Showcasing stand out design talent from the edge of the world
Vancouver’s official interdisciplinary design festival is back. After a successful first installation in 2014, Vancouver Design Week (VDW) is returning to showcase Vancouver’s defining design talent. This year’s festival will be an abridged program – a Vancouver Design Week(end), leading up to a 10-day program in 2018. VDW will kick off with a public launch party Friday May 12th, co-presented by VIVA Vancouver, HCMA, the DVBIA, Roaming Dragon, Faculty Brewing and others; and will follow with two days of open door programming, featuring: Open Studios, Open Buildings, Tastings and an Open Call. Together these events will allow the public to engage with over 45 established and emerging talents from across the broad spectrum of Vancouver’s design community.
Three Major Design Districts and Lots to See
The highlights of this year include: open studios at Patkau Architects, MGA, Burnkit, the Aviary, Casrscadden, Perkins+Will, PFS Landscape Architects, Yew Woodshop, with special workshops and programs including an in-studio presentation with Nicole Bridger, and live-shoemaking at Westerly handmade shoes; open building tours of 430 House by D’Arcy Jones (in collaboration with Vancouver Special and Rise Kombucha); Telus Garden by Henriquez Partners Architects, the new Crosstown Elementary school by Francl Architecture, and Adler University by Public Architecture and Communications; and Tastings at Small Victory Bakery with designer Leckie Studio, and a pantone tea blending cocktail experience by Tealeaves at Fairmont Pacific Rim—a PalletteForYourPalate.
These events and more are organized into three major districts. Venues in East Vancouver, Railtown, and Strathcona will open their doors Saturday May 13th from 11 to 2pm; venues in Gastown, Chinatown, Crosstown, Downtown and Yaletown Saturday from 1 to 4pm; and all locations South of False creek Sunday May 14th from 1 to 4pm (after Mother’s day brunch). The full event listing goes live today, with all venues easily located with our custom interactive map (designed by foundational VDW organizing team members Denim&Steel). “We have world class design talent living and working in our city, and Vancouver Design Week(end) is a unique opportunity to learn about the creative talent shaping it. With almost 50 design events in two days – you’ll need to plan your trip before you go to fit it all in,” says Jennifer Cutbill, director + co-founder of VDW.
‘Vancouver Design Week is really [about] bringing [design] to the public. Not the highbrow conversation that happens behind museum walls, but the conversation that happens on the bus in the morning.’
—MICHAEL GREEN, MGA
“Vancouverites appreciate intelligent design. Design that is useful, beautiful in a more natural way, simple, sustainable and made well”, says eco fashion designer Nicole Bridger as participant of Vancouver Design Week and continues, “We do not have old traditions of industry like other countries. It liberates us to create whatever we want.”
Architect D’arcy Jones adds “Vancouver design has the greatest impact when it embraces regionalism, our grey climate, our nature and pluralism, stirring the pot to make something new.”
Part of a Global Network
Since 2015, Vancouver Design Week (VDW) has been a participant in the World Design Week Network (WDWN). Officially launching as an international organization during Helsinki Design Week this fall, Vancouver’s formal membership in the WDWN will connect it to cities across the globe – from established design centres like London, Milan, Barcelona and Tokyo to emergents like Reykjavik, Mexico City, and Portland. These cities understand the advantages of supporting and celebrating a strong design culture – from boosting their economy, building their brand to creating healthier and happier cities in which to live, work and thrive.
“The UK has a National Design Council. Helsinki has a Chief Design Officer. Barcelona has a Design Centre – with a mandate to invest in design as a strategic tool for innovation, economic excellence, and improving quality of life. Beyond attracting international attention to our world class design talent; participation in the WDWN gives us the opportunity to bring back inspiring examples of what’s possible when cities invest in the transformative power of design.” comments Jennifer Cutbill, director + co-founder
About the VDW Platform
Vancouver Design Week is a not-for-profit social enterprise, created by a passionate team of volunteers from across design disciplines; with the support of generous contributions of time, talent and resources from the larger design community. In collaboration with some of the city’s most renowned designers, design institutions, entrepreneurs, educators, thinkers, and makers, Vancouver Design Week has been willed into being by a shared belief that design is imperative to improving the quality and potential of our city.