You know things are bound to get interesting when vibrators and activism are spoken of in the same sentence.
I knew the opening reception for SF Design Week was going to be interesting when my Lyft driver pulled up next to me on Mission Street. He had the Lyft sticker on his car and a fellow passenger next to him, but I had to do a double take. His hair was graying; he was dressed in business casual. (This is, simultaneously, when I realized how ageist I was not believing he could be a Lyft driver.)
When he started talking to me in clearly what was a thick French accent, I couldn’t help but confide in him that I, too, had once lived in Paris. So, naturally, we proceeded to talk about our favorite French pastries. Then the conversation took an interesting left turn as we bemoaned on how to successfully navigating dating apps; we’re both still single.
After the Frenchman had dropped me off at Pier 27, I was immediately overwhelmed by the sweeping views of the entire East Bay as I began toward the check-in desk. Shortly after proclaiming and cementing my affiliation with Bob Cut, I was knighted with my own press pass and hastily made my way into the bowels of the building in front of me.
The opening reception gave us a sneak peek of the best of the week’s events with a certain courtesy and whim. Suffice to say this year’s theme of “Question Everything” was, truly, taken to heart.. From the sleek packaging of products from the high-end dispensary Harvest Shop in Hayes Valley to Crave’s line of sex toys that help to promote sensual, beautiful design, and sex-positivity. Nothing was left to the imagination.
When I thought of the word “design” – my mind recalled a narrow definition, of interior design and those hokey, but adorable, HGTV shows I watched growing up. But it’s 2017—and it’s San Francisco.
This year’s events highlight was rightly skewed toward how product design, technology, and ideas could all work harmoniously together. If anything, the opening reception gave me a new clear insight as to how all those aforementioned verticals could help humanity rise above the current dysfunctional fray.
AirBnB had a touching and eye-opening installation, “Shadow to Light”—an “apartment” designed thinking about how space brings biases and limited perspectives to light, and how we need to create spaces—literally and figuratively, speaking—that don’t leave communities and populations behind.
The evening was one of glitz and glamour, heaven and magic. Madness and sin. And meticulously styled, of course.
Here are some events, ranging from the engaging and thought-provoking to lighter fare, I’d recommend you checkout this upcoming week:
If you want your design to have a meaningful impact…Checkout “Designers on the Edge”
When: Monday, June 19th, 6:30pm-9:30pm
Where: California College of the Arts 1111 8th Street, San Francisco
Why: The Determined is hosting a rad jam session to get us thinking about how we can make meaningful choices in the design world to increase the impact design has on many of the world’s social and environmental causes. This will be a thought-provoking workshop that will leave participants with tangible solutions, not just more questions. //More info and tickets here
If you’re an introvert…Checkout “Expressive Introverts” workshop
When: Tuesday, June 20th 9am-11am
Where: 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600, San Francisco
Why: Maybe you are really into design but struggle with communicating your ideas or speaking up for your choices in the workplace (or just the real world!). This workshop offers designers methods and practices to leverage the merits of being an introvert in the design community.
// More info and tickets here
If you want to stare at beautiful people talking about beautiful things…”Studio Crawl, Night 1: Mission + FiDi”
When: Wednesday, June 21st
Where: Multiple Locations Studios open 6pm-9pm (Checkout location details here)
Why: Mingle with the people behind the latest brands, galleries, and architecture and design studios in San Francisco. Or, just take in all the well-dressed folks pairings with statement earrings or shoes. // More information and tickets here