8th Annual Boston Design Week April 28-May 9 Offers 50+ Virtual and Outdoor Events

  • BOSTON, Massachusetts
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  • April 19, 2021

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Public art in Boston has an impact on the design of the city. Courtesy of Boston Art Review.

Boston, MA - Boston Design Week returns April 28 – May 9 for its 8th annual festival,  featuring 50+ virtual and outdoor events, including the annual Design Week Awards on Friday May 7th.  Under the theme “Spring Forward!”, this 12-day design festival offers a range of virtual programs featuring nationally-known guest speakers, panel discussions, behind-the-scenes tours and more.  A special festival section titled “Landscape Design and Outdoor Life” will offer live outdoor events such as walking tours, architectural site visits, and landscape design explorations.  All events are open to the public and FREE. The full calendar of events can be found at www.BostonDesignweek.com. For more information call 617-363-0405.

Preservation of the Christian Science Plaza, courtesy of Boston Preservation Alliance

Attendees are welcomed into the world of design, shedding light on groundbreaking ideas in architecture, interior design, placemaking, computer assisted design (CAD), the role of design in marketing, and the current and future design of Boston. Societal issues are also brought into the conversation such as the impact of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic on design, design sustainability, preservation, and social equity. 

Boston Design Week launches on Wednesday April 28, with five outstanding Kick-Off events: a Boston Globe panel of experts on the impact of the runaway real estate market on the design industry; an up-close interview with Boston’s own Miguel Rosales, the architect/designer of the Zakim and numerous other iconic bridges nationwide; a presentation from PARK USA, which has guided design for companies such as Nestle, Sony, BMW and numerous others on how design impacts a business’ bottom line; and Boston Seaport by WS Development hosts “Seaport Sessions: Design Seaport Spring 2021”, a panel moderated by Chris Grimley of OverUnder, with the principals of the latest two winning design teams who will have their installations on view in the neighborhood. Finally, enjoy “Bold BOOM Universe” presented by Eliot Scholl of Fine & Applied Arts which will explore an exhibition of bold works on paper through diverse representative storytelling, concept art, comics, and illustration.  

For interior design aficionados and professionals, Design Week offers a stunning range of events, many suited to the season and to our new post-pandemic understanding of how we want our homes to be both efficient and nurturing. Guest Design Week producer and design journalist Kyle Hoepner presents two panels of experts on germane subjects: “Lasting Lessons 2020 Taught Us About Our Living Spaces” and  “Landscapes Made for a Living World” which explores how our garden designs can be beautiful and also beneficial to local ecosystems.  Other interior design programs include: new fabrics for outdoor furniture from Brown Jordan; insights into “Designing with Light” form Currey & Company; an outdoor event with the kitchen and bathroom experts Divine Stoneworks in Ashland; a look at remodeling living spaces for the evolving family with Feinmann, Inc.; an open house and special event at Sigma Design Center in Wakefield; a behind-the-scenes tour of the Merida workshop in Fall River where exquisite rugs are made from rapidly replenishable plant-based fibers.  And, if you are getting away from home, there is even a panel on “Designing the Ultimate Getaway” with Eleven Interiors and bArchitecture Studio.

Brown Jordan presents new fabrics for summer.

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

Boston Design Week is dedicated to recognizing leadership and talent within the design community at The Boston Design Week Awards. The 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez: a master furniture maker and President Emeritus of the North Bennet Street School.  The Producers Choice Award will be presented to The Society of Arts and Crafts.  Nominations have been submitted for four other awards: Mentor of the Year, cosponsored by the Over My Shoulder Foundation; Newcomer of the Year, the Social Impact Award and the Community Spirit Award.  These awards will be announced and presented on Friday May 7th, with event details to be announced.

Numerous other organizations, businesses and talented designers are also presenting their work, their innovations, and their design solutions for a rapidly changing world.  A final panel presented by Kyle Hoepner in his “eyes Forward” series takes a critical look at “Designing the Boston People Will Love in 2121” and asks “Are we really making the places, neighborhoods, and amenities that will keep Boston vibrant in the future?”.  Boston Design Week offers the public a chance to both catch up on the latest trends and to look ahead to what our design future holds. 

All Boston Design Week programs are open to the public, and almost all are free of charge, but many do require an RSVP to attend, and virtual events do sell out. For more information or to receive the Boston Design Week eNews, visit www.BostonDesignWeek.com.  Follow along on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bostondesignweek, Twitter @BosDesignWeek, or Instagram @BostonDesignWeek.

Tony Fusco
Fusco & Four - Boston Design Week

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