San Diego Design Week Set For September 9-13

This fall, San Diego joins an international community of design weeks with the debut of the inaugural San Diego Design Week (SDDW), a five-day celebration of our city’s multi-faceted design community.

The programming has been fully adapted with everyone’s safety in mind and will present a variety of options to get involved, both virtual and physical. Slated for September 9-13, SDDW will be an annual citywide celebration of design in all forms, from architecture, interior and landscape design to fashion, technology, and graphic design. Created as an inclusive community experience for all, SDDW is presented by Mingei International Museum, with
Intuit as its founding sponsor.

San Diego Design Week Set For September 9-13


Over a year ago, Mingei International Museum, located in the heart of Balboa Park, took the lead in organizing the first-ever San Diego Design Week as an expression of its mission to celebrate human creativity from all cultures and eras. Over the past 40 years, the Museum has celebrated and exhibited local artists, craftspeople and designers supporting the notion that everyone is creative.

Intuit was the first to step up as a key financial partner of the initiative, while also playing a crucial role in the ideation and planning of the event, which then began to take shape. The foremost priority was to reach out and engage a committee of representatives from the local design community who could provide leadership and guidance in the planning of all SDDW activities.

“With a focus on folk art, craft, and design, Mingei brings a mission-driven enthusiasm for all disciplines of design to this inaugural event.” said Rob Sidner, Executive Director of Mingei International Museum. “The Museum is excited to collaborate with the diverse design community in our region to bring the event to life. San Diego Design Week gives us all—across many fields and disciplines—the opportunity to expand this public conversation in our vibrant border region on the Pacific rim, a place of immense possibility and rising expectations.”

“San Diego Design Week has adopted a broad definition of design, and that’s a key reason we decided to be the event’s founding sponsor,” said Kurt Walecki, senior vice president of Design for Intuit’s Consumer Group. “At Intuit, we don’t just think broadly about the different design crafts – we inject design thinking into every problem we solve for our customers. It’s core to how we improve the customer experience and it’s also why we look for the best designers in the San Diego region to join our 100-person design team, from visual and UX design to design technologists and design researchers. While we may be physically distanced, we’re looking forward to bringing the Design Community together socially and sharing an engaging interactive experience with San Diego Design Week attendees.”

A significant amount of planning was underway when the pandemic hit in mid-March. Rather than cancel, an adaptive approach was embraced, encouraging presenters to engage audiences while remaining physically distanced. A “call for submissions” process that ended in early July truly reflected the creativity of the region with presenters providing multi-access points for participation. During these challenging times, SDDW aims to show how design is a catalyst for good in the San Diego region.

Programming spans across both expected and unexpected areas of design, from interiors to culinary arts to sports. The goal of SDDW programming is to reflect the current needs and wants of the community, encouraging participation via online events and socially distanced physical interactions, like self-guided tours by bike or car.

“Design Week brings together designers of all disciplines to collaborate and share how design is shaping the region,” said Stacy Kelley, Program Director of San Diego Design Week. “We’ve
had to shift how we’re presenting the event this year, but we feel this forum for connection and exchange is needed now more than ever as we imagine a path forward.”


The full schedule of events will be released on the SDDW website mid-August. Around 85 events are projected to take place, all centered on how design shapes the region. Those interested in volunteering can contact [email protected].


San Diego Design Week is a community event presented by Mingei International Museum and led by a team of advisors and community partners that represent the diversity of
design disciplines throughout the city. Its founding sponsor is Intuit and design partners are
BASIC and Raygun.

Stay healthy, San Diego!

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