With over 50 events in just two days the second edition of the Vancouver’s official interdisciplinary design festival came to a close Sunday afternoon. An eventful weekend offered a rare opportunity for the general public to experience design; to step inside design studios, open houses and to meet the creative minds behind them. For the designers it was a chance to connect, collaborate across disciplines and showcase their work. With an abridged program this year, Vancouver Design Week is already gearing up for 2018 with the return of the full 10 day event.
This year’s festival started off with an balloon themed opening party in Alley Opp co-hosted by VIVA Vancouver, the DVBIA, HCMA, Tangible Interactions, Roaming Dragon and Faculty Brewing that saw over 600 attendees—launching VDW in style. Over the following two days, 57 venues grouped in four major hubs welcomed the curious and the design savvy.
“The opening party is a new element for us and I think we set a high bar for next year. As for the weekend events, we had close to 60 host participants showcase their work over the two days. Studios have reported record attendance; most ticketed events sold out; and the Tastings (new this year) received rave reviews.” Recaps Jennifer Cutbill, director of VDW and continues “Now, we have to take this energy and momentum and channel it into the return of the 10 day festival in 2018. We’re eager to get more local designers involved; to expand our curated programing; and to work with the City, the Vancouver Economic Commission, Vancouver Tourism, the World Design Week Network, and others to expand our international presence. We have world class design talent living and working in our city, but to spotlight them on the global stage, and to establish Vancouver as a city of design will take investment from all key stakeholders”.
During The Week(end) a panel was hosted at City Hall with ten designers across different design disciplines to discuss the value of design and the impact it can have on our City. “The fact that the panel was hosted at City Hall shows the City is starting to understand the importance of design, and hopefully this will foreshadow their much needed support. It was also inspiring to hear common threads of social and ecological justice, inclusion and equality affirmed by all panelists, reinforcing these characteristics as part of a defining Vancouver design ethos” says Jennifer Cutbill.
Next year Vancouver Design Week will come back with a ten day program focused on the theme of impact. This theme and platform provides an unparalleled opportunity to further explore interdisciplinary design collaborations, and to celebrate and empower the deep eco-social ethic that drives connects the work of our local design community.