CREATIVE CRUSADES: Design Week Foundations+Celebrations

Celebrations of creative works across cultural, sectoral, industrial, and generational contexts deserve continuous days of rites and rituals.  Much anticipated and strongly supported, these festivities have occupied important slots in our life calendar for undeniable reasons.  For participants in such events, it is a golden opportunity to showcase their creative geniuses through exhibitions and discussions. For its spectators, it is a grand show to behold. For the rest of the global community, it is an aspiration to eventually experience either of the two roles. These celebrations are timebound as much as they are timeless.  Design Weeks (or DWs as we may tag them) were born out of passionate and strong initiatives of individual and collective designers whose primary intent was to showcase and celebrate design.  Across highly-celebrated DWs, meet 6 selected crusaders whose life purpose centers on the promotion, propagation, and propulsion of design.


Kari Korkman portrait from

 HDW Finnish Icons sourced from Helsinki Design Week 2019, Poiat Bastone cabinet sourced from

With the goal to ‘develop the city as an environment for creative industry’, the Helsinki Design Week was officially launched in 2005 by Luovi Productions Ltd. which was founded by Finnish KARI KORKMAN. This was their response to the need for a network that would serve to ‘gather creative minds together and promote design’. With staples such as the Design Market and Open Studios, the Helsinki Design Week brought the popular PechaKucha Nights and later on, the Children’s Weekend to the lineup of festivities. Regarded as the largest design festival in the Nordic countries, the Helsinki Design Week has over 250 events as part of its programme. Aside from being the Founder and Director of the Helsinki Design Week, Kari Korkman is also the President of the World Design Weeks, an organization of at least 40 design week celebrations worldwide.  Beyond all these, Kari continuous to actively create ‘opportunities for new forms and kinds of design to be communicated outside the academic circles’.

Lokal Visit Finland Katja Hagelstam sourced from, Helsinki Design Week Visual Identity by Bond sourced from, Helsinki Design Week HDWHOP credit Iiris Heikka8 sourced from, HDW_LastenDesignviikko9304_(c)Aleksi Poutanen sourced from

HDW2020 Poster sourced from, HDW2020 Poster HDW Stadium sourced from


Lissa Balasso Portrait from Facebook and linkedin

VDW LightArtColors2018 luce sourced from

Every October, the Venice Design Week opens its doors to designers and companies from all over the world to celebrate the week of design in Venice.  Primarily mounted in close cooperation with museums and institutions around this magnificent city, VDW celebrates contemporary design as much as it explores the ‘hidden side of Venice’—that which is hinged on how ‘ancient objects were designed and decorated’. VDW was founded in 2010 by Lisa Balasso, a Venetian architect who holds a masters degree in the Management and Communications of Cultural Heritage. Today, Lisa is very much active in organizing VDW’s annual contest: ‘Wearable Technologies’.

VDW Light Emphasizes 2016 by Lupicano and Martinelli sourced from, VDW2017 Light Emphasizes by Castaldo sourced from, VDW Catalog Jewelry 2018 sourced from, VDW Wearable Technology 2016 sourced from


Eduard Sweep portrait sourced from


Together with his colleague Miriam van der Lubbe, Dutch designer EDUARD SWEEP belong to the group of Eindhoven residents who laid the foundations for what is now the largest design event in the Netherlands. The Dutch Design Week has just celebrated its first decade but has so far achieved much. What started as a humble goal, DDW spun off from Eduard’s goal to have ‘a place where you are being taken seriously as a designer’. This shared vision was greatly driven by the desire to mirror the atmosphere of Milan and a place where young designers like Eduard would feel at home.

DDW2017 MVRDV Wego Installation sourced from, DDW Fiber Pattern Lamp sourced from, DDW2019 sourced from, DDW Sweep Bowl sourced from, DDW2020 sourced from, DDW-LOGO 2014 sourced from


Maurizio Peregalli portrait sourced from

FuoriSalone History:Concept sourced from, FuoriSalone History sourced from, ZEUS Sul Terrazzo sourced from

Italian furniture designer MAURIZIO PEREGALLI founded ZEUS, a forerunner of the FuoriSalone–which started out as a party (later on called ALL NIGHT LONG PARTY) to celebrate the occasion of the Salone del Mobile in 1984. These moments of shared presentations and exhibitions within unusual spaces became opportunities for expressions of true identities and personalities. These music and buffet party events made an impact on the media and have led to the exploratory use of other extraordinary venues for round table discussions and design presentations. With a minimalist approach in design, Maurizio Peregalli has tirelessly researched on industrial-type elements and new materials as seen through his iconic furniture pieces. As passionately, he has unwaveringly promoted exhibitions and cultural events to provide designers a venue: to display their design prototypes; to interact and mingle with others; and perhaps most importantly, to make themselves known.

SL-ARM-Poltroncina Chair and POLTRONCINA Chair designed by Peregalli sourced from, Expanded Metal, Stainless Steel and Aged Solid Wood sourced from


DWM2020 Visión y Tradición sourced from, DWM2020 Pabellón sourced from

DWM2020 Design Market sourced from

Design Week Mexico is both an important festival and invaluable organization which has become a very important contribution to the local design scene through its annual program of activities—highly analytical as much as reflective on the ‘local challenges with global relevance from the design perspective’. Mexican designer EMILIO CABRERA cofounded DWM in 2009 and since then, has been mounting this 10-day event catering to more than half a million visitors annually with exhibitions and activities presenting topics on architecture, graphic design, lighting, furniture, user experience, and installation art. In 2018, Emilio gallantly led and won for his city its bid as World Design Capital whose goal was “to build a platform for collaboration not only between design disciplines, but also between countries”.

DWM2020 Ruta del Diseño sourced from, Mexico City at Night sourced from


Eric Yim portrait sourced from

ERIC YIM is synonymous to the Hong Kong-based annual BoDW (Business of Design Week) which started in 2002. Aside from being the Chairman of both the Hong Kong Design Centre and the Design Council of Hong Kong, he is also a professor in Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s School of Design while at the same time practices as an award-winning architect and furniture designer. On top of this, he is a successful entrepreneur which makes him the ideal purveyor of the ‘Business of Design’. As an annual event happening each December, the BoDW is a showcase of design conference, exhibitions, forums, and award presentations—as it welcomes presentations from designers, business leaders, and educators from a partner country for each year. With his grit and gut, he has innovated the BoDW’s city program through its designers’ talks, open houses, and workshops—all these were made more accessible to the public at no cost. Regarded in Hong Kong as a ‘true transformative visionary’, Prof. Eric Yim fervently believes that the people “have other means to experience design, to learn more about design through everyday life”.

BoDW 2017 Artwork by Edoardo Tresoldi sourced from

BoDW2017 Glass designed by Ettore Sottsass sourced from, BoDW 2017 Agri Chapel by Momoeda Yu Architecture Office DFA Awardee sourced from, BoDW 2016 Chicago Partner City sourced from

BoDW sourced from

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