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Activity: Takes place with a fixed time and schedule
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8th February
17:00 to 19:00
10 You will earn 10 silver points for completing this activity.
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Inspirer#2 Connecting Past & Future

8th February 17:00 to 19:00
This year the Unit X Inspirer series is working in partnership with Design Factory and our research Readers in Design to spotlight and celebrate local creativity. Drawing on leading designers across Manchester and Stockport, Connecting Past & Future spotlights the work of Coral Murphy, Founder of Emiko and Wild May Studio

These talks will be an opportunity to inspire your thinking during Unit X, and for those who attend in person, you can claim RISE points as additional credits! All talks will be recorded and available afterward on this webpage.

A little info about our partner this year, Design Factory

Manchester Design Factory is a new innovation hub at Manchester School of Art. It is a vehicle for our community of practitioners, researchers, and students to design locally-based sustainable development with the potential to reach well beyond our city. We take a participatory approach to designing innovation that is social and inclusive. The first project that we are working on is the Arts Council-funded Creative Campus project in Stockport. Through this activity, the Design Factory will be able to apply design thinking and doing to the theme of ‘Repurpose’, working with creative businesses and social enterprises to actively develop sustainable ways of collectively thriving. Stockport can be a microcosm for creating positive change which works with what we have, and by design amplifies what we need more of.

Coral Murphy, Emiko

Coral founded Emiko 4 years ago. With a background in trying to make it in the fashion industry but failing and living in Hong Kong, she found it hard to find neutral-style clothing for her Daughter. Consequently, she began making them herself, giving rise to Emiko. Over the course of 2-3 years, the business went from being a part-time hobby to adult clothing.

Starting from home, Coral moved Emiko to a brick-and-mortar store, hiring a few part-timers to help manufacture her designs. Now Emiko is a team of 9 fantastic girls, designing and crafting all clothing in their two micro-factories in Stockport. Making all their clothing from natural or recycled fibers, deadstock fabric, and vintage damaged materials to give them new life. Inspired by Japanese silhouettes and vintage workwear pieces, they now have a huge international audience.

At Emiko, they are passionate about supporting all creatives, big and small, as they know the importance of having a platform. Their second micro-factory will officially open in Feb 2024 as a creative studio space for hot desks, workshops, and events. Additionally, they are working on setting up a photography and podcast studio.

Wild May Studios

Rebecca May and Michael Wild are Artists, Designers and Educators and co-founders of social arts practice May Wild Studio, creating artworks challenging the conventions between visual art and traditional craft making. Using storytelling, collaboration and participatory projects, our work raises awareness and encourages conversation around themes of storytelling, people and place and local/global environmental issues. Combining traditional craft methods with new technologies and materials we are passionate about the co-create process and working with people to create art. May Wild Studio have over 20 years combined arts teaching and engagement experience across Gtr. Manchester and the UK in FE/HE education, Colleges, Schools, Community groups, Galleries, Museums and Charities.

Recent Co-create and participatory public artworks/projects include:

Rochdale Town Hall – 3 co-create art commissions – The Bright Hall, Mayors Dining Room and Café space. Working with 10 communities across Rochdale. 2022/23

‘Radical Kindness’ Seed Mural- Oldham Council/Action Together Org co-creating with communities across Oldham. 2021

‘Many Types of Graces’ for RNCM/Corridor of Light in Manchester – co-creating a light/text installation artwork and sound installation with International Music Students. 2021

‘Tame’ for Tameside Council and ‘Stories of Stalybridge Waterways’ A HAZ project for Stalybridge Town of Culture co-creating with Tameside/Stalybridge communities. 2022.

Associated Badges:

In A Nutshell...

  • Collaborate... with industry leading experts in the field of Design
  • Upskill... on the debates happening right now within the design industry in Manchester & Stockport
  • Show leadership... and the opportunity to demonstrate creative problem solving in practice
  • Engage... with a industry leading speakers across a range of engaging creative themes
  • Earn up to 10 Rise points ... which can be recognised within your degree.


  • place 17:00 to 19:00 on 08/02/24 - BZ 403 and then (Benzie Building, 4th floor lecture theatre)
    attend in-person inspirer talk