Vancouver Design Week [Sept 15 – 28]

Vancouver Design Week [Sept 15–28]
is a collaborative platform, a call to action, and an invitation to us all to immerse in design and its transformative potential.

For 14 days, Vancouver Design Week will turn the city into a petri dish of design process, practice, and perspectives; through a wide range of independent and collaborative programming. From talks to tours, exhibits to workshops, parties to pop-ups, design across disciplines will open its doors for conversations, installations and celebrations of all scales.

Uncover the unique design ecosystem that shapes, defines and sustains our city. Don’t miss the chance to join in, speak up and stand out in shaping Vancouver’s future!

“The city shapes our decisions.”
And design shapes our city. Charles Montgomery, Happy City

Event Categories – Full Calendar Coming Soon



VDW Special Editions



Pop ups


Open Studios

Open Buildings




The VDW Organizing Team

Jennifer Cutbill

Jennifer Cutbill / Director

Jennifer is an Intern Architect DIALOG and a whole-systems strategist. 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.

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.

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.

Questions? We have answers.

When is VDW?

For 2014, Vancouver Design Week will run from September 15th-28th.

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 (Open Studios/Open Buildings/Samplings).

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. 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.

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

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

GET INVOLVED! Be part of Vancouver Design Week! There are a wide range of ways to get involved in the inaugural Vancouver Design Week:

1 / Open Doors

Just that. Open the doors to your space, your process and your unique design perspective. Vancouver Design Week will be facilitating three types of open door events: Open Studios, Open Buildings and Samplings.

Submit an Open Studio Application

2 / Open Call

Local designers, design organizations, and design thinkers are invited to join the design conversation during the inaugural Vancouver Design Week. If you are positively contributing to the local design scene, and are interested in creating a design-related happening during the Week, please submit and Open Call Application.

Members of the VDW event administration will review your submission, to ensure it aligns with the VDW mission and represents the best Vancouver has to offer. Registrants will be notified by Sept 3rd, 2014.

Submit An Open Call Application

3 / Become A Supporting Partner

Vancouver Design Week is a collaborative production for the advancement of our city’s culture, quality of life, and future potential; and as a not-for profit social enterprise, is only possible through the support of its citizenry. To support design culture and potential join in, step up, and stand out!

For more information on how to support VDW contact us at

Support VDW

4 / Become A VDW Ambassador

Learn more about the wide range of events and organizers and get more connected with(in) the design community by becoming a Vancouver Design Week Ambassador.

And if your space is open to the public, has room for VDW postcards and someone on hand to act as an in-house Ambassador, join the network of official Vancouver Design Week information hubs.

Become A VDW Ambassador

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 is being 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 happening!

the RAIC the GDC Cause+Affect Denim & Steel Emily Carr University The University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture THNK School for Creative Leadership Gray Magazine Western Living Magazine the MOV Vancouver Special IDSWest City Studio The Contemporary Art Gallery of Vancouver SEGD the Vancouver Design Nerds the Vancouver Public Space Network LoHA (the Laboratory for Housing Alternatives) Industrial Brand Marianne Amodio Architecture Studio Public Bruce Carscadden Architect