For years Boston Design Week has been New England’s leading design industry event for those longing to learn about what goes into creating good design as well as its effects on communities and people. The organization has been responsible for increasing public awareness and enhancing the appreciation of design, fostering recognition of the vital role design plays in our lives, and bringing new audiences of various disciplines, industries, and non-profits together.

As in previous years, special presentations and workshops will be active around Boston’s hub, in addition to online exhibits and demonstrations. Participants can expect to see and learn from custom builders, interior designers, furniture makers, textile designers, designer accessories, graphic designers, web designers, architects, specialized showrooms and retail, paints, wallpapers, muralists, lighting design, kitchen, and bath design.

On Wednesday, April 28, four kick-off events will take place; of particular interest will be the insights from a panel of experts when they discuss the unimaginable boom in real estate and its relationship to design. Next on tap is an interview with Boston’s own Miguel Rosales, the architect/designer of the Zakim and other iconic bridges around the nation. There will be a PARK USA presentation, well-recognized for their work with major corporations; they will share the impact good design has on their bottom-lines. Finally, from “Design Seaport Spring 2021,” a panel discussion with design team principals Elle Gerdeman and Sean Canty is on the schedule and not to be missed.

For the 2021 season, highlights include; Landscape Design and Outdoor Life, with several Special Focus Tracks, such as Designing Boston, Design and Social Impact, Professional Focus, and Technical Design. Learn about the importance and types of designing techniques that play a role in Landscape Architecture in commercial and residential settings, new concepts for creating unique gardens, pools, patios, and decks for entertaining, along with thoughtful designs for playscapes and parks.

This year’s Special Focus Tracks offer exceptional opportunities for learning and sharing; they include:

ARCHITECTURE AND URBAN PLANNING 

Discover the future of design and its role in the City of Boston through historic preservation, architecture, and urban planning.

 

PROFESSIONAL FOCUS

Learn about design industry programs, new products and applications, continuing education, and design competitions.


DESIGN AND ITS SOCIAL IMPACT

Topics for discussion in these sessions include sustainable design and recycling, design and racial justice, design with social purpose, how design affects the environment.


HANDMADE DESIGN 

Join in the exciting topics of artisanal, bespoke, custom, and hands-on design.

Live outdoor events include a Victorian Walking Tour of Back Bay presented by the Gibson House Museum, group outings and tours of Herter Park presented by the Charles River Watershed Association, a preservation site visit to the Christian Science Center offered by Boston Preservation Alliance, and walking tours given by theEmerald Necklace Conservancy. 

As for virtual programs that focus on our landscapes, outdoor environments, and design of public spaces, art and architecture tours are planned by the MIT List Visual Arts Center; there is the exploration of the redesign of City Hall Plaza presented by the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD); Sasaki Associates takes a look at how Beyond Walls in Lynn builds equity through placemaking; and an overview from The Trustees of Reservations about their East Boston project, now underway to transform a dilapidated pier into a welcoming waterfront destination, Piers Park III.

With record building, renovations, and remodeling taking place around the country, this year’s Boston Design Week Festival will play its most significant role for those in the industry, the curious, and of course, thousands upon thousands of home and property owners everywhere. 

Please note that all Boston Design Week programs are open to the public, and most are free of charge, although many do require an RSVP to attend, and virtual events do sell out. H

Visitors can expect the opportunity to visit more than 50 virtual and outdoor events, including the Annual Design Week Awards on Friday, May 7. Registration will open on April 1 and can be found at BostonDesignweek.com.