Last year, local design lovers rejoiced at the launch of Denver Design Week, a seven-day series of lectures, workshops, and home and studio tours that celebrated the Mile High City’s place in the world of modern design. It’s back again this year, July 15–21, and better than ever before—kind of like Denver’s design scene.
This year’s expanded schedule is packed with panel discussions, guided architecture tours, and keynote presentations about modern design and architecture in Denver, led by more than 70 of the region’s design experts. With more than 30 events in seven days, the lineup is as daunting as it is enticing. That’s why we’ve whittled it down to one “must-see” event for each day of the week (with more on the weekends, because the grocery shopping can wait).
Saturday, July 15
TOUR: Blue Silo Studios: A Century of Change, From Creamery to Creatives
Blue Silo Studios
4701 National Western Dr.
Built in the late 1800s, the Blue Silo Studios building has been home to a creamery, janitorial-supply company, punk-rock band, rave club, and now a community of printmakers, painters, sculptors, and musicians. This tour of their fine-arts studios promises fascinating stories of RiNo’s past, plus an up-close look at local art.
TOUR: Go to The Source: Preview RiNo’s first hotel with Zeppelin Development
The Source Hotel
3350 Brighton Blvd.
You know about The Source—that cool collection of food and drink artisans located in an 1880s iron foundry—but did you know a new culinary complex and hotel are in the works too? Zeppelin Development partner Justin Croft will lead a hard-hat tour of the under-construction Source Hotel, which will include a look into a raw guest room and a sneak peek at everything from pillows to wallpaper to menus.
Denver Design Week Launch Party
2501 Dallas St., Aurora
Aurora’s new Stanley Marketplace is the backdrop for a fun summer party that includes an “underwater” photo booth, design-themed “Plinko” and “Connect Four” games (with prizes), local brews from Renegade Brewing, Teakoe Tea cocktails, and of course, the chance to meet and mingle with Denver’s design community.
Sunday, July 16
Mid-century Modern: Pop Culture Trend or Enduringly Relevant Design?
1316 S. Elm St.
What is it about mid-century modern homes that we love so much—and that makes buyers willing to spend so much on them? Those are the questions a panel of mid-century modern experts will attempt to answer during this discussion, which takes place in one of Krisana Park’s mid-century modern homes.
TOUR: Mid-century Modern Gems: A Virginia Village Home Tour
11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tour begins at Ellis Elementary School
1651 S. Dahlia St.
Denver’s Krisana Park neighborhood is home to a beautifully preserved collection of mid-century modern homes—the community was recently designated a Conservation Overlay District in order to protect its unique character. To celebrate the honor, seven homeowners are opening their doors for this self-guided walking tour, which includes several sensitive remodels, a new build, and a painstakingly preserved mid-century modern gem.
TOUR: 16th Street Mall: Public Art? You’re Walking On It
Daniels and Fisher Tower
1601 Arapahoe St.
You’ve walked it dozens of times, but have you really seen the 16th Street Mall? This tour, led by John Olson, director of preservation programs at Historic Denver, will encourage you to look down at the sidewalks’ unique paver pattern, up at the perfectly parallel lines of trees and light fixtures, and all around at the historical buildings that line this unique city artery—once called “public art of the highest international quality” by the Urban Land Institute. (If you take the tour, don’t miss Monday’s panel discussion, “16th Street Mall: The Spine of the City.”)
Monday, July 17
Cooking up the Future: The Role of Technology in Modern Kitchen Design
CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning
1250 14th St.
Contemplating a kitchen overhaul, or perhaps just an update here and there? Before you tear out your cabinets and buy that new range, ask this panel of kitchen designers and appliance experts about the new trends and technologies (think steam cooking, induction cooktops, built-in coffee systems, smart-home integration) that are making cooking easier and faster than ever before.
Tuesday, July 18
Reinventing Transportation: The Disruption of Driverless Mobility
1899 Wynkoop St., Ste. 150
We know it’s just a matter of time before driverless vehicles hit the roads. But how will they change our city? Rutt Bridges, futurist, author, and advisor on driverless vehicles, will explore the social, environmental, and economic impacts.
Wednesday, July 19
All Up In Your Biz: Things To Know Before You Start-Up
CU Denver College of Architecture and Planning
1250 14th St.
Ever dreamed about turning your passion for design into a business? Pick the brains of three young Denver designers who have pulled it off. They’ll share tips and tricks, plus the unique challenges and opportunities you’ll encounter in Denver’s entrepreneurial market.
Thursday, July 20
Good Design: Always Modern, Ever Traditional
Room & Board
222 Detroit St.
What makes a design “good”? According to architect Jeff Sheppard and Christine G.H. Franck, director of CU Denver’s CARTA (Center for Advanced Research in Traditional Architecture), it’s all about proportion, scale, number, differentiation, symmetry, tectonic logic, character, place, and clarity of building purpose and type. Still scratching your head? In this keynote session, they’ll explain these principles by showing them at work in buildings around Denver—including the recently expanded Room & Board, where the event takes place.
Friday, July 21
Denver Women in Design: A Celebration In Honor Of Florence Knoll’s 100th Birthday
2501 Blake St.
This celebration of Florence Knoll, the designer whose name is synonymous with classic furniture design (she’s the face of iconic modern furniture brand Knoll), includes cocktails, cake, ice cream, and a conversation with female architects and designers about the role women play in Colorado design. Did we mention there’ll be cake?