Design Week

May 7-13, 2018

We’re back with a full week of design programming for 2018.

This Year’s Theme: IMPACT

VDW’s third edition is the first to have a theme. Setting a theme creates the opportunity to look at design through a different lens each year, deepening our understanding of design and its presence. After all, design is the means through which we shape and create the world we live in.

Almost every object, service, and built environment that we interact with has been designed by someone. Everything that has been designed has had a lot of thought put into it - from analysing problems and developing solutions, to conceptualization, production, usability, and ultimately, the resulting effects on people, society and the environment.

This year, VDW will focus on the impact that design has on our lives and how it can be a powerful tool to make the world a better place. Participating studios will be able to showcase how their designs impact their environment, their industry and people. This will give VDW visitors a better understanding of the extent to which design impacts their world - from the images they see to the clothes they wear and the objects they use.

We invite you to not just notice design, but to ask questions, uncover hidden layers, and consider the change that a design makes, lest it be taken for granted until it eventually “disappears”.

Stay in touch, and show your support.
> Donate to VDW 2018 Today
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Photo Credit: Yew Wood, @maarchitecturestudio, Kudoz, @sengsuriya

Get Involved!

From volunteering to hosting an event to showing leadership in your sector with a sponsorshipthere are many ways you can bring your ingenuity and passion to Vancouver Design Week.

Participant Registration

Each year designers of all stripes step out with a wide range of offerings to create the showcase of the city’s talent. In 2018, there are even more ways to participate. If you don’t see a category that fits your idea, get in touch and we will work with you to make it happen.

Contact the Organizers

Event host registrations close at midnight March 29.

1 / Design Studios

A unique opportunity to discover the "behind the scenes" of local design studios as they open up their doors to share their work, perspectives and practices.

Register Your Design Studio Opening

2 / Design Tastings

Learn (and taste) what shaped and inspired some of Vancouver's most distinctive tastings rooms (restaurants, cafes, bars, breweries) from the design teams that created them.

Register Your Designed Tasting

3 / Design Talks, Workshops, and Tours

Design discussions that open your mind, stimulate your creativity and learn first hand from our city's design leaders and innovators.

Register Your Design Talk

4 / Design Spaces

Be guided through cutting edge designed buildings, urban spaces and normally private spaces led by architects and industry experts.

Run a Design Space Tour

5 / Design Landmarks

Voted by Vancouverites, Design Landmark tours will reveal the how these buildings and spaces came to be, from the designers that created them.

Suggestions so far include Polygon Gallery, Emily Carr, Hotel Vancouver, Robson Square, Woodwards, Wilson School of Design, Parks Board Office.

Suggest a Design Landmark

6 / Design Editions

Popular public events produced by our city's design influencers, with a special VDW twist! Bring your event’s perspective to a whole new audience with a special VDW edition.

Note: Editions are registration fee-exempt.

Register Your Event Edition

Show Your Support

1 / Volunteer with VDW

Teamwork makes the dream work! As a volunteer you will have access to places and people that help grow your network and lend a helping hand to a community-raised festival. We strive to create a great volunteer experience, but spaces are often limited so jump in early.

Get on the Volunteer List

2 / Become a Sponsor

Vancouver Design Week is 100% community-produced, and cannot happen without financial sponsorship. With various levels to fit a range of budgets, we have a place for firms of all sizes. Or, consider chipping in with a modest donation, because every bit helps.

Get Sponsor Guide

Make a Donation

3 / Become a Vancouver Design Foundation Member

As we build the platform to not only sustain Vancouver Design Week, but to incubate and foster other initatives. Learn about our new membership program, and consider joining to grow your involvement in our unique design community.

Learn More about VDF Membership

Photo Credit: Natalie Hopson, @wendy.shep, Kudoz, Meghan Proulx

Questions? We have answers.

What is Vancouver Design Week?

Vancouver Design Week (VDW) is the city’s official interdisciplinary design festival — at once a city-wide platform, invitation and call to action! VDW is a unique opportunity to: celebrate local design talent; connect design makers and users; and to support design’s capacity for improving the quality of our everyday lives.

We are all impacted by design everyday. VDW’s mission is: to increase awareness of and appreciation for design, design process and the pervasive impact design has on important social and cultural issues; and to create an informed, inclusive (and inspiring!) participatory platform for engaging them.

When is Vancouver Design Week?

May 7-13, 2018.

Where is Vancouver Design Week?

It’s happening all around Vancouver. A full event calendar and maps will become available as events and locations are confirmed. to hear when the line-up goes live.

How can I get involved?

Proactive question - we want you!

Host an event, become a supporting partner, volunteer, make a donation... and most importantly: show up, join in, and stand out! Explore practices and processes, exchange perspectives with (other) designers, ask questions, share your thoughts and be a part of the conversation!

How can I support Vancouver Design Week?

We’re glad you asked!

Become a supporting partner, make a donation, or volunteer amongst other designers across disciplines and districts. See below for more details on all of these options.

You can go a step further and become a Vancouver Design Foundation member as an individual or a business. Dues are a modest $25 per person, and all funds help us sustain VDW and build new programs. Learn More and Show Your Support

How do I become a host? Can anyone list an event?

VDW invites local designers across disciplines to sign up for signature open doors events - Design Studios, Spaces, or Tastings. Open your space, show off your work, share a sampling of what makes you unique as a part of our design community!

If you’ve always wanted to create — a design-focused happening — now is the time! Your inspiration can enrich, expand or constructively challenge the Vancouver design conversation, and you can successfully host it during VDW, apply for our Open Call.

Note that a modest registration fee will be charged to help cover the cost of maintaining the platform.

How do I sign up for events? Is it free?

Attendance to some events will be free, some (where space is limited) will require registration, and others will require paid tickets. Registration and ticketing will be managed by individual event hosts / organizers, so be sure to confirm details before heading out. And sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any early bird announcements!

Who puts on Vancouver Design Week and how is possible?

Vancouver Design Week is a not-for-profit social enterprise, created by a passionate team of volunteers from across design disciplines; with the support of generous contributions of time, talent and resources from the larger design community. In collaboration with some of the city’s most renowned designers, 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, joining in, and standing out!


We owe a great thanks to our generous and diverse sponsors. Vancouver Design Week would not be possible without their support and leadership.


Rize Bulthaup


Bocci Emily Carr Living Space


Capilano University HCMA

Industry Partners

Denim & Steel Cause + Effect
Joda Creative Picatic

Media Partners

Gray Western Living Scout Magazine Georgia Straight
Glenmore Custom Print + Packaging
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