Boston Design Week returns with a full 12 days of programming

Boston Design Week returns with a full 12 days of programming

Making its return back to Boston after a crazy year of Covid-19, Boston Design Week 2021 will be taking place with its 8th annual 12-day festival, which will run from April 28 through May 9.

Aside from the festival itself, there will be more than 50 virtual and outdoor events organized under the theme of “Spring Forward!” – exemplifying new beginnings and moving forward with new art for the year 2021.

The programming will include a number of speakers and designers, with many of the offerings free and open to the public, allowing for more of their returning art lovers, and newcomers. (There’s even a partnering hotel for those who are visiting from either out of state or out of country, all are welcome to stay at The Colonnade Hotel – of course after following Covid-19 protocols.)

Illustration from “Bold BOOM Universe” by LJ-Baptiste. Courtesy of The Eliot School of Fine & Applied Arts.

Boston’s Design Week has built its reputation on increasing public awareness and appreciation of all aspects of design, fostering recognition of the vital role design plays in our lives. The vision in which it is established encourages the public to explore all aspects of design. Boston Design Week, according to its organizers, is set up to allow those who attend to both learn about and discuss what’s new in the fields of architecture, interior design, computer assisted design, and the overall future design of Boston as a city.

The 8th annual Boston Design Week will inspire those who attend to be a part of a community that is ready for a new forthcoming world, in other words: “the new normal,” according to organizers. Aspects of this “new normal” will be amplified and exhibited within new art galleries, and of course other pieces of art, because it has now become a part of everyday life. And taking into account that the everyday view of some sort of art is also incorporated within our daily lives, so it only makes sense.

The special focuses of this 12-day festival include: architecture and urban planning (historic preservation, urban planning, future design of our city), professional focus (design industry programs, new products, design competitions), design and social impact (sustainable design and recycling, racial justice, social purpose), and handmade design (artisanal, bespoke, custom, hands-on design training).

Historic renovation of City Hall Plaza currently underway. Renderings courtesy of Sasaki Associates and the Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD)
“Remodeling Trends in 2021…The Evolving Family”, by Feinmann, Inc.
Sol LeWitt, Bars of Color within Squares (MIT), 2007, © 2018 The LeWitt Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: George Bouret. Courtesy of MIT List Visual Arts Center
TSP Smart Spaces explores computer-assisted design (CAD), 3D and advanced technologies - 360 Imaging, VR, and Video Game Tech. Photo credit: TSP Smart Spaces. Model credit: Catalano Architects
"Hatched" Photo credit Aram Boghosian
The Trustees of Reservations’ East Boston project underway to transform a dilapidated pier into a welcoming waterfront destination, Piers Park III. Photo Credit: Above Summit

Starting Wednesday April 28, there will be five “kick-off” events which includes Boston Globe experts on the impact of the runaway real estate market in the design industry and an up-close interview with Miguel Rosales: the designer and architect of the Zakim Bridge. Although a lot about Boston architecture and design will be talked about, that is not all.

The Zakim Bridge has become an iconic image of Boston. Designed by Boston’s own nationallyknown bridge architect Miguel Rosales. Photo courtesy of Miguel Rosales.
The renovation of the Longfellow Bridge had given the skyline of Boston a stunning new look. Designed by Boston’s own nationally-known bridge architect Miguel Rosales. Photo courtesy of Miguel Rosales.

There will be self-guided walks through various scenic routes, like the Public Art in Seaport. This site offers pieces from Frank Stella, Okuda San Miguel, Jon Burgerman, and of course Design Seaport Spring 2021 installations like SeaGreen Park and Harbor Way.


Other walk-through destinations include 90 Traveler Street, Boston MA, 02118; an underground Ink Block located under the highway between the city’s South End and South Boston Neighborhoods. It’s Boston’s newest urban playground: a beautiful and innovative transformation of an acre underpass. It’s a cultural attraction that allows for pedestrian boardwalks and bike paths.


Boston Design week has always been known for being dedicated to recognizing the leadership and the talent within the design community, especially within our very own Boston neighborhoods. Boston Design Week will be awarding many artists and designers, to help further reconcile their work, and to let the artist know that what they’re doing has a positive impact among all of us. To name a few awards that will be announced include: The 2021 Lifetime Achievement Award to Miguel Gómez-Ibáñez, who is a master furniture maker. The Producers Choice Award will be presented to The Society of Arts and Crafts. There of course have been other nominations, but those were just to mention a few; considering Boston Design Week always recognizes those who have gone the extra mile in the art community. Other organizations and businesses will also be recognized, and will have the opportunity to show off more of their work to those who attend.

The furniture making studio at North Bennet Street School - America’s first trade school.
“Gallery Wall Design” by Jameson & Thompson, Jamaica Plain.

As previously seen above, there are self-guided walks, but there are also specific, dedicated singular days with scheduled events and showcases. Taking a look at one of the specific dates and the itineraries that’s included within just one of the dates out of the 12 various days, May 1 includes a tremendous amount of beautiful sites and destinations to be visited. Starting off at 10 a.m., there’s a walk through The Christian Science Plaza, 11 a.m. through Herter Park: A Space in Transition, 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. of tours through the Charlesgate Park, and ending off the night at the Sigma Design Center from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. where attendees can explore glorious new interior, fashion, graphic and music design.

(The Christian Science Plaza)
(Herter Park: A Space of Transition)
(Tours of Charlesgate Park)

Ongoing and multi-day events will take place on, after, and during Boston Design Week. Some of these events show off The Mural Project, which is located at the Museum of Fine Arts. Muralist Rob “Problak” Gibbs and illustrator Rob Stull are taking the lead on this project that is inspired by the exhibition of “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” – that highlights all and any connection with youth and participating in all cultures surrounding Hip Hop.

(Tours of Charlesgate Park)

Taking a look at other on-going art events, there were will also be features of South Asian Art, which is an open exhibition with open reservation through October 1, 2022. Located at the Peabody Essex Museum, this revolutionary piece of art shows off a selection of objects from PEM’s extensive collection of historical material from India. Although it is focused primarily on the 19th century, this piece does a wonderful job of considering India’s long and complex history of foreign occupation and its troubling impact on the representation of Indian people in art.

(Tours of Charlesgate Park)

Going to Boston Design Week will allow for Bostonians to catch up on the latest trends when it comes to architecture, landscape design, interior design, arts and crafts, and so much more. Attendees will be able to take a look into Boston’s future, and what their future neighborhoods can look forward to when it comes to art, and new innovative designs. Those who register for the self-guided walks will be able to get a taste of nature without having a schedule, while the specific dated days with a schedule, will be able to see all that Boston has to offer for both art and historic/future architecture and design within the city.

Boston Design Week appreciates any and all inquiries, however, those who brought the outstanding event together; ask that attendees who plan on participating to only register for events they truly plan on going to, so that others can get the chance to attend as well. Each event has its own requirement for registering, most are free, but even virtual events sell out in terms of slots – so it’s important to closely follow directions when planning around these notorious, beautifully planned events.

(Full events calendar: )

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