Past Events

Countdown to Design Week!
What are you doing NEXT WEEK Monday? Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday? There's something awesome planned for every day of West Michigan Design Week, and the fun's about to started. Get all the details for our lineup of speakers, tours, exhibits, and film events below. Don't forget to register!


May
10
7:00 pm19:00

Bow Ties + Skateboards + Music: A Warehouse Party

  • Allied Building Products Corp

Come celebrate a successful Design Week at this unique party happening Saturday night! There will be free bow ties sewn right before your eyes, a live DJ, and a chance to try the newest skateboards and longboards on the market. This open warehouse party will also showcase bow ties and menswear featured during Fashion Week at Tesla Style Night in New York. Come hang out, ask questions, and get to know us better! 

Please bring in 3 old articles of clothing which will be transformed into your very own bow tie free of charge!

More info on Facebook.

May
9
11:45 am11:45

41 Sheldon: ArtPrize Hub and Compass College of Cinematic Arts Lunchtime Building Tour

  • 41 Sheldon Ave SE Grand Rapids, Michigan 49503

Everyone in West Michigan knows about ArtPrize in September, but how many have thought about the organization’s year-long home? This architectural tour of 41 Sheldon, home of ArtPrize and Compass College of Cinematic Arts, will be led by the architects at AMDG Architects. The design converted the former home of the UICA into a space for the highly collaborative, design-minded folks at ArtPrize, while also providing a home for the film students and staff of Compass and still hosting thousands of visitors for a few weeks annually for ArtPrize itself. Architects-one CEU credit for the tour is pending.

Meet in lobby by the AIA banners
Registration at 11:45 am
Tour from 12:00-1:00 pm 

Tickets are free, but registration is required.
Attendance is limited so register today!

Thank you to our event sponsor:
AIA GR (American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids)

May
9
8:30 am08:30

Devoted to Design - A Morning with Susan Szenasy

  • UICA

Seen Metropolis?

The 'zine, not the film. Susan Szenasy, Editor in Chief and new Publisher of Metropolis magazine and metropolismag.com has been at the helm of Metropolis since 1986, guiding the pub to be a voice for design doing good.

Susan is visiting Grand Rapids to engage in a series of national conversations exploring issues of design advocacy and ethics while celebrating Szenasy, Design Advocate, a new title published by Metropolis Books and distributed by ARTBOOK | D.A.P. 

Writer, teacher, moderator, filmmaker, lecturer, Szenasy has been speaking up for ethical design for over 30 years. Her new book, given a clean, striking design by Pentagram’s Paula Scher, makes it clear why her provocative views have shaped the thinking of designers and architects worldwide.  

Books will be available for purchase at the breakfast for $30 and there will be an opportunity after the program for Susan to sign books.

Join us for this Design Week special event with Susan Szenasy, editor-in-chief/publisher Metropolis magazine.

8:30 AM Doors Open, Coffee & Doughnuts
9:00 AM Talk
Followed by Q & A 

This is a free event but registration is required.
Brought to you by AIGA West Michigan and Design West Michigan.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Kendall College of Art and Design
Steelcase
UICA

May
8
6:00 pm18:00

Hot Off the Press: Book Signing with Susan Szenasy

  • GRAM

Susan Szenasy, Editor in Chief and new publisher of Metropolis magazine and metropolismag.com has been at the helm of Metropolis since 1986, guiding the publication to be a voice for design doing good. Catch her at the Grand Rapids Art Museum on May 8th, when she’ll be speaking about design and signing copies of her new book, Szenasy, Design Advocate. Bring your own copy or purchase a book for $30 at the event, and prepare to be inspired. 

6:00 - 6:30 pm – Cocktails (cash bar) / Networking
6:30 - 7:15 pm  – Talk / Q&A
7:15 – 8:00 pm – Book signing in GRAM store
Guests are welcome to explore the GRAM galleries until 9:00 pm

This is a free event but you will need to bring your ticket. Please register here. 

Thank you to our sponsors:
Grand Rapids Art Museum
Steelcase
Interphase Interiors

May
8
6:00 pm18:00

AIGA Studio on Tap - Holland

  • NewNorth

Come curious, come thirsty, and come prepared to try something new at this special West Michigan Design Week studio hop in Holland. Our walking tour will begin at NewNorth Center, Design in Business, head to The Image Group, and wrap up at Ambrose, letting you learn more about each studio while enjoying Design Week drinks. Stick around after the tour for a printing demo and workshop where you can pull one of four pre-designed prints on your choice of shirt for $20 each. There are just 30 tickets available, so get yours while they last! Ages 21 and up only, please. 

The tour is a free event, but registration is required.
If you'd like to participate in the Ambrose workshop there will be a $20 charge at the event. 

Thanks to our event sponsors: 
AIGA West Michigan
NewNorth Center
The Image Group
Ambrose 

May
8
5:30 pm17:30

AIGA Studio on Tap - Grand Rapids

  • Flat Lander's Bar

Bring an open mind and an empty belly to this special studio hop in Grand Rapids. Our guided bus tour will stop at Visualhero, Extra Credit Projects, and Peopledesign, where you can learn more about each studio while enjoying drinks and appetizers. We’ll wrap it up with one last toast at Flat Lander's, where the bus will drop us off. Get your tickets while they last! Please note this event is ages 21 and up.

Cost for this event is $20. Just 20 tickets available so register today!  

Thank you to our event sponsors:
AIGA West Michigan
Extra Credit Projects 
Peopledesign
Visualhero 

May
8
5:00 pm17:00

A Director’s Tour of “Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America"

  • GRAM

Michigan Modern: Design That Shaped America is on display May 18 - August 24, 2014. As part of West Michigan Design Week the GRAM will host a private director’s tour with Dana Friis-Hansen, who adapted the traveling show for the museum. The tour, which focuses on industry, design and architecture education, institutions, and public housing, will conclude just in time for the book signing by Susan Szenasy, author of Szenasy, Design Advocate. Tour members are also welcome to explore the GRAM collection until 9:00 pm.

Michigan Modern celebrates the state's outstanding contributions to Modern design and highlights the people who made it happen. The exhibition brings together hundreds of landmark design objects, fascinating photographs, design drawings, and video documentation of the leading figures and key historical developments in architecture, industrial design, and furniture. Michigan Modern was organized by the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office in association with Cranbrook Art Museum, curated by MPdL Studio of Ann Arbor, and expanded by the GRAM with an exhibition design by Seth Alec Keller.

Tickets for this event are $25 and include GRAM admission + 1 drink ticket for the Susan Szenasy event. Only 25 tickets are available so register today!

Thank you to our event sponsor:
Grand Rapids Art Museum

May
8
11:45 am11:45

Grand Rapids Art Museum Lunchtime Building Tour

  • 101 Monroe Center St NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

An architectural tour of the Grand Rapids Art Museum with architect Jim Horman and GRAM staff, this green building tour promises to be a fascinating glimpse of what went into the making of this new Grand Rapids landmark. Designed by wHY Architecture with local firm DesignPlus (now part of ProgressiveAE), the GRAM was completed in 2007. Architects-one CEU credit for the tour is pending. More information and photos available here. 

Meet in the lobby by the AIA banners
Registration at 11:45 am
Tour from 12:00-1:00 pm 

Cost for this event is $10 which includes admission to the museum and entry into raffles for an annual membership and store gift certificate. Registration is required.
Attendance is limited so register today!

Thank you to our event sponsors: 
AIA GR (American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids)
Grand Rapids Art Museum

 

May
7
6:00 pm18:00

Wet Paint: Reviving the Fine Art of Sign Painting

  • The State Theatre

Oh, the magic you can create with brushes, paint, and your own pair of hands! Join AIGA WM & The State Theatre in Traverse City for a special Design Week screening of the documentary “Sign Painters,” followed by a Q&A panel discussion from Corbin Design, NuArt, and Britten Studios and a live demo by sign artist Paul Britten.

About the Film
There was a time, as recently as the 1980s, when storefronts, murals, banners, barn signs, billboards, and even street signs were all hand-lettered with brush and paint. But, like many skilled trades, the sign industry has been overrun by the techno-fueled promise of quicker and cheaper. The resulting proliferation of computer-designed, die-cut vinyl lettering and inkjet printers has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters and a renaissance in the trade. Watch the trailer here.

Tickets at the door for this event are just $5, or purchase advanced tickets here.
AIGA WM members and students with college I.D. can attend for free.  

Thank you to our sponsors:
AIGA West Michigan
The State Theatre

May
7
11:45 am11:45

Kendall College of Art and Design's Woodbridge N. Ferris Building Lunchtime Building Tour

  • 17 Pearl St NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

Join us for an architectural tour of Kendall College of Art & Design's Woodbridge N. Ferris Building (the old Federal Building) with architect Patrick Noyes and KCAD staff. This historic Beaux Arts style building is on the National Register of Historic Places, requiring many creative design moves by the architect and the college to reconfigure the federal building turned art museum into a facility able to meet the demands of a 21st century design school. Hear first-hand how it was done! Architects-one CEU credit for the tour is pending. More information and photos available here.

Meet in the lobby by the AIA banners
Registration at 11:45 am
Tour from 12:00-1:00 pm 

Tickets are free, but registration is required.
Attendance is limited so register today!

Thank you to our event sponsor: 
AIA GR (American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids)

May
7
11:00 am11:00

Flex Lab 3D Printing Interactive Demonstration

  • Kendall College of Art and Design

Flex Lab at Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University (KCAD), will be collaborating with Look Behind Design by hosting a public 3D modeling / printing interactive demonstration on Wednesday May 7th from 11am-4pm, at their 17 Fountain Street NW building. The public is invited to come visit the lab and have short sessions with volunteers in order to help them design personalized objects like small cups, rings, stickers, and even 3D scans of your own head! (print numbers limited) These objects will then be printed and delivered to the UICA gallery space on Saturday May 10th. All prints are free. We encourage the public to come in and learn about the design process and the exciting, growing world of 3D modeling and printing. 

While you're there check out the annual KCAD Student Exhibition!

 

This is a free event.

Thank you to Kendall College of Art and Design for hosting this event!

May
7
9:00 am09:00

The De Pree Gallery at Hope College hosted viewing party of TEDxGrandRapids

  • The De Pree Gallery at Hope College

What’s Connected? True to this year’s theme, speakers will share reflections on the nature of being connected and the surprising ways people and things connect. Experts from across the world will be in Grand Rapids for what might be the most provocative, engaging TEDxGrandRapids event to date. This livestream event is a way to offer the goodness of TEDxGrandRapids at an off-site location and gives attendees a chance to share ideas and inspiration as they watch together. See the speaker lineup at tedxgrandrapids.org.

Tickets to each of the four sessions are free, but registration is required.
Each session will be capped at 50 people. 

Thank you to our sponsor:
The De Pree Gallery at Hope College

 

May
7
8:00 am08:00

TEDxGrandRapids

TEDxGrandRapids 

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxGrandRapids, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxGrandRapids event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

May
6
8:00 pm20:00

Film: Exit Through The Gift Shop

  • UICA

Special showing, one night only!

Banksy is a graffiti artist with a global reputation. Fiercely guarding his anonymity to avoid prosecution, Banksy has so far resisted all attempts to be captured on film. “Exit Through the Gift Shop” tells the incredible true story of how an eccentric French shop keeper turned documentary maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner with spectacular results. The film contains exclusive footage of Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Invader and many of the worlds most infamous graffiti artists at work, on walls and in interviews. As Banksy describes it, “It’s basically the story of how one man set out to film the un-filmable. And failed!” 

Cost:
UICA Members: $4
Non-members: $8

Thank you to our event sponsor UICA

May
6
6:30 pm18:30

Not Design: Spring Workshop

  • Not Design

Not Design will be hosting an open letterpress workshop for spring! Join us for an evening of free form letterpress printmaking at our studio. 

This is a HANDS-ON, entry level workshop where you will learn a brief history of letterpress printing and print with our collection of antique moveable type and printer's cuts. The ND crew will assist and guide you through the process and provide all the necessary supplies. You are welcome to bring your own photos, special paper, envelopes, shirt, or fabric to print on, but we have plenty of paper here at the studio. All experience levels are welcome! COME GET INKY, FRIENDS!

Tickets for this event are $50 and can be purchased here

More info on their Facebook event page. 

May
6
6:30 pm18:30

Keynote Event - Shift Shaper: Insights from Richard Saul Wurman

  • Fountain Street Church

Conceiving “information architecture” and bringing the principles of design to the digital landscape. Creating TED and the appeal of “ideas worth spreading.” Authoring books—83 at last count—each fueled by a passion to relieve our Information Anxiety

When it comes to design and designing information, Richard Saul Wurman has been shaping shifts in our thinking for over 50 years.

He’s not about to let up. Join us to hear his insights on the changing world of design and the value of collaboration. He promises a glimpse at shifts we’ll all have a hand in shaping. 

6:30 – 7:30 pm Reception
7:30 – 8:30 pm Talk

Tickets are free, but registration is required.

Thank you to our event sponsors: 
AIA GR (American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids)
Crites, Tidey & Associates, Inc.
Downtown Grand Rapids Inc
Kendall College of Art and Design 
Lott3 Metz
TEDxGrandRapids

May
6
May 10

Kendall College of Art and Design Annual Student Exhibition

  • 17 Fountain St NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

The region’s brightest emerging art and design talents will be on display for all of West Michigan to see during Kendall College of Art and Design, Ferris State University’s (KCAD) Annual Student Exhibition Week, running from May 6 through May 10. Graduating students from each of the College’s undergraduate and graduate programs will showcase their best work in three concurrent exhibitions that will transform all floors of both the 17 Fountain St. NW building and the Woodbridge N. Ferris Building at 17 Pearl St. NW into one massive gallery. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. 

KCAD Gallery Schedule
Monday:  Sneak Peak during Mei Mah reception from 5:30-6:30pm
Tuesday :  Opening Reception 4-7pm 
Wednesday-Friday : 9am - 9pm
Saturday : 9am-2pm 

May
6
May 10

Look Behind Design - A Process Exhibit

  • UICA

To some, it can seem that design happens like Oz pulling levers behind the curtain. Look Behind Design, a specially curated exhibit, dispels some of the mystery with a behind-the-curtain view of how design happens at a group of Michigan-based companies. The objects they’ve created take on new meaning with the design process behind them on full display. As part of the exhibit Kendall College of Art and Design's Flex Lab will be hosting free interactive demonstrations of 3D Printing on Wednesday from 11-4, where guests can create various objects which will be delivered to the exhibit on Saturday for display and pick-up. 

This is a free event. 

Exhibit hours:
Tuesday - Saturday
12:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Thank you to our sponsors:
IDSA
SolidThinking Design Software
UICA

May
6
11:45 am11:45

Basilica of Saint Adalbert Lunchtime Building Tour

  • 654 Davis Ave NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504

Some designs withstand centuries! Come tour the recently restored Basilica of St Adalbert with some of the people intimately involved in the work. St Adalbert’s has graced the skyline of Grand Rapids for a century and continues to be a symbol of our city. Join us for an inside look at this spectacular building. Architects-one CEU credit for the tour is pending. NOTE: Tour will be cancelled if an emergency event in the basilica conflicts with the tour date. Registrants will be notified via email. More information and photos available here. 

Meet at the front entrance
Registration at 11:45 am
Tour from 12:00-1:00 pm 

Tickets are free, but registration is required.
Attendance is limited so register today!

Thank you to our event sponsor:
AIA GR (American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids)

May
5
5:30 pm17:30

Live from New York - Updates from Design Central with Mei Mah and John Berry

What’s it like to work at the Cooper-Hewitt? To run the National Design Awards? To implement design thinking programs for K-12 students? Join John Berry, the Executive Director of Design West Michigan, as he interviews Michigan native Mei Mah about her experiences as Deputy Director of Education at The Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Audience Q&A will follow. Only 250 seats are available, so reserve your spot today!

5:30 - 6:30 pm reception
6:30 - 7:30 pm talk, with introductions by Bryan Koehn
7:30 – 8:00 pm mingling

Tickets are free, but registration is required.

Thank you to our sponsors:
Progressive AE
The Grand Rapids Public Museum

 

May
5
5:30 pm17:30

Florence Knoll: Defining Modern CEU

  • Bistro Bella Vita

As an architect, interior space planner and furniture designer, the commitment Florence Knoll made to design excellence, in everything, resonates clearly. This program is an illustrative discussion of Florence Knoll’s contribution to interior design in the context of her landmark 2005 exhibition for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. This exhibition traveled to college art galleries throughout 2007, 2008 and 2009. Speaker: Lynne McCarthy, LEED AP - Architecture + Design Manager at Knoll.

IDCEC - 100824
History & Culture
Basic- general

Architect CEU credit for the tour is pending

5:30 pm registration
6:00 - 7:00 pm networking
7:00 - 8:00 pm CEU presentation

Sponsored by:
Knoll
Mannington Carpets

May
5
11:45 am11:45

Owen-Ames-Kimball Lunchtime Building Tour

  • 300 Ionia NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503

This architectural tour of Owen-Ames-Kimball’s corporate headquarters led by architect Greg Metz will show us how a fresh design can put a whole new spin on an existing building. As a commitment to downtown Grand Rapids, OAK chose to stay in the city center by renovating their headquarters in 2011 with complete interior demolition and reconfiguration of the building. Architects-one CEU credit for the tour is pending. More information and photos available here.

Meet in lobby
Registration at 11:45 am
Tour from 12:00-1:00 pm 

Tickets are free, but registration is required.
Attendance is limited so register today!

Thank you to our event sponsor:
AIA GR (American Institute of Architects Grand Rapids)

May
5
May 10

Hats Off to Dr. Seuss!

  • Holland Area Arts Council

Dr. Seuss's never-before-seen hat collection will be exhibited at the Arts Council in cooperation with Pinnacle Art Group, alongside his little-known collection of "Midnight Paintings."

Join us for this rare opportunity to view Dr. Seuss's private hat collection and witness its direct impact on his artistic legacy. Learn more about his hat collection, the secret "Midnight Paintings," and the exhibit at the Arts Council here

Few authors or artists are better known than Theodor Seuss Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss. Yet, to this day, his rarely seen "Midnight Paintings" and his secret Hat Collection are virtually unknown to the American public. For the first time in history, these two collections are now presented together through a special exhibition celebrating the 75th anniversary of Dr. Seuss's book The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.

Mainstreet Gallery
Monday-Thursday: 10am - 8pm
Friday: 10am - 5pm
Saturday: 10am - 3pm

This exhibition is made possible with the support of Pinnacle Art Group.

May
5
7:30 am07:30

Grand Rapids Public Schools Design Thinking Workshops

9th grade Academy of Construction and Design students at Innovation Central High School and 4th graders from Coit Creative Arts Academy will be introduced to hands-on Human Centered Design methods during workshops facilitated by local designers from Atomic Object, Designvox, GRAM, Mighty, MKN Design, Mutually Human, Progressive AE, ThinkXD, The Understanding Group, Varsity News Network, Visualhero and others. Each designer will bring a perspective from different design disciplines but share a foundation in Human Centered Design. The workshop theme will reference the current OpenIDEO challenge – How might we establish better recycling habits at home?

GRPS endeavors like Innovation Central HS and a new Museum school (launching in 2015) are perfect examples to highlight during Design Week this May 5-10th. The Museum school is a collaboration with Grand Rapids Public Museum, Kendall College of Art and Design, Grand Valley State University and the City of Grand Rapids with a curriculum fueled by design thinking process and mindsets. The Museum School and Innovation Central HS were recently included in the new Downtown Master Planning process by Downtown Grand Rapids, Inc. (DGRI).

Thank you to our sponsors:
GMB Architecture + Engineering
Mutually Human