Five things you need to know about Design Week

DWFW Advertising created this image of the Louis Kahn Arts United Center.

The third annual Design Week Fort Wayne takes place May 7-11 at the Arts United Center, 300 E. Main St.

Organized by Dan Swartz, founder of arts nonprofit Wunderkammer Company, the week-long event attracts creatives and design influencers from around the country.

Design Week will feature guest speakers, workshops, studio and factory tours and networking events designed to connect and inspire local creative industries. The event also aims to bridge the gap between the arts and economic development in the region and bolster the city’s status as a creative hub.

Tickets range from $10 to $200. For more information, visit

1. Enjoy the whole week or choose your own adventure

Each day of Design Week highlights a different industry. Monday is societal design; Tuesday is innovation/research and development; Wednesday is architecture/interior design; Thursday is advertising/graphic design; and Friday is style/fashion. General admission tickets for the week-long event are $200. General admission tickets are also available for individual days for $50. Corporate group rates are also available. For more information, contact Dan Swartz at

2. Don’t miss the keynote speakers

Design Week will feature a lineup of rock stars from the design world. The list of nationally known trendsetters includes Zach Klein, best known for co-founding and designing the video-sharing platform Vimeo. Keynote speakers will take the stage each evening, 6-7 p.m., at the Arts United Center.

3. Design Week is about bringing talent together

The goal of the week-long event is to strengthen the local design community by connecting designers, institutions and businesses, Swartz said. Design Week will also highlight Fort Wayne natives who have left to do higher-level design work outside of the community. Swartz hopes to help reestablish working relationships between these creatives and their hometown.

4. Come ready to mingle

In addition to general admission, Design Week will offer tickets to its opening party ($25) Saturday, May 5, as well as networking tickets ($10) 7:30-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Tickets for Design Week’s closing party are also for sale. Creatives are invited to bring a stack of business cards and rub elbows with others in the design industry. There will be appetizers and a cash bar.

5. There will be food trucks

You don’t have to be a designer to enjoy Design Week, Swartz said. Although, he added, “If you’re genetically a human, you design things!” Member of the public are welcome to learn about exciting new ideas and network with attendees. Food trucks will be on the plaza all week for anyone who wants to stop by.

To learn more about how Design Week is bridging the gap between the arts and economic development, read “Design Week elevates design work in urban landscapes” by Gwen Clayton in the April 13 edition of Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly, a sister publication of IN|Fort Wayne, or by going to