Print this page
Thursday, 27 February 2014 11:13

West Michigan Design Week to highlight local talent, innovations

Written by 
Rate this item
(5 votes)

A group of local design industry professionals are collaborating to assemble a series of events for the first-ever West Michigan Design Week.

Given the depth of design talent throughout the region, local organizers aim to showcase the various disciplines of design work from both firms and individuals.

Despite the reticence of the region’s conservative corporate culture to brag about its capabilities, the planners behind West Michigan Design Week want to do just that with a loosely affiliated series of events from May 5-10. Their plan is modeled off other Design Week programs in creative hubs around the country including Portland, San Francisco and New York.

As professional design groups, we all have the same struggle telling our story and getting the word out to our regional as well as national audience,” said Gwen O’Brien, president of the AIGA West Michigan chapter and one of the event’s chief organizers. “This event is meant to show why designers matter and why design matters here.”

Design Week coincides with TEDx Grand Rapids as well as graduation and student exhibitions at Kendall College of Art and Design — also an event collaborator.

Included in the effort is Design West Michigan, American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids, and the local chapters of the Industrial Design Society of America, the International Interior Design Association, the American Society of Interior Designers and the Interaction Design Association.

The city of Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids Public Schools and the Grand Rapids Art Museum are also expected to be involved, said O’Brien, noting the planners hope to also tap into design resources on the lakeshore, Southwest Michigan and Traverse City.

Together these groups are planning studio tours, product exhibitions, workshops, education events, films and guest speakers. Planners hope to lock in Richard Saul Wurman, an architect and creator of the original TED Conference series, as the keynote speaker. They also continue to look for support from area companies and community organizations.

A public question-and-answer session on West Michigan Design Week is slated for 6-7 p.m., Wednesday, March 5 at the Downtown Grand Rapids Inc. offices at 29 Pearl Street NW. Major announcements, including details about the current roster of sponsors and events, are expected at the meeting as well, according to organizers.

“The simple idea for the event is to put the spotlight on design here,” said Sara Klele, Design Week Chair for AIGA West Michigan. “Really, it’s just about celebrating the great design community that we have and to let everyone else know how much design work there is here. We want to get people talking and involved to bring more opportunities and awareness to the area.”

Read 4672 times Last modified on Sunday, 02 March 2014 19:39