It’s time for the 15th edition of San Francisco Design Week, which usually attracts 60,000 visitors from around the world, but this year will exist only online, offering a variegated program from 7 to 13 June. The event tackles the theme of Power: “power is everywhere. It’s local and global, personal and public, selfish and selfless. There is power in the food we eat, the music we make, and the ideas we share.” The event urges us to reconsider our way of thinking about power, calling existing institutions into question to see how we can use our collective abilities to help to distribute and delegate power in an equitable way.
The changing society is the central focus, along with the role of designers to guide this transformation. The issues are addressed through a program of conferences, webinars and virtual tours with leading designers across various disciplines, from user experience to interactive design, VR applications to virtual art, all the way to branding, architecture, interior design and fashion.
Events and personalities not to be missed: Alana Washington, Senior Design Program Manager of Uber Freight, reflecting on social and racial inequalities and how these differences can influence designers and companies; the podcast Technically Speaking with Harrison Wheeler, amplifying the voices of under-represented youth to inspire the next generation of designers from different backgrounds; Hire me by Irrie Catchings III and Julia Fernandez, an initiative to promote new talents; the Spotlight with Zahid Sardar series, in which the design editor discusses the role of design to find solutions and foresee new needs.
Furthermore: Small Batch&Made to Order is a digital and physical exhibition on the most innovative and sustainable new products of the platform of local makers Bay Area Made; the talk Designing Leadership by Elise Granados, Senior Design Director of Nike, on how to be a design leader, how to establish leadership, and at the same time how to create an effective team; The power of design of Kids & Art Foundation, which narrates design’s power to alleviate even the most difficult moments of childhood illness through design.
The design week is also a good opportunity to virtually visit important studios and museums, such as MoMA San Francisco, the production studios of Ciel Creative Space used for photo and film shoots, and the space of Phnam Bagley and Mardis Bagley, where they produce virtual settings and create physical products, including a materials library in collaboration with Material ConneXion, a complete workshop and prototyping areas. Finally, there are the Innovation Design Awards 2021, with winners announced on 11 June.