Design Kitchener 2017: Must-see sites and events

Design Kitchener 2017 officially kicks off on October 4th and the list of events for the next 10 days is staggering like last year. From October 5th to 14th, more than 130 events will be held celebrating the Centers / Architecture + Design’s annual public festival, including architectural tours of new and old buildings, countless design panel discussions, and art installations across the city.

So how do you decide what to see and do? Use our list below as a starting point: we’ve selected eight places and events that you absolutely must see during the 10-day design extravaganza. Some of these require reservations and many are free. They are listed in the order of their date. The full list of events can be found on the Design Kitchener website.

1. MERGE art installation

This two-walled art installation will be located at Lubert Plaza on 1001 Locust Street throughout the festival. MERGE was founded by students from the Finishing Trades Institute and Jefferson University and is intended to symbolize the merger of Kitchener University and Thomas Jefferson University. The greatest transparency, view and reflection can be seen where the two glass walls overlap.

2. Neighborhood Design Crawls

A number of Kitchener neighborhoods are hosting art crawls during the Design Kitchener. The old town takes place on October 6th on the first Friday. Many galleries and exhibition spaces such as Bulthaup and LEMA open their doors for the night. Center City, West Kitchener, Fairmount / Brewerytown, and Fishtown will also host design crawls throughout the festival.

3. Kahn Struct

As part of the museum’s fabric workshop and the Louis Kahn exhibition, Kahn Struct will take place on Saturday, October 7th, from 1pm to 3pm. At this family-friendly event, people can channel their inner barge as they open windows, gates, and doors to structures to build a collaborative city. You can screen-print your work at home.

4. Build your own wooden furniture

Why spend a fortune on a new coffee table when you can make one yourself? On October 7th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., local furniture designer Michelle Lipson will host a lecture and hands-on woodworking workshop where you will learn about the advantages and disadvantages of table construction. You’re working with a group, and whoever pulls the name out of a hat can take the table home with them. There will be a second conversation and a meeting from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

5th Front Street Floral Crawl

From Monday, October 9th through Wednesday, October 11th, shops on Front Street and Frankford Avenue will be decked out with large live flower installations created by local florists. You can walk at your own pace or go to the Evil Genius Beer Company on Monday October 9 for a free guided tour from 5pm to 7pm

6. Tour the new CHOP Tower of the Roberts Center for Pediatric Research

On Tuesday, October 10th, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Ballinger will be giving a free tour of the recently completed CHOP tower on the Schuylkill River, which will provide a view of the public outdoor areas and the interior of the 21-story tower.

7. Tyler Hays: The art of doing anything

Local designer Tyler Hays, who owns American furniture design company BDDW, will speak about his work on Wednesday, October 11th at 6pm at the Kitchener Museum of Art. After the lecture there will be a treasure hunt in the museum. Here, some of Hays works are temporarily positioned in the decorative art galleries of the 17th and 18th centuries. Free.

via Wikimedia Commons

8. Hatfield House Open House

Hatfield House, one of the historic homes in Fairmount Park, will open its doors for an open house on Wednesday October 11th from 6pm to 8pm. Interactive art installations are shown, also inspired by the history and culture of the Strawberry Mansion district.

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