7 Design Week RI Events for Newbies

You don't need to be a designer to make the most of the twelve-day event.

Via Design Week RI.

  1. PARK(ing) Day, 9/15

Head to downtown PVD, West Broadway or the East Side and watch as designers, artists and local businesses turn street-side parking spaces into cozy green nooks (aka parklets). 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Immerse: Design Week Kickoff Party, 9/15

Check out demos and design by local makers Designer151Studios, Jae Willard Designs, DWRI Letterpress, Luminous Agency, Overspray Studios, TellArt, Sproutel and Mobile Maker Lab, or take tours of the Plant, Olneyville’s center for art and design. Food by Laughing Gorilla and drinks by Revival Brewery. 6 to 10 p.m. $25 in advance; $30 at the door. Rain or shine. The Plant Courtyard, 60 Valley St., Providence.

Color x Design Block Party, 9/16

Rhode Island’s chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) hosts a bold, colorful block party with support from The Avenue Concept, Adler’s Hardware, Long Live Beerworks, Graphic Innovations, Signature Printing and others. Enjoy sweets by Erms Cupcakes and The Big Freezy, plus aura readings by Bright Future Aura Photography. 6 to 9 p.m. Free. Long Live Beerworks, 425 West Fountain St., Providence.

Eat and Speak: A Landscape Designer’s Personal Garden, 9/18

According to the release, at this Hopkinton garden, “espaliers, pergolas, and hedges define an immense grid of walkways separating vast mixed borders stuffed with sky-high perennials, grasses, annuals, shrubs, topiary, tropicals, vines, and trees. Everywhere, a defiantly out-of-control collection of containered specimen plants jostle for space, while towers for annual vines soar to twenty feet.” See how landscape designer Louis Raymond fancified his property. Be sure to bring a bagged lunch; drinks will be provided. Noon to 1:30 p.m. $10. 495 Main St., Hopkinton.

Eat and Speak: The Flooding of the Ocean State, 9/20

Designers from Rhode Island’s own Searle Design Group — the team behind the Roger Williams Park Botanical Center — will discuss the research the firm has conducted on the impact of sea level rise on the Ocean State’s infrastructure. The firm has developed “a catalogue of design strategies for coping with sea level and flooding as well as a matrix of applications for these strategies,” according to the release. Noon to 1:30 p.m. $10; includes lunch. Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St., Unit 7030, Pawtucket.

Marathon Clambake, 9/20

No, actual clams are not served at this clambake. But lots of ideas get stewed around at DesignxRI’s signature event. During Design Week, catch furniture and lighting designer Asher Dunn of Studio DUNN; Kristine Merz of the strategic design firm, Orange Square; RISD industrial design professor — and the man behind the hugely successful RISD tote bag — Matthew Bird; and Nicholas Benson, stone carver at historic John Stevens Shop in Newport. (Read our story about Benson’s 300-year-old family business here.) 6 to 8 p.m. Free. Aurora Providence, 276 Westminster St., Providence.

Doors Open Festival, 9/23

This free public festival allows the everyman to peek around twenty unusual or historic properties across Providence. (Read our piece about Doors Open here.) 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free. Various venues in Providence; view the lineup here.


Family Businesses in Rhode Island
See the State’s Hidden Gems at the Doors Open Festival
Q and A: Designer Melissa Hillas