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Countdown to GEOTN

Countdown to celebration of the North

Published on: 18 June 2018

The countdown has begun to the launch of the Great Exhibition of the North, which starts this Friday.

Celebrating the North

Expected to be the biggest event in England this year, the 80-day festival will tell the story of the North of England and how its innovators, businesses, artists and designers have shaped our present and are inspiring our future.

The University will be involved in some of the main events and activities taking place throughout the Exhibition. Grey's Monument will be transformed into The Workers' Maypole by Newcastle University Fine Art lecturer Neil Bromwich and his collaborator Zoe Walker. Real-time data collected by the Urban Observatory - measuring everything from air pollution, traffic and weather to energy use and even tweets – will be used to generate a poem that will tell the live story of our city as it unfolds. While at Newcastle Helix, the Future Homes exhibition will showcase some of the ideas developed by academics from our School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape for new ways to build and power our homes. Visitors will be able to see inside a virtual reality home that visualises how the technologies of today could transform the way we will live tomorrow.

Newcastle University architecture experts are also collaborating with Northern Stage and Sheffield-based theatre company Third Angel on ‘Self-build Utopias’ which will present ideas for a more creative and sustainable future.

Visitors will be able to follow three trails through the city to learn about some of the ground-breaking innovations of the North. One of these, the Innovation trail, will take visitors through the heart of the Newcastle University campus and onto the Newcastle Helix site.

All three trails start at the Great North Museum: Hancock, at the Which Way North exhibition, and at regular points throughout the exhibition some of our researchers will be talking to museum visitors about their work.

Professor Eric Cross, Dean of Cultural Affairs, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the Great Exhibition of the North. It offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase the amazing art, culture and innovation that has come out of the North - from the inventions of the past that revolutionised the way we live to how we are leading the way in creating a sustainable future.”

‘Inspired By’ programme

Alongside the main programme, the University will host an exciting series of ‘Inspired By’ events and activities. This will highlight some of the University’s world-leading research in smart cities, sustainability, cultural heritage, creative arts, and ageing through a variety of performances, talks and exhibitions.

Confirmed events include ‘A History of Computing’, an exhibition at the Urban Sciences Building that will explore the evolution of computing. Visitors will be able to see examples of historic computers that have provided Newcastle University’s computing service over the last 60 years, including a Ferranti Pegasus computer, believed to have been the first computer in the whole of the North East.

Also taking place will be a screening of 'Age is just a bingo number' a short film created by PhD student Simona Palladino, and a series of ‘Café Scientifique’-style talks covering issues such as flooding, synthetic biology, cultural heritage and the future of transport.

Artworks by staff and students in the School of Arts and Cultures will also feature, including the installation of ‘Vessel’ an acclaimed sculpture by Professor Andrew Burton.

Events are being added to the University’s ‘Inspired by’ programme regularly. For an up to date list of everything happening on campus as part of Great Exhibition of the North visit our events page

Great Exhibition of the North receives funding from a variety of sources including public and private sector. Visit the website  for details.  

 Logo used with permission from NewcastleGateshead Initiative. 

Image of the Workers' Maypole by Neil Bromwich and Zoe Walker.


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