For some, the word design or designer is an enigma as much as it is used to describe a long list of multifaceted talents. As a catch-all expression, it often relates to abstraction, while bearing no intrinsic value, unless of course, someone is willing to purchase the result of the notion.
One look around, and it becomes evident that design isn’t necessarily associated with taste or style—but, it is usually tied to a hefty price tag.
The word design is thrown around like confetti—at cocktail parties and social gatherings of artist-types—the insignia has become a calling card for the 21st Century, with expressionism reaching new heights.
For the layperson, the word design or designer connotes a distant reality from daily necessities. Usually associated with a celebrity or at least tied to someone’s name, it makes little difference to them even though everything around them is (to paraphrase Miranda, from the movie, The Devil Wears Prada, “[made] for you by these people…”.
Common-place idioms such as a handbag, fashion or interior, are often associated with design, but there is so much more which goes unexplained.
Most of us cannot get through the day without hearing, seeing or purchasing something with a designer brand attached to it, and if we step back, it’s easy to understand the importance of giving authors recognition by acknowledging their identities and creations.
Considering what design means and its vast implications, we can only imagine a world lacking creativity, just to offer the sameness of the items we wear, carry; even how we live, work, and play.
To get a handle on the concept of design, we need to recognize that it’s a major component of our human existence.
Creativity and design are found everywhere, but the principals behind the tasks of producing something needs to be teased out of the process.
Someone had to style the shirt you’re wearing and the shoes on your feet. The car you drive took teams of “designers” countless hours of high-tech analysis to ensure your experience behind the wheel is invigorating. Another group of people spent years and millions of dollars working on the visual appeal of the exterior, so when your new wheels pass a crowd, you’ll hear them call out, “Wow.”
The sidewalks, buildings, and highways, all came from the depths of someone’s mind, and what we see is part of a progression which is never completed.
Of the thousands of websites you visit, the home you live in and the jewelry you wear, know that it began as a thought, and due to either luck or determination the result came to fruition and ended up as your reality.
The word designer comes with a source of pride for both the creator and the end-user. What remains to be unanswered is how populations attribute labels, such as good, bad or indifferent to the final work. It’s not so simple as going to a neighbor and asking what they think on the subject; depending on where you live, the question could be taken out of context and the thought of a false accusation—cast like a stone—could result in hard feelings.
If you are uneasy about the topic, fear not, help is on the way.
Celebrating its sixth-year running, Boston Design Week will be launching a 12-day citywide event, March 27–April 7, with the theme for the 2019 festival, Diversity in All Design Fields.
The annual-all-inclusive-spectrum of design and creative expression will span across the entire design world to provide insightful, provocative, and diverse experiences.
Always a successful showing, based on previous events, this year’s festival will offer over 70 activities to participants. With conservative estimates, this year’s celebration of design will attract over 20,000 attendees who will visit 13 Boston neighborhoods and 14 cities and towns in the immediate region.
Boston Design Week will begin on Wednesday, March 27, with five kick-offs in five locations, under the tent of, Then and Now. Events are scheduled in the South End, Back Bay, Seaport, Fenway, and at Fort Port.
Keeping with its commitment to be inclusive to all artists, the attractions being offered to the public will include; graphic design, fashion, interior design, technical design, historic preservation, architecture, and a few surprises.
Three stand-alone conferences are planned this year, highlighting various design-related topics.
MITX will hosts their annual Design Summit, which will bring together the industry’s leading experts who will discuss how design thinking and principals are being applied by organizations in the business of landscape.
Mad*Pow, a 2-day Health Experience Design Conference, focuses on the changing view of the design for healthcare. While a program entitled, Interventions: Narrative is a one-day symposium, hosted by students of Northeastern’s SCOUT program, will bring together creative leaders who will explore the roles that designers play as storytellers, activists, and influencers.
This year’s event will also look at stainability and high fashion at an open house at The School of Fashion Design at their Back Bay location, while Serenella presents a trunk show and book signing with author Cameron Silver; this event will be held at Marc Hall Design in the South End.
The Boston Design Center and Innovation and Design Building will be a key venue this year. A one day program is planned at the Boston Design Center and will include; an IFDA discussion on how design thinking can grow your business, followed by a designSkim panel on social media, featuring author and designer Erin Gates. At the Innovation and Design Building, Autodesk hosts an open house, “Design Night,” at their BUILD Space.
Historic architecture and preservation are in the forefront this year, with an architecture tour hosted by Trinity Church. Enjoy a behind the scenes look at the building and collections of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and tours of the studios at the Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic site, where some of America’s most beloved spaces were created and designed. Travel with the Boston Preservation Alliance through the history of the Christian Science Center Mother Church from 1894 to present day.
More than 20 museums, colleges, universities, and professional organizations serve as non-profit partners for the festival. The Boston Society of Landscape Architects, DLF New England, Harvard Art Museums, Institute for Human Centered Design, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Museum of Fine Arts, Peabody Essex Museum, School of Fashion Design, Scandinavian Cultural Center, and the Society of Arts & Crafts are among participants.
Design Week culminates with the Boston Design Week Awards on Friday, April 5 from 5:30–8: 30 pm, taking place in the stunning new gallery at the Artists for Humanity Epicenter.
The Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Roger Thomas, Executive Vice President of Design for Wynn Design & Development, and Principal, The Roger Thomas Collection. Of particular note is Roger’s current project—Encore Boston Harbor.
All Boston Design Week programs are open to the public, and most are free of charge, but may require an RSVP to attend. For more information or to receive the Boston Design Week newsletter and calendar of events, visit BostonDesignWeek.com.