• Celebrate Austin design through a week of workshops, talks, studio tours and events this November as the city celebrates its creative economy in the second annual Austin Design Week.

How Austin Designers "Find Place" To Fuel Their Creativity

Austin Design Week announces its theme for 2017 (drum roll please)... Finding Place!

Finding Place… no, we’re not wondering how you find your way home after a late night on Rainey Street - unless it’s in a creative and inspiring way that relates to design (then definitely let us know). Rather, we are diving into the designer’s mind and discovering how local designers “find place”.

Whether you find place within your home, community, culture, identity, experiences, inspirational spots, etc. the theme is completely up to your own unique interpretation. ADW wants to explore where and how you find place and how it fuels your creativity and inspires your work.

We asked some members of Austin Design Week’s 2017 Advisory Board what “Finding Place” means to them. We hope their answers can help get ya goin’.


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Julie Yost, Design Track Lead at SXSW, believes design “grounds us”.

“Good design orients its users, it provides a way to get from point A to point B. How can all types of design provide Austinites a sense of place, when our surroundings, our products, our platforms and our interfaces are constantly changing?”


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Brendan Wittstruck, Senior Urban Designer at Asakura Robinson, explains the importance of designers in Austin’s rapid transformation.

“To me, "finding place" is an act that is temporal, cultural and spatial all at once. In a city that is transforming before our very eyes, the old roles and spaces of design and designers may no longer be tenable or relevant. I can't think of a faster-moving time in a faster-moving city than right now in Austin. So, when faced with change, what does design do?”


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Doreen Lorenzo, Executive Director of the Center for Integrated Design at The University of Texas-Austin, considers how design inspires the surrounding the environment.

“Design has grown past the individual items such as the artifact, service or system. It is omnipresent and all around us. Finding Place is designing a better environment for everything and everywhere.”


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Alexis Puchek, the Principal Designer at frog, finds place within her identity and life experiences.

“Finding Place to me centers around being a queer woman in a technology-focused industry. It's about understanding how my experiences can provide empathy, insight, and perspective in everything that I do. I’m excited for this ADW17 theme because has such a breadth to it and can be really transformational.”


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Randy Gregory II, Design Strategist at IBM Watson, explains how differently everyone interprets “home”.

“For me, Austin is about finally having a community and environment that feels more like "home"… It's the blending of cultures, the opportunity to advance my knowledge through meeting unique people from a variety of backgrounds and careers, the freedom to see whatever bands I feel like (at an affordable price), to have food that reminds me of home (Phoenix), and a political climate that energizes me."


Austin is home to remarkably smart individuals that can view the world a little different from anyone else. Local designers craft new forms of art, technology, music, food, and projects that encompass our culture and individuality everyday.

In an ever-changing city, we want to encourage everyone to find place by focusing on and expressing their work in amazing and innovative ways. Our goal for this year's Austin Design Week, is to allow you to reveal the roots of your inspiration and to showcase them through surprising executions.

Show Austin how you are “Finding Place” and apply here. We are accepting applications until July 10. Best of luck!

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The Austin Design Week Blog is curated and produced in partnership with Left Right Media. Left Right Media is a creative agency in Austin, specializing in branding, web design, app design and digital strategy. Their success is a result of both an analytical (left) and creative (right) approach to design.