FAQs

About MDW

Most design weeks are hosted in cities. Why Montclair?


Where the city meets the suburbs, at the intersection of ideas and creativity, business and the entrepreneurial spirit, Montclair has always been a little different. Our long history as a hotbed of innovation dates as far back as 1856, when railroad tracks were first laid between Montclair and cities like Newark and New York. Establishing not one but six commuter train stations in town, and forging our future within the larger metropolis ever since. Today our town is filled with a robust community of creative, innovative people of all ages, backgrounds, professions and points of view, with so much to contribute and celebrate.




I’m not from Montclair. Why should I attend?


Don’t let our suburban size fool you. With an annual film festival that features nearly 200 films from around the world, a literary festival that draws internationally acclaimed writers, and a jazz festival that hosts nearly 30,000 attendees, we’re a powerhouse of creative energy. It’s no wonder we’re on everyone’s radar when it comes to cultural attractions. Come and see how we celebrate and mobilize design as a tool for positive change.




What is Montclair Design Week?


Montclair Design Week (MDW) is the town’s official celebration about design. MDW connects and engages our community in a week of thought-provoking, playful, and inclusive events that celebrate how design enriches our lives in ways both large and small, visible and unseen. From panels, workshops, walks and talks to film series, festivities, installations and competitions, our programming is sure to ignite the designer in all of us.




Where is MDW happening?


Events will be happening all over Montclair. In pocket parks. Along our creeks. In downtown storefronts. At train stations and bus stops, too. In ways that ignite our imagination about what public spaces can be.





DesignShed Mission

I'm not a designer. Why should I care?


Design is all around us. Everything we encounter - every chair, passport, highway, paint color and voting booth - is the outcome of many decisions that we don't usually make. But we do know what good design looks and feels like. Maybe more importantly, we know what good design does. It inspires our curiosity, it shifts our perspective and, when it's really good, it transforms the world around us for the better. When more of us get curious, we get inspired. When more of us get inspired, we start shaping decisions. Until we find ourselves designing the future we want to live in. Come discover the designer that's been in you all along.




What is a design force for good?


For MDW, design is the act of making things, with close attention to the story about how it’s made, who it’s made for, and why it matters. Design starts with being curious about those stories. The chair you’re sitting on has a story — but so do our homes, parks, roadways, cities, school systems, health care, and even our civic interactions. Any one of us - innovator, high schooler, designer, tinkerer - becomes a design force for good when we rewrite these stories to transform the world around us for the better. What is the story of something you’d like to re-write?




What is your mission?


Montclair Design Week was born out of a curiosity to inspire and activate community engagement by believing that we are all designers of a better bolder future. Through a week-long series of engaging events, design challenges, festivities and a scattering of delightful surprises, Montclair Design Week takes the lead in expanding New York City’s creative footprint by recognizing how we are all in it together. Our mission is to celebrate and mobilize our community as a design force for good, through the power of curiosity, innovation, and engagement. We intend to operate as a non-profit organization with 501(c)3 status.





OUR STORY

The big idea, the people, and the goals.

Three years ago, I took the leap of a lifetime and founded Montclair Design Week (MDW) in the place I was born. In this short time, we've grown into DesignShed, a year-round organization with five programs offered as tools to celebrate our community's creative capacities and mobilize them into action for a more resilient and equitable future. MDW remains our crown jewel each year, held in the third week of October.

For DesignShed, design is the act of making things, with close attention to the story about how it’s made, who it’s made for, and why it matters. Design starts with being curious about those stories. The chair you’re sitting on has a story — but so do our homes, parks, roadways, cities, school systems, health care, and even our social interactions.

Design without kindness leads to exclusion. That's why we hold all MDW participants - organizers, representatives, volunteers, event hosts, sponsors, and attendees - to our Code of Conduct.

Thanks so much for stopping by. We're always an email or phone call away. We look forward to meeting your inner designer!

Warm regards,

Petia Morozov, Founder and Executive Director

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