The Return of Vancouver Design Week

April 29, 2018
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A  celebration of world-class local design talent born from a wide variety of disciplines returns May 7 as Vancouver Design Week. The week-long event will feature design studio tours, design tastings, talks, workshops and landmark tours.

Inspired by Vancouver’s most impactful designers, artists, architects, creators and spaces, Vancouver Design Week invites attendees to take part in thinking about design on a global and sustainable scale through a variety of city-wide workshops, events and activities. The celebration’s full schedule of events and showcases are to be nestled among some of the city’s most vibrant districts including Downtown, Gastown/Railtown, Lonsdale, Chinatown, Armoury, Mt. Pleasant and UBC. The official interdisciplinary design festival holds IMPACT as its central theme and will be held from May 7th to 13th at some of Vancouver’s most evolved and unique spaces, studios, firms and ateliers.

From talks to tours, exhibitions to workshops, to a variety of exciting parties, design from all disciplines will open its doors to conversations, installations and celebrations of all scales, uncovering the unique design ecosystems that shape, define and sustain our city. At VDW, design process, practice and perspectives are showcased through a wide range of independent and collaborative programming.

Theme: Impact
Almost every object, service and built environment that we interact with on a daily basis have been designed by a creative mind. Born from invested time, energy and creativity, as well as research and analysis, conceptualization, testing, development, and ultimately production/implementation, innovative and new solutions are brought into being. Eachaffect how we live, whether directly or indirectly, and as such, each has a spectrum of impacts – from the intended to the unexpected.

Jane Cox, Vancouver Design Foundation’s Board Chair explains, “By engaging cross-sectoral partners and supporting our local design community, we can increase the understanding and engagement of design as a tool for problem-solving and innovation, ultimately amplifying the capacity of our region’s design talent for even greater positive impact.”

Notable additions to VDW’S 2018 program:
» VDW Design Landmarks: Design Landmarks are spaces voted by Vancouverites as the city’s most impactful. Visitors are encouraged to explore, tour and learn about the stories behind the spaces – from the design teams that created them. This year includes The Polygon Gallery toured by Patricia and Jon Patkau, Saturday, May 12, 1 pm.

» VDW Design Talk: Making the Invisible Visible in Canadian Design: Friday, May 11, 5:30 pm. Reliance Theatre at Emily Carr University of Art and Design: Western Canadian design has been, in practice, largely unseen in Canadian life and in the international design market. Spend an evening with five designers whose work challenges this anonymity and brings attention to the value and impact that West Coast design contributes to on a local and a global scale. Speakers: Bonne Zabolotney (Vice President Academic + Provost, ECUAD); Mo Dhaliwal (Director of Strategy, Skyrocket Digital) David Battersby (Partner, BattersbyHowat Architects Inc.); Michael Leckie (Principal, Leckie Studio); and Kate Duncan (Designer, Kate Duncan Furniture Design). Moderated by Anicka Quin (Editorial Director, Western Living & Vancouver magazine) and Leanne Prain (President, GDC BC)

» VDW Design Talk: Alison Brooks speaks on IDEALS THEN IDEAS: New Urban Housing as Civic Architecture. Wednesday, May 9, 7 pm. UBC Robson Square: Award-winning London architect Alison Brooks will speak on Housing as Advocacy, considering ideas of civic and social responsibility in our fast-growing housing market. Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects in London, Alison Brooks is recognized as one of the leading female architects of her generation.

» VDW Participant: Native Shoes: Designing Future Classic Product and a Retail Space for a Beast Free Brand: Saturday, May 12, Noon to 1 pm. Native Shoes Store, Gastown. Michael Belgue, Creative Director and VP Marketing and Scott Hawthorn, Founder and CEO cover environmental/sustainable product development and how they were able to translate those design pillars into their first retail space.