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Music City Makers: Nashville Design Week

The collaborative, multi-day celebration showcases local design talent.

Music City Makers: Nashville Design Week
Nashville Design Week's MOCAN x Pantone UX Exhibition; Photo credit: Daniel Meigs


Nashville Design Week’s programs highlight creatives across a range of mediums including architectural, graphic, interior, industrial, and fashion design. The city-wide events take place November 4 to 8, featuring panel discussions, tours, workshops, and installations. The event’s intention is to foster collaboration among designers and other entrepreneurs, as well as engage Nashvillians in a conversation about design impact. “Last year, we had over ninety-three events,” says Fuller Hanan, one of the four co-founders and director of programming. “This year, we have narrowed the scope down to be roughly thirty.” The scaled-back event offerings provide a carefully curated experience.

“Something that came out of the conversation during design week last year was that we tend to focus on looking forward at what can we create, when there’s actually so much that already exists here,” says Lindsay DeCarlo, co-founder and director of communications. “We’re looking forward to taking moments to revisit our history and learn more about the city.” Led by historian David Ewing, “Holding On To Nashville’s History: A Walking Tour of the Capitol District” will take place on Monday, November 4 at 7:30 a.m. at Hastings Architecture.

Nashville Design Week Space Matters Panel at Alfred Williams & Company; Photo credit: Daniel Meigs
Nashville Design Week Space Matters Panel at Alfred Williams & Company; Photo credit: Daniel Meigs

“Room at Our Table: A Breakfast with Leading Women in Design” is being held at The Bridge Building Event Space on Friday, November 8 at 7:30 a.m. “It’s a really cool breakfast event with a bunch of powerhouse women in design and creative industries in Nashville,” DeCarlo says. “They’ll be leading conversations around work-life balance, community involvement, leadership, business ownership and working in male-dominated industries.” Session leaders include: Sheila Dial-Barton (EOA Architects), Jess Nelson (Nashville UX, Ladies Get Paid, Eventbrite), Laura Reinbold (Terracon, AEC Power Women), Van Hoang (Van Hoang),Caroline Randall Williams (poet, professor, food writer), Libby Callaway (The Callaway) and others.  

Nashville Design Weeks aims to debunk the perception that design equates solely to luxury. “Our programming this year is really speaking to that point, how design can impact everyone—all users, all abilities, and how we can be more thoughtful in that,” Hanan says. “Design Below the Line,” hosted by Poverty and the Arts, will speak to how design impacts people experiencing poverty, how we interact with it, and how design is a common denominator. “We understand design can be misunderstood as a luxury”,” DeCarlo says. “It’s important we educate the city at large about Nashville’s creative community, and the work that they’re doing here, and that we celebrate it.”

Nashville Design Week's Off The Walls Walking Tour; Photo credit: Daniel Meigs
Nashville Design Week’s Off The Walls Walking Tour; Photo credit: Daniel Meigs

Nashville Design Week is entirely volunteer-based. Contact info@nashvilledesignweek.org to find out more about volunteer opportunities. Registration is required for all Nashville Design Week events. A calendar launch party is being held at Bastion on October 1. Participants must RSVP for the free event. To view the schedule, visit nashvilledesignweek.org.