San Francisco Design Week , which runs from June 14 to June 22, has become a way to showcase the world class design talents of the Bay Area. From cultural products to consumer tech to architecture to fashion, this community event has something for every kind of designer out there.
Put together by AIGA of San Francisco, this year’s schedule is filled to the brim with over 200 workshops, lectures and panel discussions and 60 studio tours. With a focus on the theme of “Question Everything,” there’s a whole lot of amazing going on, so here are some ideas to help you build your itinerary and get the most out of SFDW 2017:
Network at opening night
Start off the week with a highly curated bang at the Opening Night Party—and 10th anniversary bash of SFDW–at Pier 27, the city’s super cool glass and steel cruise ship terminal. You can fawn over and mingle (read: network) with well-known designers and entrepreneurs, and be entertained and inspired by interactive exhibits, an experiential installation and a live musical performance.
Be the best designer you can be
Although any event during SFDW promises to be a jolt of inspiration, some of the scheduled events are especially focused on career-building. Get your portfolio reviewed by top designers at Portfolio Day, join the Expressive Introverts Workshop for tips on effectively communicating with clients, or attend Designers on the Edge, a “jam session” to discuss how designers can make a positive social impact and take on work that aligns with their values.
Enter into creative spaces
SFDW’s popular Studio Crawl evenings (June 21 and June 22, 6-9 p.m.) give you the chance to peek into a wide array of inspiring workspaces that serve some of the city’s top architecture and design firms, startups and galleries. Included on the tour are Elephant, Rapt Studio, Upwork, Atlassian, Whipsaw, Transparent House, Mission Bicycle and COTA Innovation. The studios will be welcoming guests with plenty of drinks and snacks, casual chats (networking!), and even some live music.
Explore the city
While you’re still processing that panel discussion, take a break to get hands-on: head to the SF Center for the Book for a fun class in letterpress printing or bookbinding, or to The Crucible industrial arts center where you can dabble in glass-blowing or pretend to be a blacksmith. For some cinematic views, Twin Peaks (not that one) can’t be beat, and to get away from it all, relax at one of the city’s abundant green spaces, like the Golden Gate Park or Mission Dolores Park.
Indulge in culinary hotspots
One of the most important questions you’ll ask yourself during the week will be: ‘But where should I eat?’ In a city as diverse and creative as San Francisco, the options are endless. To make your decision a little easier, track down the closest food truck park or step into the Ferry Building, where forward-thinking chefs come together in a gorgeous, historical space. If you prefer to pair your meal with funky design, check out one of these restaurants. Afterward, stroll down Hayes Street for coffee and an eclectic shopping experience.