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February 12, 2021

March 2021 Design & Art Event Hotlist

INVT’s curated list of “must do” creative events is designed to inspire.

It’s cherry blossom season in San Francisco! There’s something about seeing the bright bursts of color against gray skies that reignites our passions, gives us hope, and drives us to bring more beauty into our world. What might we create today?

So many possible answers to that question, and we’re getting inspiration from our monthly “Hotlist”, which you’ll see below. Here you’ll find our “must-do” Design & Art events from around the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond (thanks to all the virtual offerings), a list curated by INVT co-founders and practicing designers Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller.

Throughout March, we’re looking forward to feeding our brains, exploring design history, continuing our work for becoming better allies for each other, and inspiring our muses. Join us!

BIPOC Design History.

If you missed the live sessions from this series in February, you can now access the lectures, readings, and discussions online. “Black Design in America”, facilitated by Polymode, revisits and rewrites design history to include previously marginalized designers and cultural figures—particularly BIPOC and QTPOC. We’ll learn about innovative mathematics in African architecture, the Harlem Renaissance and other queer Blackness, the rise of hip-hop’s graphic language, and protest graphics of the Black Lives Matter movement. $30/class or $250/series for practicing professionals; sliding scale for educators, students, and BIPOC. Any time. Online.

CCA’s Spring Lecture Series.

We are going to be feeding our brains this month through the excellent lectures offered by California College of the Arts—and all are free! We are seriously excited about the group show “Which Mirror Do You Want to Lick?” (March 2) and the talks “Future of Work” and “Experimental Computer Animation” (both on March 12). Check out the full lineup of offerings on their calendar. Did we mention they’re free? Multiple dates. Virtual.

Leading Design Festival.

UK-based Leading Design is a month-long event for people leading design teams, overseeing design direction, or instilling a culture of design within their organizations. The 2021 event kicks off with a three-day conference, followed by “The Rest of the Fest”: weekly talks, masterclasses, and mentoring sessions. We’ll be there (virtually, of course) to learn from their speakers (including Etsy’s Michael Yap and Shopify’s Temi Adeniyi) how we can grow as leaders and to reconnect with our amazing global community. $395–$895. The Conference: March 2 through 4. Online.

A History of Arab Graphic Design.

Guided by speakers Bahia Shehab and Haytham Nawar, both practicing artists and designers, A History of Arab Graphic Design will take us on an exploration into how Islamic art, Arabic calligraphy, cinema, political events, and the arrival of the internet have impacted Arab graphic design. We’ll study the work of over 80 key designers from Morocco to Iraq, from pre-1900 to the end of the twentieth century. $2.50–$5. March 11, 10:00 to 11:00 am PST. Online.

SXSW Online 2021.

Join us in celebrating the convergence of the interactive, film, and music industries at the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals. For 2021, all offerings—including Conference sessions, Music Festival showcases, Film Festival screenings, and world-class networking—will be offered online. We’d love to attend all 230 panels and keynotes, and somehow we’ll have to choose from the lineup that features big names like Erin Lee Carr, Dominique Crenn, Cynthia Erivo, Taraji P. Henson, Barry Jenkins, Queen Latifah, Baratunde Thurston, and Chris Webber. $249. March 16 through 20. Online.

Listening More + Speaking Less: White Folx as Allies for Equitable Outcomes.

Effective ally work, we know, requires people who identify as white and/or benefit from white privilege to acknowledge and leverage their privileges, power, and access to amplify individuals with historically underinvested identities. We plan on attending this event to better understand how our identities may have an impact on others, challenge ourselves to identify how racism shows up in our own behavior, and develop anti-racist practices as design allies. Please note: This event might be sold out. Get on the waitlist or—better yet—sign up for Creative Reaction Labs’ email list so you get first access. $25. March 18, 9:00 to 11:00 am PDT. Virtual.