Vancouver Design Week [2016]

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Vancouver Design Week is a week long collection of events and programming to explore the unique design ecosystem of our city. Join the conversation. Learn and share. Show up and help shape Vancouver's design future.

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Questions? We have answers.

When is VDW?

Vancouver Design Week's inaugural event was May 2014, the organizing team is targetting 2016 for the next event.

Where is VDW?

Vancouver Design Week is happening all around Vancouver. A full event calendar and maps will become available as events and locations are confirmed. to hear when the event roster is announced.

How do I register? Is it free?

Vancouver Design Week is composed of a wide range of events and happenings. Some require registration and some don’t; some are free and some aren’t. Registration and ticketing are managed by their individual hosts/organizers, so be sure to confirm details before heading out.

How can I get involved?

Like the week’s make-up, there are a diversity of ways to get involved - host a tour, submit an event, become a supporting partner, volunteer, or make a donation (VDW works under a not-for-profit model).

But most importantly, show up, speak up and stand out! Exchange perspectives with (other) designers, try new things, ask questions, share your thoughts and be a part of the conversation!

Can anyone list an event as part of VDW?

VDW invites local designers, design organizations, and design thinkers to challenge and expand the Vancouver design conversation. If you’re a part of the Vancouver design scene and are interested in creating a design-related event, our call for submissions is now open and has further details.

If you don’t have any programming to propose, but want to share your space - your studio, your workshop, your cafe/shop/restaurant/tasting room, consider joining our Open Doors lineup.

How is VDW possible?

We hoped you’d ask.

Vancouver Design Week is a not-for-profit social enterprise. Created by a passionate team of volunteers from across design disciplines - with advisory and core committees composed of some of the city’s most renowned design institutions, entrepreneurs, educators, thinkers, and makers - Vancouver Design Week has been willed into being by a shared belief that design is imperative to improving the quality and potential of our city.

Help us make this vision a reality by showing up, speaking up, and standing out.


Vancouver. Edge city. A territory on the geographic and cultural periphery. A place where people come to escape the confines of convention and a place with a unique aptitude for freethinking, incubating and instigating.

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The results: creation of global phenomena - Occupy, Greenpeace, and ‘Vancouverism’; pioneering of West Coast Modernism; and home to a long list of world-class designers and innovators. And yet... “although some of the world’s greatest designers live/work in Vancouver they are (here at home) unknown, undervalued and disconnected from one another” [Jane Cox, Cause+Affect] - limiting our potential for agency as both a culture and a city.

Vancouver Design Week is an opportunity to redress this.


Vancouver Design Week is city-wide platform, invitation and call to action - to celebrate established and emergent design talent; to spotlight broad spectrum design innovation; to cross-pollenate and empower designers and design-thinkers across disciplines, and to leverage the potential of design for transformative agency and holistic capital, in Vancouver, and beyond.

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This inaugural Vancouver Design Week not only established an important event in (Metro) Vancouver but the opportunity to initiate a broader Pacific North West dialog - towards catalyzing an even more transformative Vancouver design culture.

The VDW Organizing Team

Jennifer Cutbill

Jennifer Cutbill / Director

Jennifer is an Intern Architect at DIALOG, passionate about leveraging lateral thinking and empowering design agency. She is also a SALA mentor and guest critic; Advocacy Committee co-Chair at the local Chapter of Architecture Canada, founding Board member of the Laboratory of Housing Alternatives (LoHA), and a retired thai boxing champion.

Todd Sieling

Todd Sieling / Web + Interactive

Todd is an interaction designer and co-founder of Denim & Steel Interactive. Informed by his background in the humanities, he strives to bring a humane sensibility to the cool edge of digital technology. Outside of work, Todd explores the urban landscape through the dual lenses of cycling and coffee.

Harry Olson

Harry Olson / Open Buildings Coordinator

A coastal creative from Vancouver to Halifax, Harry is a communication designer and brand strategist at PUBLIC. Harry believes in fostering creativity through conversation and collaboration.


Odette / Videography

Video and Motion studio founded by Jevan Crittenden and Nate Slaco, and based in Vancouver BC.

Kristina Kassay

KRISZTINA KASSAY / Event Assistant

Urban Planner KrisZtina is passionate about transformative spaces and the intersections between design and the public. She is a coordinating force within public space designs that enliven and invigorate our city.

Shelley Craig

Shelley Craig

Shelley Craig holds degrees in Environmental Studies (Architecture) and Architecture, and is a recipient of the Bernard Webb Scholarship.

Jane Cox

Jane Cox / Co-Director

Jane Cox, the Executive Director of FUEL and Co-founder of Cause+Affect and PechaKucha Vancouver, is a creative catalyst and strategist helping “good” businesses and organizations define their culture and grow their communities. She loves her nature/urban/mother/career woman lifestyle.

Tylor Sherman

Tylor Sherman / Web + Interactive

Tylor is a creative technologist and co-founder at Denim & Steel. An engineer by training, he designs unique software for a people-focused future.

Zach Bulick

Zach Bulick / Open Studios Coordinator

Zach is a Canadian Texan hybrid who has been designing in Vancouver since 2009. He loves people, tacos, and making. He's proud to have helped start Vancouver’s first Tool Library and Trade School Vancouver. Zach is passionate about serving the underserved and engaging problems and social issues with sustainable creative solutions.

Nadia Nascimento

Nadia Nascimento

Nadia is a strategist and digital producer, with 10 years experience in marketing and production. She has developed and implemented socially-driven media campaigns for Fortune 50 brands and has been the acting Director of Marketing for (RED) and THNK School for Creative Leadership.

Kourosh Mahvash

Kourosh Mahvash / Volunteer Coordinator

Kourosh is a sustainability consultant and educator with over 11 years of experience in both academia and practice. Having been trained in architecture and interdisciplinary design, he has been involved in various design and research projects in both academia and practice.

Mark Busse

Mark Busse / Connector

Mark owns Industrial Brand, a Vancouver-based brand strategy & communication design consultancy that helps built-environment professionals realize their brand and marketing potential. He's also a Fellow and past president of the Graphic Designers of Canada, has been known to write & teach about design, and co-founded

Carling Borne

Carling Borne / Graphic Design

Carling is a designer at Cause+Affect, having worked with a variety of clients ranging from multinationals to small independent gems. While her passion lies in brand and print, she is equally skilled in digital and scribbling.

Jessica Hum

Jessica Hum / Community Engagement

Jessica is a community development and communications professional with a background in Urban and Regional Planning. Based in her community development experience, she has designed multi-staged community engagement processes to reach the broadest cross section of the public, using online and face-to-face touchpoints.

Jessica Hum

Alvina Quek / Block Party Coordinator

Alvina is an Event Designer & Producer. Creating experiences that you cannot wait to tell somebody about is what she is constantly dreaming up. She does this by making you look what was previously ordinary - big and complex into simple and gorgeous. Travel, her next delicious taste bud explosion and design fuel her quiet revolution of events that wow.

Sarah Bjornson

Sarah Bjornson / Samplings Coordinator

Sarah Bjornson is a long-time DIALOG team member who has grown from an Intern Architect into a registered Architect. She has contributed to numerous projects including University of Calgary Student Residences, Little Flower Academy, Chilliwack High School and the Waterstone Pier.

Design Value(s)

Part of the mission of Vancouver Design Week is to inspire a shift in perception and value(s) to collectively leverage the potential of design as a catalyst for transformative change!

“Design is one of the most powerful forces in our lives. It influences the outcome of almost everything we do, often without our being aware it has done so… Yet despite its power, design is frequently treated as if it didn’t matter by being trivialized, misunderstood (and undervalued)…”
Alice Rawsthorn, Design Critic, global edition of the New York Times
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed its the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

Vancouver Design Week is a non profit social enterprise.
All funds/in-kind donations will go directly to supporting the VDW platform in achieving its stated mission.

1 / Friend of VDW

Vancouver Design Week was created by the design community as a platform for elevating the design, capital, and potential of our city. Donations of any size help get us further towards this collective goal and will be acknowledged by name in VDW web and print materials.

Become A Friend of VDW

2 / Community Partner

The community is an ecosystem, and each within it has a different capacity to support and catalyze change - and like in nature, all levels are important and help strengthen the whole. Community support will be acknowledged by name and logo in VDW web and print materials.

Become A Community Partner

3 / Visionary Partner

For those leading the community in catalyzing potentials for transformative change. Support will be acknowledged in a way that reflects the incredible value of each unique action leader.

Become A Visionary Partner

A huge thank to all of the following who have been early supporters - because of you Vancouver Design Week is possible!

Visionary Partners

the RAIC Cause+Affect Denim & Steel Dialog Design Emily Carr University Odette Chambar HWKRS MRKT Georgia Straight Urbanarium Perkins+Will

Show Leadership! Become A Visionary Partner Today >

Community Partners

Public Bruce Carscadden Architect Industrial Brand VNB Photography The University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture THNK School for Creative Leadership the MOV Vancouver Special IDSWest City Studio Maker Series HMCA Permel Permel Urban Arts Glenmore

Media Partners

Gray Magazine Western Living Magazine Vancouver Is Awesome Spacing Vancouver Tourism Vancouver

Event Partners

The Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver SEGD the Vancouver Design Nerds Denim & Steel Maker Labs Party for Architects Vancouver the GDC the Vancouver Public Space Network Elevator Strategy Urbanarium Bruce Carscadden Architect THNK School for Creative Leadership Arrowhouse Briteweb The University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture Maker Series Creative Pulse Sholto Design Studio Main Street Beer Evoke International Design Vancouver Special Cause+Affect LoHA (the Laboratory for Housing Alternatives) Industrial Brand Marianne Amodio Architecture Studio Public Creative Mornings Vancouver Alfie Italia Emily Carr University the RAIC Beautulleful Architecture Institute of BC Lululemon City of Vancouver

Friends of VDW

Shelley Craig Ian McDonald Kathleen Mazzocco Carlos Obregon

Become A Friend of VDW >