Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Design Within Denver

I caught up with Sandra Fettingis, who curated the MCA Denver trunk show Design Within Denver. Designers and studios involved include(d): Vital Industries, Bussard Design Studios, becky's 

First off, tell us about yourself and what you do.

My name is Sandra Fettingis. I am the Gift Buyer for the MCA Denver Shop. Outside of the museum I make art and jewelry.

Tell me about Design within Denver and how it came to be?

I personally love trunk shows, and have been interested in starting a series at the museum for a while as another way to create opportunities and support for independent designers. Products become so much more special to the buyer once they get to know the maker a bit more. 

How did you decide on the designers participating each week? 

For this first round of trunk shows, I wanted to feature Denver designers working in a variety of mediums that each have a clear and developed creative voice, as well as brand recognition in the community. I've seen each of these designers grow during my time in Denver, and all are dedicated to their work. Aside from being talented and driven designers, they are all super nice people.

What would you say to designers who live elsewhere but are considering working in Denver? What do you feel are the strengths of the design community here and what might be a challenge? 

As a Chicago transplant myself, I would say that working in Denver offers a lot of freedom and opportunity to experiment. It’s a great place to get exposure as a young designer and form your own path and community. When I moved here five years ago, I saw more of a gap between these high art institutions and so-called low art. I think younger gallery owners at places like Gildar, Blackbook, and Groundswell as well as Samuel Schimek (of I <3 Denver) are doing a lot to support talented community artists. One challenge I’ve been thinking about is how mid-career artists and designers can gain exposure outside of Denver. A question is: do we try to draw more attention to Denver or find ways to branch out to other cities and markets?

image credit: Design within Denver logo by Alex Stephens. 2012 solidtype by MATTER courtesy of MATTER. 


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