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A Practical Guide to Denver Design Week 2019

The inside scoop on which events to go to, how to get there and how to make it even more affordable

Ali Longwell //October 3, 2019//

A Practical Guide to Denver Design Week 2019

The inside scoop on which events to go to, how to get there and how to make it even more affordable

Ali Longwell //October 3, 2019//

And event at the 2018 Denver Design Week at Design Within Reach. Photo by Rebecca Grant.

In its fourth year, Denver Design Week (DDW) has a little something for everyone and anyone who has an eye for design and a love of detail. Kicking off Oct. 17 (and carrying through Oct. 25), the week offers tours, panels, keynotes and discussions on how design contributes to the city’s economic, social and cultural quality of life.

Denver Design Week initially was the brainchild of William Logan, the publisher of Modern in Denver magazine. After attending other design-centric events across the country, Logan wanted to create a seven-day event for Denver to showcase its design industry, and to help push the industry forward.

“The idea is really to get the conversation going about design and get people excited about not just what’s happening in our city, but what's happening in other cities that we could use to make Denver a better place,” says Jodi Kopke, operations director for Denver Design Week.

ColoradoBiz sat down with Kopke to get the inside scoop on the week including tips for getting around, must-attend events and ways to make the event as affordable as possible.

Must-Attend Events


At the beginning of DDW, particularly on Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday, Oct. 20, many of the events are behind-the-scenes tours of Denver landmarks, homes and workshops.This includes:

Can’t Miss Keynotes, Events

While there are a number of diverse events throughout the week, Kopke called out a few as can’t-miss keynotes and events.

  • On Friday, Oct. 18, the opening keynote will feature Denver designer Lindsey Kruger. Kruger will speak on logistics regarding her latest project, which is rebuilding a Himalyan village following the 2015 earthquakes in the region.
  • On Monday, Oct. 21, Mountain High Appliance is hosting an interactive dinner reception. This will include a presentation on new kitchen technology from the location’s culinary director and the ability to create your own meal using this tech as well as a talk from members of Denver’s Buntport Theater on how they design original plays.
  • On Thursday, Oct. 24, The Women in Design are flying in international architect Débora Mesa Molina from Madrid who will speak on her use of raw, undervalued materials for architecture.
  • On Friday, Oct. 25, the closing keynote will include a presentation from Qin LI, the VP of design at fuseproject. Li will present on product design and creating products to meet human needs.

Free Events

While most the events cost near $10 a piece, DDW is also featuring two free events:

  • On Monday, Oct. 21, Ted Vadakan, one of the co-founders of Los Angeles-based lifestyle brand Poketo, is stopping by The Source Hotel on his book tour. This event will also include a discussion on brand building with local entrepreneurs Jon Hartman, Gillian Grefé and Hunter Leggitt Studio.
  • On Wednesday, Oct. 23, Design Within Reach is hosting a keynote on architectural and archival preservation at significant landmarks and as it relates to the renovation of the Martin Building at the Denver Art Museum.

Getting Around

This year, rather than host the event in a single location, keynotes and sessions will be hosted around town at prominent design businesses and buildings.

“We got a lot of feedback from folks last year, that said we would love to host people in our space, and we would love to show people what we've got in our workshop,” Kopke says. While the events are across the city, most are located in Denver’s downtown, Cherry Creek or RiNo neighborhoods, with a few hosted south of the city.

“My tip for people is to look at the location because some of them we tried to cluster together to make it really easy for people to either park in one place or very easily walk from one place to another,” she says.

DDW also created two packages (where you get a discounted price on two back-to-back events):

  • One Monday, Oct. 21 in Cherry Creek, which includes a studio tour of California Closets and a panel at Aviano Coffee;
  • And another Thursday, Oct. 24, which includes a networking cocktail party at Signature Windows and a discussion on tribal art, memory and minimalism at the Rimadesio Showroom by Rifugio Modern.

Making It Affordable

Each of the events is around $10 to attend: “There's very few events around town that you can do for $10,” Kopke says. With the free events and packages (both mentioned above), DDW is seeking to make the event as affordable as possible.

“One of the big takeaways is that yes, we all want to learn something, but we want to involve as many people as possible,” Kopke says.

In addition, DDW volunteers get free tickets to events. “So, if someone donates their time for a 2 hour shift to help with some of the events then they can go to other events for free,’ Kopke says. “I think that's a great way for people to get involved if someone's interested.”

For more information on volunteering, click here.