San Francisco Design Week highlighted the role of power in creative disciplines

The San Francisco Design Week 2021 themed around 'Power' brought together different virtual discourses conveying a common message: with great power comes great possibility.

by Zohra KhanPublished on : Aug 10, 2021

The 15th edition of the San Francisco Design Week (SFDW), hosted from June 7-13, 2021, presented an intriguing array of talks, conferences, and virtual studio tours deliberating on the theme of Power. Bringing together a range of multidisciplinary experts and professionals from the world of design, the festival was hosted online, second year in a row.

The 2021 San Francisco Design Week was hosted on the theme of Power | Design Festival | San Francisco | STIRworld
The San Francisco Design Week 2021 was hosted on the theme of 'Power' Image: Courtesy of Landscape SF

The festival, for which STIR was an official Media Partner, drew its theme from the recent societal shifts over the past year that have offered a glimpse into the frameworks that power create. Reflecting on the theme’s significance in a conversation with STIR, the CEO of SFDW, Dawn Zedonis, elaborates, "Due to the global pandemic our community has suffered loss and has often felt powerless because all of our worlds across the globe have been turned upside down. Here in the United States, we experienced a long overdue reckoning with #BlackLivesMatter, LGBTQ struggles, political upheavals and we wanted a theme that acknowledged our history and helped us to heal and have conversations about the best way forward, especially as we are starting to come out of the lockdown.”

Each dialogue from the festival shone light on the idea of power and its manifestation across concepts, communities and creative voices | Design Festival | San Francisco | STIRworld
Each dialogue from the festival shone light on the idea of power and its manifestation across concepts, communities and creative voices Image: Courtesy of Landscape SF

“The theme ‘Power’ resonated with our community as it related to each of us professional and personally, and also in regard to sustainability (green power), soft power and many more challenges we all are struggling to solve,” adds Zedonis.

Poster collection from the festival | Design Festival | San Francisco | STIRworld
Poster collection from the festival Image: Courtesy of Landscape SF

Boutique brand strategy studio Landscape, in collaboration with SFDW, presented a series of dialogues exploring how power manifests across a variety of disciplines. Titled Shapes of Power, the discussions were moderated by Landscape Founder and Creative Director, Adam Weiss, who also helmed the conceptualisation of the festival’s concept, identity and campaign. The visual communication featured a distinct collection of photographs that communicate the essence of the larger theme as well as allude to focused perspectives. Helvetica Neue in a minimal and bold colour palette composed of black, red and white, projected the textual communication.

The lineup of speakers for Shapes of Power comprised some of Landscape's own inspiring clients and collaborators such as Los Angeles-based designer and microbial sciences expert, Yuji Sakuma of studio Seed; Homan Rajai and Elena Dendiberia of vernacular bending interior design collective Studio AHEAD; Micaela Connery of Kelsey (a non-profit studio working with creating inclusive, affordable housing), and Dewitt Lacy of community resource, Good & Common.

Shapes of Power: a series of conversations initiated by Landscape in collaboration with SFDW | Design Festival | San Francisco | STIRworld
Shapes of Power: a series of conversations initiated by Landscape in collaboration with SFDW Image: Courtesy of Landscape SF

In line with the larger goal of the festival, a unique opportunity was presented for one to step back and understand that 'with great power comes great possibility'.

The conversations from Shapes of Power and other micro events from the San Francisco Design Week are live on the festival’s platform. STIR readers can still avail $10 off on tickets by clicking here.

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