Los Angeles Design Weekend Is the Newest Design Festival on the West Coast

The City of Angels is preparing to kick off a new weekend of design events across the city with a decentralized, grassroots approach.

Twenty One Tonnes

The design scene in Los Angeles is known for being freewheeling and unabashedly adventurous. But its sprawling nature is similar to the city itself, making it notoriously hard to penetrate. Especially for out-of-towners, it can be difficult to know where to start to get a finger on the pulse of contemporary L.A. design. This year, a new design event is looking to change that.

Los Angeles Design Weekend kicks off its inaugural year with three packed days of design events planned across the city. Until June 23, visitors can learn about the present and future of design in Los Angeles with a series of exhibitions, studio tours, activations, and of course, parties.

Aiming to give a diverse cross section of the city’s creative identity, the weekend is the result of a grassroots effort by a group of young designers and makers who felt their city was missing a proper opportunity to be in the spotlight. “As Angelenos, we travel to New York City, Milan, London, and more to attend design weeks,” says Holland Denvir, one of the co-organizers of LADW. “So far, design is not what brings most travellers to our city. We hope to be part of that change.”


Hubbahubba Photo by Meghan McNeer

Laun Showroom Photo by Ye Rin Mok


While Los Angeles does often play host to major design and art festivals (Frieze just hosted its fifth annual international art fair in Santa Monica, and this year saw the debut of Design Miami/Los Angeles in Beverly Hills), these events typically focus on bringing the global art and design world to L.A. rather than celebrating what’s already here.

“Los Angeles has such an amazingly vibrant and varied design scene, but there are few opportunities to bring people together to show work, exchange ideas, and celebrate one another,” says Leah Ring, who is co-organizing an exhibition through Object Permanence, an exhibition series she and Denvir started in 2019 to showcase emerging designers’ work. For LADW, the duo will be hosting a group show in downtown L.A. featuring work by Cedric Mitchell, Cindy Hsu Zell, and Hannah Go, among others, with an opening reception Friday night.


Laun Showroom Photo by Ye Rin Mok



Holland Denvir Portrait by Kort Havens


Another must-see LADW exhibition is a travelling group show that began in the Bay Area with work by local creatives and is now making a stop in Southern California. Vessel is presented by Canoa and curated by Anand Sheth, a multihyphenate designer who splits his time between San Francisco, L.A., and New York. “The exhibition is about the concept that we can see the world through the dichotomy of a vessel and its contents,” Sheth says. “LADW was the perfect place to extend my Bay Area group exhibition because it centres itself in acceptance and understanding, growth, failure, and experimentation.” Vessel is on view at interior design studio Fig & Oak in downtown L.A., alongside a showing of new oil paintings from Brazilian-born, Los Angeles-based artist Júlia Godoy.


Fig & Oak Photo by Samantha Romero



Laun Showroom Photo by Ye Rin Mok

Block Shop Photo by Laure Joliet


The festival is unique for its decentralized nature, with each day focusing on open studios, activations, and parties in different parts of the city. In clustering events by neighbourhood, the festival aims to combat the transportation fatigue that can be common in L.A., with some neighbourhoods’ hours apart via car and public transit. “We want attendees to be excited about exploring lots of events, and not feeling overwhelmed by traffic, which is often the downfall of a fun day in L.A.,” Denvir says.

Throughout the weekend, young designers and studios will be stepping into the spotlight alongside old favourites, including art and design gallery Marta, which is hosting an opening reception Saturday night, and landscape architecture firm Terremoto, which is co-hosting a garden party with design agency Project Room on Saturday featuring design studios Waka Waka, Laun, Kalon, and more. “L.A. has turned into this incredible creative hub,” says Hanneke Lourens, an Angelino who is debuting a new collection inspired by her South African roots. “There are so many inspiring independent makers who call L.A. home, and they deserve to be celebrated.”