What You Need to Know About DESIGN WEEK RI 2017 (Other than the fact that it runs September 13-24)
It’s Bigger and Better
This is the fourth year and it continues to grow. Last year, more than 1,350 people took part in 45 events around the state - a 22% increase in attendees, including from neighboring states (17.5% from out of RI). This year’s schedule boasts 55 events in more than a dozen communities around the state with 82 partners, sponsors and hosts featuring over 65 designers - in a range of disciplines from architecture and interior design to app development and product design. With 12 days of events, calling it DESIGN WEEK RI at this point feels like a bit of an understatement.
You Can Learn from the Best
Go behind the scenes with Leah Benjamin, Rhode Island native and fashion designer to stars like Naomi Watts, Jessica Alba, and Lauryn Hill. Thank game designer/Providence resident Ryan Lesser for making your Guitar Hero and Rock Band fantasies a reality. Have breakfast with design leaders at the RI State House or see presentations from MacArthur Fellow Nicholas Benson and Forbes “30 Under 30” honoree Asher Dunn at a Marathon Clambake. The best and brightest design talents in the region, if not the country (if not the world), will be telling stories, sharing ideas, meeting, greeting, and networking. And then of course, let’s not forget this year’s keynote speaker: RISD grad Anthony Pannozzo from frog design.
People Outside the Design World Get It
If you think this is just a bunch of graphic artists, architects, and industrial designers, think again. Design processes and thinking are influencing all sorts of industries, and companies far outside the design world are using DESIGN WEEK RI as an opportunity to connect. Medical companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield RI and Ximedica are hosting events. CVS Health and (add)ventures will share the secrets of creative/corporate partnerships. Polaris MEP will examine the intersection of manufacturing, industrial design, and intellectual property. And the Newport Chamber hosts their Economic Luncheon on Smart Cities Design.
It’s a Party, Too
DESIGN WEEK RI is about moving the design industry forward, but it’s decidedly not all work/no play. We’re hosting two big soirees – our interactive and experiential Kick-off Party and our annual Design Hall of Fame Awards – and design firms around the state, including Focal Upright, Cleverhood, and Fuzion Design, will host Happy Hours. We’re creative people. We like to have fun.
We’ll Show You What We’ve Been Working On
Although this week is the highlight of our calendar, DESIGNxRI is working year-round to boost the creative community in Rhode Island. DESIGN WEEK will be your first look at some of our other projects. We’ve assembled a series of videos, a brochure, and a website to showcase Rhode Island’s design industry cluster to businesses and customers around the world – and we’re unveiling them on opening day (Wednesday, September 13).
There are Big Things Happening Around Us
DESIGN WEEK RI is typically bookended by two of the biggest and coolest gatherings for creative, innovative thinkers: the Business Innovation Factory (BIF) Summit at the start and the Better World by Design (BWxD) conference after. This year, the first annual Doors Open RI Festival is getting in on the mix, too, giving you a peek behind the (normally) closed doors of spaces like the State House, the Hudson Furs building (setting of the recent true crime thriller, The Last Good Heist), and the Columbus Theater. Plus, BWxD will be celebrating its tenth anniversary and BIF will present 32 stories of transformation from around the world.