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5 Reasons to Attend #ADW20

Every year, creatives around the city and beyond come to Austin Design Week to learn, connect, and be inspired by the local design community. And while this year may look a little different, ADW20 is going to deliver the same experience Austin has grown to know and love—a new shape, same great (not to mention, free) events.

Whether you’ve been attending ADW since our early days (you know who you are—thank you!) or are considering joining us for the first time, there’s something for everyone to take away from the week of free workshops, panels, and discussions.

Here are a few reasons to block off your calendar for November 9-13 and attend ADW20:

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You don’t have to be a designer to attend

If you’re not a designer, don’t let the name deter you: ADW is open to anyone and everyone! Whether you consider yourself a designer or are simply a fan of design, ADW is meant to be a place to learn more about how design is currently taking place in Austin. While there are many designers who attend ADW, you don’t need to have the word “designer” in your job title. Design practices can be applied to any industry.

Whether you’re a writer, an accountant, or a small business owner, the conversations and ideas that take place at ADW are meaningful and inspiring for many aspects of life. Plus, it’s just nice to meet people outside of your industry or social circle every once in a while.

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Strengthen your connections with the design community

Now more than ever, you may be seeking connection. With many of us working from home, the camaraderie of the office or the energy of after-work networking events is missed. If you haven’t had the chance to meet and mingle with fellow designers in a while, then ADW is the perfect time to make those connections.

Even though a majority of this year’s events will take place online, they’re highly interactive, so there will still be plenty of opportunities to connect with other members of the design community. ADW even has a community Slack channel, so you can keep the conversations going after the festivities and stay engaged with the community year round.

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Explore different design disciplines

If you’ve ever been curious about another design discipline (aren’t we all?), there’s no better time to check it out than at ADW20.

The innovative events that come out of the design week will likely offer a new perspective on how you approach a problem. You could even walk away from a session with inspiration on how to weave a different discipline’s design process into your own. However, you may also be surprised to learn how similar another discipline is to yours. That’s the great thing about design; it connects us in so many ways!

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Support your community

Austin is home to a huge community of creatives who are doing great work. And for this year’s hosts who are putting themselves out there to share some of that work, they’re relying on their community to show up and support what they’re doing.

Presenting is always nerve wracking, especially if you’re doing it for the first time. But what often helps is knowing that the crowd you’re presenting to is there to support you and listen to what you have to say. ADW is a great time to support local designers, small businesses, and organizations. Community support is invaluable—it can give presenters a boost of confidence and encourage them to keep going with their great work.

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Attend from wherever you are

In year’s past, our events have taken place at businesses, workspaces, and studios all across town. It goes without saying, though, that 2020 has changed the way events take place, so this year we’re switching things up and taking #ADW20 online (though, events are still free—you can always count on that!).

While we’ll miss the spirit of in-person events, the upside is that this year’s (mostly) virtual format makes it easier and more accessible to attend sessions. With no travel time required to get from one event to the next—all you have to do is open a new tab on your computer—you can most likely attend more sessions than before. Plus, you can do it all from the comfort of your own home: tune into a panel discussion while you work, or participate in a workshop during your lunch break.

2020 has been challenging, but in design, there’s hope

To say that this year has been a challenge would be a massive understatement. Societal issues have come to a head and it’s more clear than ever that these problems need to be tackled head on. And while that may feel overwhelming on an individual level, as a community we can come together to have the necessary conversations and use design for good.

At #ADW20, you will hear from many voices and perspectives—across various backgrounds and disciplines—on how we can apply design to solve the issues we’re facing today. And because these events encourage engagement and participation, you’ll be able to come up with, and share, your own solutions. Design has long been used as a tool for problem solving, and we like to believe that design can help move us all forward.

We have a lot in store for #ADW20 and can’t wait for you to join us. Stay tuned for the full schedule coming soon!