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Austin Design Week 2016: It’s A Wrap!

Austin’s inaugural design week was a success; bringing together over a thousand designers over five action-packed days. We're all a little more connected and a lot more in-the-know about what’s happening across Austin design.

Check out a few highlights from all five days of Austin Design Week where we toured some amazing design studios, got hands on with jewelry making and hand lettering and talked about everything from the role of design in government to business strategy. To see a full list of events that happened during the week, check out the schedule page.

But first, stay connected.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date on all things Austin Design Week.

We’ve already started planning next year’s event and are excited to bring another great mix of design perspectives together to educate and inspire.

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Day 1

During the apparel screen-printing workshop with Tony Diaz, Brian Maclaskey, and Bart Kibbe of Industry Print Shop, attendees got hands-on making their own wearable piece of art.

Later that night Doreen Lorenzo, Director of the Center for Integrated Design at the University of Texas at Austin, walked us through the history of design in Austin during our Opening Party keynote.

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Next we tackled the significance of design and branding in Austin’s growing craft beer industry and the creative communities being fostered during our Craft Beer Branding panel.

The panel hosted Michael Graham of Austin Beerworks, Marty Butler of Butler Brothers, Jose Canales of Canales & Co., Christian Helms of Helms Workshop, Mike Woolf of Beef & Pie Productions, and moderated by Caroline Wallace of Bitch Beer and the Texas Craft Brewers Guild.

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Day 2

Kicking off the second day, we learned how to build design systems in the “Up With The System!: How and Why We Build Design Systems” workshop facilitated by Roman Gonzalez, Adam Zeiner, Elyse Holladay, Chris Danaraj, Truman Boyes and Rebecca Murphey.

Hosted at General Assembly Austin, the panelists covered the foundational questions about design systems and how to build design systems in corporate, agency and startup environments.

And to cap off our second night, AIA Austin and SXSWEco hosted a design debate to talk about how design contributes to or fails to contribute to our city.

Local designers including Mindy Cooper of studio dwg., Marc English of Marc English Design, Cat Fincun of IBM Design, David Goujon of Forge Craft Architecture + Design and others came together to debate how design has shaped Austin.

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Day 3

At Projekt202 we learned how they use virtual reality technologies like Oculus Rift to design meaningful user experiences during their studio tour.

Later that night we headed over to LewisCarnegie to hear from five talented creatives -- Inés Estrada, Sarah Lim, Saakred, Michu Benaim of In-House International and Xochi Solis -- using design thinking as a tool for elevated consciousness in their craft.

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Day 4

For all the jewelry lovers, we went to Craft to learn about ring making from artist Nina Berenato of Psyche Jewelry, who showed us traditional metalsmithing techniques.

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On Thursday evening, we went to Cheer Up Charlies to hear seven Austin designers shared true stories of how their life as designers has infiltrated their personal life and relationships.

The night was hosted and created by Roman Gonzalez user experience designer from Rackspace and host of storytelling nights across Austin including Hyde Park Storytelling: Voices of Color and StoryX: Austin Story Experiments.

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Day 5

We learned typography basics during the intro to hand lettering workshop taught by designer and lettering artist, Isa D’Aniello, and discussed design's role within government with MU/DAI and Kerry O'Connor.

To kick off our final evening, we previewed artist studios ahead of Big Medium's East Austin Studio Tour and heard from James Victore during the closing keynote.

We capped the night off with inspiration from our ‘Designers on the Verge’ series featuring up-and-coming designers Natalie Earhart and Zachary Zulch of Almost Real Things magazine, Fannie Gunton of Love Fannie Interiors and Blair Onyekanne of CTA Architects.

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We hope you had as much fun as we did.

Special thank you to all of our partners who made the week possible – General Assembly, IBM Design, projekt202, Spacecraft, The Label Collective, Social Distillery, Industry Print Shop, Momark, Big Red Dog, Scout Real Estate, Groove Labs and all of our media and community partners. We appreciate your support!

Interested in getting involved in Austin Design Week 2017? Email us at

Happy holidays everyone! See you next year!