4 More Events You Need to Attend During San Francisco Design Week
Encompassing thousands of prominent artisans, 14 annual maker-focused events and at least 20 retailers devoted to locally made goods, San Francisco’s vibrant maker-community has helped cement the region’s national reputation as a leader in creative industry.
Progressive design in particular has always thrived here, fueled by related local strengths in tech innovation and visual culture. Enter San Francisco Design Week, a citywide festival that convenes visionaries near and far from graphic design, architecture, fashion, tech, furniture and other design-driven sectors to exchange ideas and generally celebrate all things design.
Presented annually by AIGA San Francisco, the city’s professional association for design, the 2016 iteration of Design Week marks the festival’s 10th anniversary and is now officially underway with hundreds of talks, workshops, studio tours, exhibitions and unique creative projects taking place at diverse host-venues across the Bay Area through June 9.
As you’d expect, industry insiders flock to this summit to explore the latest trends, take part in conversations about hot-button topics and network face-to-face with world-renowned designers and thought leaders. This year’s theme —"There's Just Something About the Bay"— explores San Francisco's unique impact on the global design community.
But you don’t have to be a professional or among the design elite to join the festivities. Anyone with a perspective on design and a passion for creativity will find loads of inspiration here and gain a window onto exactly what makes San Francisco a top design destination and hotbed for maker-entrepreneurs of all stripes.
Many events are open to the public. While most ticketed workshops and demos fall in the $30–$50 range, there are plenty of free offerings for members of the general public who are curious about San Francisco’s design and maker ecosystems. Attractions sell out fast. Check AIGA’s website for the full schedule of events, locations and current availability, but here are a few of our picks:
Posters (Affiches, Plakate, ポスター)
June 8-15, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
This week-long exhibition—curated by San Francisco-based design studio Manual and presented at Zinc Details—showcases rare modernist posters from notable Swiss, Dutch, German and Japanese designers, including Wim Crouwel, Josef Müller-Brockmann, Armin Hofmann, Otl Aicher, Hans Neuburg, Paul Rand, Massimo Vignelli, Ikko Tanaka and Yusaku Kamekura. Many works are from private collection and have never been on view before.
Playing the Soundbox: Performance Space as Laboratory
Thursday, June 9, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
In 2014, the San Francisco Symphony transformed its warehouse rehearsal space into SoundBox, an experimental-music venue featuring a state-of-the art Meyer Sound system and an edgy performance agenda. Hosted at AIGA’s headquarters, this talk features the Symphony’s Richard Lonsdorf and leading San Francisco arts blogger Mark Rudio in conversation about the ways SoundBox is transforming the conventional concert experience.
Emerging Bay Area Designers: The Business of Design
Tuesday, June 7, 1-1:45 p.m.
Held at ShopFloor, a showroom and metal shop in the Dogpatch design district, an exhibition of work by rising stars in the local world of furniture design includes pieces from Galanter & Jones, Alexis Moran, Mike Danielson, J Liston Design, blankblank and ShopFloor Design. In a related program, Janet Lees of SF Made moderates a panel discussion among the designers.
Wednesday, June 8, 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Named a must-see destination by Wired magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, Autodesk’s special projects gallery is located inside its Market Street headquarters and offers changing installations dedicated to “exceptional design and engineering from across the globe.” Design Week attendees are invited behind the scenes for a guided tour.
Photo: San Francisco Design Week