June 16, 2020

San Francisco Design Week Goes Virtual

The whimsical interior of a loft by Ken Fulk. Photography courtesy of Douglas Friedman. 

Who doesn’t relish a week at the City by the Bay to celebrate West Coast design talent? Obviously, this year’s venue for San Francisco Design Week is changed—to right in front of our computer monitors. Adding to the burgeoning roster of virtual design events, all determined that the show must go on, SFDW takes place from June 15 through 25. It’s an opportunity to catch up with longtime design friends, those newer to the fold, and members of industry in a lively series of panel discussions, presentations, and studio tours. Visionaries include Interior Design Hall of Fame architects Clive Wilkinson and Leo Marmol, as well as Takashi Yanai, Yves Béhar, Ken Fulk, Gary Hutton, and Paul Wiseman. 

EYRC Waverly Residence in Palo Alto, California. Photography by Matthew Millman. 

Topics are particularly timely. Alana Washington, senior design program manager at Uber freight, kicked things off with musings on recent social unrest, its effects on black designers, and looking toward the future. Jenny Arden, senior director of design at Lyft, hosts a panel discussion: “It’s a Pivoting World—How Design Leaders are Helping Companies Navigate Change.” The hospitality branding firm Collective Work presents, “Don’t Waste a Good Crisis: The Post-Covid Future of Good Design. Maurice Woods, principal designer at Microsoft, gives the talk: Empowering the Next Generation, Black + Brown Designers.

Also part of the agenda are discussions addressing technology integration, augmented reality and virtual reality, data collection, and designing with optimism. Roblox, the online game platform, is partnering with San Francisco Design Week to provide a virtual environment as a venue for discussion among attendees. And, of course, there are this year’s design awards. They are juried by Takashi Yanai, partner Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, interior designer Catherine Kwong, and Irina Blok, Google product design lead. SFDW, virtual style, is yet another example of design’s best traits, resiliency, flexibility, and problem solving—no matter what. To register go here

Read next: Bernd Goeckler Debuts Virtual Viewing Room with The New Bronze Age Exhibition

Recent DesignWire