Nashville Design Week has announced the 2021 calendar of events for its fourth annual festival taking place November 1-5, 2021. The calendar consists of 18 events – a mix of in-person, virtual and hybrid workshops, lectures, panels and tours showcasing designers across industries, from architecture and interiors to graphic, industrial and fashion design. Registration is required to attend all events and tickets range from free to $25 per event. All in-person attendees must present either proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test dated within 72 hours of the event.
“Nashville Design Week 2021 will honor the idea of transition, marking the middle ground between a trying year and reinvigoration, inviting attendees to imagine what will come next and how we’ll design together,” said Kate O’Neil, Nashville Design Week Co-Founder and Director of Partnerships. “With our COVID-19 policy in place, we are thrilled to be able to gather in person once again to celebrate Nashville’s design community, while offering a way for our friends near and far to participate virtually as well.”
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Nashville Design Week offers a highly-curated calendar of interdisciplinary programs and events hosted by Nashville creatives to engage designers and design enthusiasts alike. Founded in 2018 by the local design community, Nashville Design Week serves as an accessible platform for bold collaborations and conversations that promote idea sharing, engage and educate the public, and strengthen Nashville’s design culture and impact.
Nashville Design Week 2021 Calendar:
Monday, November 1
● Sustaining the Soul of Music City | Hosted by Kalen Russell (8:30-10 a.m. | Virtual)
Join Host Kalen Russell for a panel discussion around redistricting in Nashville. Panelists,
community leaders active in advocating for a more equitable and inclusive Nashville, will share
how they are connected with their communities, their work as community leaders, and how
socio-economic and place-based inequities influence the lives of their community members.
● Designer Round Robin | Hosted by Nashville Design Week and Design x Rhode Island (11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Virtual)
Designers from Nashville and Rhode Island will speak about their process and inspiration
followed by a round table discussion between the designers.
● Mentorship Huddles | Hosted by Ladies Wine and Design (5-6:30 p.m. | In-person at Nashville Design Collective)
Creatives are invited to find a mentor or become a mentor during this matchmaking mixer.
Participants will fill out a form before the event and will be paired with two to three potential
matches for twenty minutes each to find the best fit.
● Nashville Design Week Opening Party & 2021 Community Art Project Reveal | Hosted by Nashville Design Week, 21c Museum Hotel and Nashville Interiors (7-9:30 p.m. | In-Person at
Gray & Dudley)
Festivities include the unveiling of “Now and When: Love Letters to Nashville,” a community art
project made possible by Metro Arts, O’More College of Architecture & Design and Watkins
College of Art at Belmont University, DesignLight & Acuity Brands, and 21c Museum Hotel.
Curated by Nashville Design Week, the ten participating artists will participate in a panel
discussion about the project. Creative cocktails and food will be provided by Gray & Dudley.
Tuesday, November 2
● Youth Perspective on Design | Hosted by Civic Design Center (8:30-10 a.m. | Virtual & In-Person at NDW Live Studio)
Join Civic Design Center’s Nashville Youth Design Team & students from various universities to
hear a selection of perspectives on design presented in short, lightning presentations called
● A Vision for Guaranteed Income | Hosted by Moving Nashville Forward (11:30-1 p.m. | Virtual & In-Person at NDW Live Studio)
Moving Nashville Forward is launching a guaranteed basic income pilot in North Nashville
(37208) in November 2021. The event will provide an overview of the plan for the pilot, as well
as conversations with national and local leaders advocating for guaranteed income.
● We All Win: Art as Social Justice | Hosted by Persona Contemporary (5:30-7 p.m. | In Person at Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition)
Join Andrés Bustamante and Michelle Ruiz for a conversation around empowering diversity,
equity, inclusion, accessibility and mental health initiatives to find a common ground where “We
Wednesday, November 3
● The Power of Print | Hosted by Nashville Interiors Magazine (8:30-10 a.m. | Virtual & In-Person at NDW Live Studio)
Panelists Hollie Deese (Nashville Interiors publisher and senior editor) and Mike Smith (Nashville Scene publisher) will go into the ways print has impacted how stories are told, how cultures are remembered, how design is documented and how what is deemed important enough to commit to paper will inform what the next generation knows about the here and now – and how we can make a better print product in the future.
● Inform & Delight: How Design Shapes Our World | Hosted by AIGA Nashville (11:30-1 p.m. | Virtual & In-Person at NDW Live Studio)
Hear a panel of design professionals discuss how they use the idea of “inform and delight” to reshape the world and how the tangible output they create improves overall user experience and contributes positively to society. Panelists will also forecast and discuss the future use of
these technologies and how that has the potential to affect the design industry as a whole.
● For the Sake of Creating | Hosted by Aberdeen Studio & Lockeland Leather (5-6:30 p.m. | In-Person at Aberdeen Studio)
In the form of a design charrette, individuals will be led by a diverse group of artists and
designers, from architect to sculptor, to collaborate on designing a piece of furniture together.
● What Story Will We Tell: Museum Collections Through the Lens of Design | Hosted by EOA
Architects (5-8 p.m. | In-Person at the National Museum of African American Music)
This program will bring together storytellers with subjects themselves in a panel discussion
revolving around the journey of an artist’s life and how their story is later interpreted into a
museum collection exhibit. The discussion will include how museums design for the future;
where interactives become more advanced, when virtual visits become more popular and how
museum collections are at the touch of your fingers (and phone).
Thursday, November 4
● Defining Nashville’s Culinary Arts Impact | Hosted by Rachel Ebio (8:30-10 a.m. | Virtual &
In-Person at NDW Live Studio)
Margaret Littman of the Nashville Scene will moderate a culinary arts discussion with Julia Jaksic (Cafe Roze chef and owner), Victoria Rothberg (answer. restaurant and Flatiron Nashville owner and general manager) and Edgar Victoria (Alebrije Nashville chef). The panel will explore
Nashville's past, present, and future relationship with cuisine in relation to design.
● When Design Matters Most: Affordable Housing in Nashville | Hosted by IIDA Tennessee
(11:30-1 p.m. | Virtual & In-Person at NDW Live Studio)
Hear panelists discuss "why design matters” in affordable housing from four different
perspectives – the Advocate [Dominique Anderson], the Designer [Kara Gee], the Planner and
Developer [Kelsey Osemann], and the Dweller [Donna Woodley].
● Accessibility & Infinity: The Coming Ubiquity of Virtual Reality | Hosted by Something Good (5-6:30 p.m. | In-Person at The Rabbit Hole VR)
Join a panel of experts exploring the present & future implications of virtual reality, followed by a cocktail hour with free time to experience The Rabbit Hole VR.
Friday, November 5
● Bouncing Forward: Designing for Resilience | Hosted by AIA Middle Tennessee (8:30-10 a.m. | Virtual)
Join AIA Middle Tennessee for a recording of their new podcast exploring how Nashville can be
more resilient through business and practice, the built environment, and community and culture. In this premiere episode, a panel will share what they’ve learned over the past two years, how they’ve adapted in their work and communities, and how we can all work together to
build a more resilient city.
● Into the Metaverse: The Digital Transformation of Art and Fashion | Hosted by Greater Than Equal (11:30-1 p.m. | Virtual)
Learn about the impact of digital technology on art and fashion (NFTs, the Metaverse,
augmented reality, gaming, virtual reality), the possible effects on the Earth and society, the implications of decentralization, and how an equitable transition into this digital age can be
● Into the Metaverse Reception | Hosted by Greater Than Equal & Cë Gallery (5-6:30 p.m. | In-Person at Cë Gallery)
The physical and virtual world merge during a phygital networking event and curated exhibition
of NFT and physical art and fashion. This immersive experience will take place simultaneously in the metaverse and at Nashville’s newest event and exhibition space, Cë Gallery.
● Nashville Design Week Closing Event | Hosted by Nashville Design Week (7-9:30 p.m. | In-Person at Monday Night Brewing)
Close out the week and toast to new and old friends at the NEW Neuhoff development. The
event will include special performances, and a peek into the history and future of one of
Nashville's most intriguing buildings.
For the full calendar and event registry, visit NashvilleDesignWeek.org.