aiming to bring millions of people together via a series of free, large-scale events, installations and globally accessible digital experiences during spring and summer 2022.

Top: Visual identity for Unboxed. Above: Dreamachine, image courtesy Collective Act

Among the announcements made today are the unveiling of the programme’s official name, Unboxed: Creativity in the UK, and the branding for the project, which was led by Sea (identity design), Studio Art & Commerce (cultural brand experience) and Strat House (human insight).

Helmed by chief creative officer Martin Green, the organiser of the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2012 London Olympics plus the Hull City of Culture 2017, the festival is being led by ten collaborative teams from across the worlds of art, technology, engineering, science and maths.

Galwad, courtesy Collective Cymru

Programme highlights include Dreamachine, an artwork by Turner Prize winners Assemble, Grammy and Mercury nominated composer Jon Hopkins and a team of scientists and philosophers that is inspired by the work of radical artist Brion Gysin and explores the limitless potential of the human mind, and Galwad, a story set 30 years in the future in Wales, which is being co-designed by National Theatre Wales with Hollywood production designer Alex McDowell and communities across the country.

There’s also Our Place in Space, an epic scale model of the solar system designed by artist Oliver Jeffers, with support from astrophysicist Professor Stephen Smartt and composer Die Hexen, and Tour de Moon, a series of festivals, satellite events, nightlife experiences and a travelling convoy inspired by the moon, which is being led by Nelly Ben Hayoun Studios, among a raft of other creative projects.

Our Place in Space

Speaking about the mission behind Unboxed, Green says: “Hundreds of creatives from across science, technology, engineering, arts and maths are creating extraordinary once-in-a-lifetime events and online experiences for millions in the UK’s biggest and most ambitious public creative programme to date.

“Unboxed represents an unprecedented and timely opportunity for people to come together across the UK and beyond and take part in awe-inspiring projects that speak to who we are and explore the ideas that will define our futures.”

Tour de Moon, render by Benjamin Mehigan

Unboxed: Creativity in the UK runs from March 1 – October 2 2022;