Celebrate Austin design through a week of free workshops, talks, studio tours and events this November as the city celebrates its creative community in the third annual Austin Design Week.

Meet The Masterminds Behind Austin Design Week

By now, you’ve hopefully glanced over the schedule for this year's Austin Design Week! And, if you’re like me, you have been tediously reading every single event, organizing and creating your very own schedule. And let me tell ya, it is a difficult task to select which events out of the 60 you want the attend.

From a tour at fd2s graphic design studio to an exploration of street art and chalk presented by Liza Fishbone, the masterminds behind ADW put together this special week filled of awe-inspiring events for the creative Austinites like you and me.

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They answered some questions about the discovery + creation of Austin Design Week, so let’s dive in!

Where did the idea of ADW stem from? What was the motivating factor behind ADW?

Candice:

" Not being designers ourselves, but all having worked with designers, we saw a need for community that could bring together designers across verticals. We saw the talent and creativity Austin had to offer and we thought, what if we were all combining forces?”

We saw the talent and creativity Austin had to offer and we thought, what if we were all combining forces?”

Who helped you accomplish this the most?

Candice:

It was the proof point for me that Austin wants, needs, and deserves their own design week.”

“So, so many people! Doreen Lorenzo has been a huge supporter, gave our kickoff speech last year, and is on our board this year — we’re all sort of fangirls of her and her accomplishments for design in Austin. Hugh Forrest of SXSW was also a significant early backer- having his support and advice has been crucial, and finally, the design community! All of our programming comes from community submissions, meaning the entire week is only as good as our submissions and the hosts that propose them! The design organizations are already out there doing incredible things in their respective spaces. They already have been community partners from the beginning and a huge reason we’re able to do this (CreativeMornings, AIA, AIGA, Fresh2Design, SEGD, etc)

“Without our sponsors we wouldn’t be able to deliver free and inclusive programming to the greater community of Austin, and we hope to continue to support that year over year. I also don’t want to forget the amazing volunteers who give their time to support our hosts and attendees in having an amazing experience. It was the proof point for me that Austin wants, needs, and deserves their own design week."

In what ways has ADW grown from its initial start year?

Candice:

“We’ve almost doubled the amount of events and hosts we’ve been able to include this year — we have 60 different events!”

Danielle:

“We also have a lot more volunteer support. We had some awesome individuals who helped with social media, PR and coordinating volunteers, and this year we have full teams out of people work are contributing to the Relationships, Programming, and Communications that makes Austin Design Week a success.”

How did the word spread about ADW amongst participants and attendees?

Danielle:

“It was really important to us to bring together design groups and leaders who have already been working so hard to build the community. One of the first things we did in our first year was build an Advisory Board with leaders who represented different design sectors, that could help us reach the rest of the Austin design community, and help us curate the week. The Advisory Board continues to be a crucial piece to making Austin Design week a success.

“We also brought on Royal Frasier to help with PR in our first year and she helped us share the news with various publications. We had an article in CultureMap, the Chronicle, and mentions in SiliconHills, and myStatesman.

Amber:

“Our community partners, our board members, and reaching out to people to submit event proposals all helped spread word-of-mouth. Once the schedule was chosen, hosts also promoted their events. During the actual weeklong event, there was a lot of buzz and people telling their friends. We had a lot of people last year write us, ‘I just found out about Austin Design Week and am so bummed I missed it — how do I get involved next year?’ The branding itself has been pivotal, and thanks to The Label Collective, our mark has been made.

“The branding itself has been pivotal, and thanks to The Label Collective, our mark has been made in the city.

“…I even got it tattooed on my arm when we kicked off ADW17 and it’s been one of the BEST ways to spark up a conversation about what Austin Design Week is: simple, gorgeous, and catches the eye.”

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Why do you think the design community is so unique in Austin? What’s special about Austin designs community?

Danielle:

“Austin has such a rich spread of design talent from digital agencies, internal design teams, brilliant architects, interior designers, and people who are applying design to solve big problems in our city. There’s a lot of momentum to continue to build community in Austin.

“Austin is unique and ever changing and their design community is no different. This city’s “weird” allows people to embrace their creativity in how they solve problems, express themselves, and impact the greater community.

"Austin has such a rich spread of design talent — from digital agencies, internal design teams, brilliant architects, interior designers, and people who are applying design to solve big problems in our city. There’s a lot of momentum to continue to build community in Austin.

"Groups like AIA, AIGA, and CreativeMornings have been awesome at that. Fresh2Design came around more recently to support the newer-to-design community. Then, of course, there has to be a lot of creative energy and excitement to collaborate and come together and curate something like Austin Design Week."

What are you most excited for in this upcoming ADW?

Amber:

“I think the content line up is what is most exciting as well as the overwhelming support of the City of Austin in bringing their point of view on design into the mix. I’m also STOKED to meet attendees and hear their stories of how design impacts their lives and fall in love with Austin more and more!

I’m also STOKED to meet attendees and hear their stories of how design impacts their lives and fall in love with Austin more and more!”

Candice:

“The Hub space is going to be really incredible with great programming and some fantastic installations. That piece of ADW was a personal project of mine, and I’m just so excited to have a central creative space for the week to revolve around and to grow it in the coming years!

“I’m also pretty excited about some of the diversity programming this year (Reclaiming Space: Feminism & Place-Making:#BossBabesATX; Designing Parenthood: ProMama; Designing for the 100%; City of Austin).”

Danielle:

“Oh that’s hard — so many things! Echoing Candice, I’m really excited about the mix of topics we’ll see covered. I’m also looking forward to some new formats — a walking tour of Austin, events in partnership with the City of Austin, round table discussions at the HUB. I also can’t wait for the studio tours — companies put a lot of thought into what they’ll showcase, and attendees have the chance to meet a lot of really awesome leaders who are shaping design.”


Shoutout to Danielle, Candice, and Amber for their tireless efforts to make the second annual Austin Design Week the best one yet! I hope you all are pumped for the variety of studio tours, workshops, and speakers, as this week is loaded with creative inspiration and knowledge. See you all in November! And hey, maybe you’ll bump into one of these awesome women!

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The Austin Design Week Blog is curated and produced in partnership with Left Right Media. Left Right Media is a creative agency in Austin, specializing in branding, web design, app design and digital strategy. Their success is a result of both an analytical (left) and creative (right) approach to design.

SAVE THE DATE: November 5-9, 2018