Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller—the co-founders of In/Visible Talks’ and both long-time practicing designers—have considered all the possible options for Bay Area events and exhibits and picked their faves. February’s curated list includes discussions, celebrations, and many opportunities to make connections within our dynamic community.
Plants Illustrated Exhibit: Celebrating Ethnobotany.
A stroll in the garden can be one of the best ways to clear mind space. (Jenny Odell encouraged this practice in “How to Do Nothing” at In/Visible Talks 2018.) This special exhibit is the next best thing to an outdoor garden tour, as it features illustrated botanical art in UC Berkeley Botanical Garden’s lovely Julia Morgan Hall. Free to $12. Through February 6. UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, 200 Centennial Drive, Berkeley.
Night of Ideas.
Expect inspiring debates, discussions, and performances—and wine & cheese, of course—at this seven-hour marathon put on my SFMOMA, the French Consulate, and the San Francisco Public Library. Top thinkers, change-makers, and audience members come together to answer questions such as “Can our cities be community-focused and globally connected while also smart, resilient, and infused with poetry and empathy?” and “Is an innovative and inclusive city possible?” Free. February 2, 7 pm–2 am. San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco.
Cooper Hewitt National Design Awards Panel and Reception.
The National Design Awards program celebrates design as a vital humanistic tool in shaping the world, and it seeks to increase national awareness of design by educating the public and promoting excellence, innovation, and lasting achievement. Meet the 2018 National Design Award winners, including Gail Anderson, Liz Gerber, and Michael Ellsworth. Note: It’s not affected by the shutdown. Free. February 7, 6:30–8:30 pm. Design Within Reach, 200 Kansas Street, San Francisco.
Design Night: Out of This World (Exploring Architecture in Space).
Humans living on Mars is no longer the stuff of sci-fi films. With the use of robotic construction and deployment, the plans for habitable bases on other planets have become reality. Come for a talk and some hands-on activities, plus food, cocktails, and dancing under the starry lights. $20–$25. February 7, 6–10 pm. Autodesk Gallery, One Market Street, San Francisco.
Designers + Geeks: Art by Design.
Come explore how the worlds of pure artistic creativity and design come together. Join us for talks by Nkechi Deanna Njaka, who is a neuroscientist, mindfulness teacher, and choreographer, and Ge Wang, the co-founder of Smule and the designer of Ocarina and Magic Piano, two of the most popular music creation apps. $20. February 21, 7–9 pm. Yelp Headquarters, 140 New Montgomery, 8th Floor, San Francisco.
Invisible Bridges, Invisible Borders: Hidden Dynamics in San Francisco.
How are the Presidio and Bayview–Hunters Point connected? Why do some people feel uncomfortable crossing Van Ness Avenue? Join Public Knowledge in exploring and discussing how San Francisco’s infrastructures—both physical and social, visible and invisible (and you know how much we love that dichotomy)— create connections/barriers and enable/inhibit movement across and around the city. Free. February 27, 6:30–7:30 pm. Ortega Branch Library, 3223 Ortega Street, San Francisco.
Looking for more ideas? Check out the In/Visible Talks blog for reviews of design and arts events we’ve attended recently and to learn about upcoming opportunities.