Austin Design Week

Celebrate Austin design through a week of workshops, talks, studio tours and events this November as the city celebrates its creative economy in the inaugural Austin Design Week. We’ve invited the community to propose and showcase the best in visual, interactive, product, industrial, architectural and civic design. The introduction of Design Week provides the opportunity to bring together the Austin design community like never before. From the spaces we’re inspired by, to the images that leap from the page, the products we use daily and the way we interact with them, Austin is pushing the boundaries of design. Explore the cutting edge work being done through some of the city’s most innovative creators.

Meet The Founders


Lead Organizer

Regional Director at General Assembly

Danielle Barnes is the Regional Director of General Assembly in Austin, an education institution that empowers individuals to pursue the work they love through education and opportunities in design, tech, business and data. Danielle moved to Austin to launch General Assembly's campus in December 2014. The first event they organized was "Break Into UX", calling upon members of the UX design community to share their expertise on getting into the field.

Danielle started at General Assembly in 2012 in...


Community Organizer

Head of Global Recruiting at IBM Design

Amber Atkins is the Head of Global Recruiting for IBM Design where her team delivers on delightful experiences. For almost 10 years, she has helped build communities for creative education and design as the Vice President of Education and Mentorship for AIGA Colorado and now in her role on the AIGA Austin board. Amber believes in the power of what a diverse group of humans can do when they challenge one another to think - and then do.

Follow Amber on Twitter at...


Event Organizer

Event Organizer & Marketing Producer at General Assembly

Candice Digby has over a decade of experience spanning marketing, PR, advertising, sponsorship development, artist and event management. She graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Public Relations and a concentration in Advertising. Candice has worked in magazine publication, music/film festivals and global productized events. In 2011, she helped to open and run artist-owned record label, The Noise Company. In this role, Candice realized her passion for finding innovative platforms to support artists. She...


The 2016 Advisory Board


Vice President, Planning at Downtown Austin Alliance

Melissa is an urban planning and design professional who specializes in helping communities make the most of their public spaces. With 20 years of experience in public, private, and nonprofit sectors, Melissa has helped communities discover, enhance and connect to their downtowns, town centers, parks, streets, trails, and greenways. She is currently working on a number of public space enhancement efforts in Downtown Austin, including a major public-private partnership to transform Republic Square. In addition, her work has influenced communities in the San Francisco Bay Area, the Hudson...


Industrial Designer at Argo Design

Hayes is a highly creative, consummate Industrial Designer.

Few designers bridge the gap between conceptual and commercial so effortlessly.

Rarely does one person posses both the special combination of inquisitiveness, insight and wit of a great conceptualist and the broad industry experience required to understand the possibilities of modern technologies and manufacturing methods.

Recent projects include the 2016 Dell professional display design language, The forthcoming Dell Smart Desk system and Danger Lurks, a whimsical series of lamps and objet examining our ideas...


Studio Director + Design Director at Gensler

Mary Bledsoe is Gensler Austin’s Workplace Studio Director and Design Director, bringing with her over 25 years of professional design experience and leadership. Prior to Gensler, Mary’s career has included interior design leadership roles at several other prestigious design firms in Texas. Mary began her career in high-end retail design, transitioning to corporate interiors in the late nineties. She has since completed a wide range of project types for both public and private sector clients with a particular focus on Technology and Creative Class clients. Mary’s portfolio of work...


President and Founder at DWG. Urban Landscape Architecture

As president and founder of dwg., Daniel has practiced landscape architecture for close to two decades. In his role as Creative Director he has overseen a multitude of award-winning national and international urban design projects.

Daniel is passionate about design excellence, collaboration and public service. He is an urban open-space advocate and is the Austin Parks Foundation board past-president and co-chair of the Republic Square Capital Campaign. He is a former board member of the Downtown Austin Alliance, and former chair of the Congress Avenue WOW Committee. He has served as...


Advisory Designer at IBM

Kathryn McElroy is an Advisory Designer for IBM's Mobile Innovation Lab in Austin, Texas. She is an award-winning designer who is passionate about near-future technology and building smart objects. She has published tutorials of her projects in Make Magazine and Fast Company, and is currently writing a book titled Prototyping for Designers for O’Reilly Media. In her spare time, Kathryn speaks at schools and on career panels to get young girls involved in STEM fields.


Designer at LewisCarnegie

Designer at LewisCarnegie | Amateur Commander at Industry Print Shop | President Emeritus, AIGA Austin | Screen Printer | Instant Film Enthusiast


Communications Team

  • Royal Frasier, PR
  • Robynne Trifiletti, Social Media
  • Kathy Hlavac, Blog Curation

Special Thank You To

  • Erin Pitts, The Label Collective
  • Colin M Budd, Photographer
  • Hugh Forrest, SXSW
  • Julie Yost, SXSW Eco
  • Katy Stover, General Assembly
  • Kim Hopson, American Youth Works
  • Kristin Waddington, The Label Collective
  • Randall Gregory, IBM Design
  • Rebecca Greenwald, ADW Conspirator
  • BuildASign, Signage
  • Titos Vodka, In Kind Donations