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Boston Design Week 2016

Lynn Spooner April 15, 2016 Creativity

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The city of Boston celebrates all aspects of design with its Annual Boston Design Week! The 12-day citywide design festival returned for its third year March 30 through April 10, 2016. Jackrabbit was excited to learn that this year the festival would feature more than 80 programs and events across the design spectrum. In this post, I’ll share with you some of my favorite events from Boston Design Week 2016!


Most Inspiring

Two true shining stars of the 12-day festival were the AD 20/21 – Art & Design of the 20th & 21st Centuries and the 17th Annual Boston Print Fair, both held at the Cyclorama at the Boston Center for the Arts in the South End. With over 50 select exhibitors offering modern to contemporary fine art, prints, paintings, sculpture, jewelry, photography, and more, this annual event is always inspiring and a must-see for those that love art and design. It’s the only show and sale of its kind in New England and includes museum-quality works of art! I love how inspired I feel after attending this event each year, and I enjoy discovering and learning more about many talented artists that I wouldn’t normally have come across anywhere else.


Artwork that Caught My Attention

The mesmerizing work of one innovative artist/sculptor in particular that captured my attention at AD 20/21 was the work of Jack Storms. His cold-sculpted glass art pieces feature spectacular dancing colors, magically suspended inside glass. Storms is apparently one of only three people in the world who are creating these incredible “cold glass” optic sculptures. His process is rare and pretty amazing, demanding technical left-brain thinking, skill, and Fibonacci principles as well as artistic right-brain creativity. He cuts and stacks slivers of dichroic glass and glues them with a special epoxy to achieve the “floating” colors, he then layers optic or crystal glass around them, then perfectly sculpts the piece into a specific shape on a self-designed lathe. In fact, one piece can take 8-18 weeks to create, or up to 13 months.

While I was quietly admiring one art piece in particular created by Jack Storms, titled “Large Full Core Cube” and priced at $23,000, a gentleman walked over and offered to spin the piece so that I could take a video of the result. I later discovered it was Jack Storms himself! I was in complete awe of the artwork in motion. Check out the video below for yourself!


Design Showdown

Another Design Week event that was both interesting and fun to attend was “Design Showdown”, a live design competition held at Boston Design Center, sponsored by Design New England magazine and produced by Tony Fusco and Robert Four. This competition challenged student designers in interior design and interior architecture to put their best pitch forward. The “Design Showdown” event was actually the final round of the competition and therefore it included live presentations by each of the eight finalists in front of a panel of five judges. The audience was able to get in on the action as well and vote for a People’s Choice winner.


The Design Challenge

The specific design challenge was to create a show-stopping design for a specific residential and retail space located on Newbury Street. The designed space should be innovative, functional, and socially responsible. The competitors were supplied with floor plans and elevations for the empty spaces. More than 50 students submitted their plans. Then the finalists were tasked with submitting narrative descriptions of their projects. In addition, they had to submit drawings showing floor plans of the design, ceiling sections, perspectives, furniture, fixtures, and equipment along with concept boards with renderings and material samples.


The Finalist

Presenting 6th in the order of finalists, Alicia Kosasih caught my attention. She had a well-thought-out and sophisticated design presentation titled “Global Showcase — Weaving for A Socially Justified World”. Ms. Kosasih is a Master of Arts student in Interior Architecture at New England School of Art and Design/Suffolk University, 2017. Her design concept included a “weaving” theme. This was inspired by the non-profit initiative that would occupy the space, MIT Ideas Global Challenge. Ms. Kosashi explained that her design was based on the three spirits of the non-profit, which are awareness, collaboration, and solution. These themes were evident in the design choices she made but also very elegantly integrated into the final product. I was happy when Alica Kosasih was announced as the first place winner! Congratulations Ms. Kosashi on a job well done!



Overall, Boston Design Week 2016 was full of inspiring events! What were your favorite events? Feel free to share below! Team Jackrabbit is already looking forward to seeing what is in store for next year! Many local design organizations sponsor, support, or participate in the event in some way. It was exciting for us to see more and more people of Boston embracing this event each year. It’s nice to see it fostering a strong design culture while celebrating the vital role design plays in our lives.



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