I may be entering the curmudgeon stage o my life, but whatâ€™s up with â€œNational Design Weekâ€? I never heard of it until I saw an ad for it in Sundayâ€™s NY Times: â€œFree Design All Weekâ€ sponsored by Target and the Cooper-Hewitt. Youâ€™d think that an industrial designer like me with feet in graphic design and architecture would know about it in advance; that Iâ€™d be involved in all the shows, tours, parties and symposiums running all across the country!
â€œDesign Weeksâ€ and â€œInternational Design Centersâ€ are really just isolated events. I was just in Istanbul for IDW (Istanbul Design Week). I was interviewed by the fashion design press and saw the Mayor visit the cool venue on a bridge. They even held a seminar about â€œDesign Weeksâ€ where I proposed that we line them all up into a â€œDesign Yearâ€ that sweeps around the globe!
There are two things that bother me about the Smithsonianâ€™s â€œNational Design Weekâ€ â€“ one is that â€œNational Design Weekâ€ seems to be just some hyperbole to spin their design award. The other thing is that itâ€™s not really national (the IDSA is holding their national conference in San Francisco next week too and could have leveraged the â€œNationalâ€ designation if theyâ€™d known).
The thing is that a â€œDesign Weekâ€ is a great way to focusing national attention on design â€“ but like a war (as Bush has shown) you need to mobilize the country to win! I hope this is just a warm up season.