From the mug we use to drink our coffee, to the car that gets us to work, design is all around us.
That’s the perspective that Petia Morozov hopes to expose the Montclair community to through the first annual Montclair Design Week (MDW).
The comprehensive week, tabbed as “The Year of Messy Design,” will feature over 60 diverse events about design from Saturday, Oct. 20 through Sunday, Oct. 28. Programming throughout the week will strive to empower Montclair citizens to start thinking about the design around them and in turn, become visionaries to push the town forward.
“Our mission is very simple: to celebrate and mobilize the Montclair community as a design force for good,” said Morozov, founder of MDW.
“The first part is about the celebrating, learning and discovering of design,” she said. “The second piece is, ‘OK now that you have an appreciation and see the value of it, how do we catalyze you and how do we do that for good?’”
The events will include a wide variety of topics ranging from designing the color in your home, to designing a cocktail, to designing for the end of one’s life and what steps can be taken to make it a relatively stress-free process for their loved ones.
“This an old story… ever since Montclair was founded 150 years ago, the story of innovation and the story of design started very early on,” Morozov said. She noted that it took bravery for a person to decide to put train tracks through Montclair and for a local general store owner to collect investors, form a company and build an 11.2-mile road in 1809 that is still widely-used today as Bloomfield Avenue.
“Early on, those were decisions that people made, and whether we call them design or not… all of those decisions have shaped (Montclair) today,” Morozov said. “So, in a sense, we’re sort of saying, ‘Montclair is already a place of innovation, let’s continue to spur that on’ and Montclair Design Week wants to be that platform and the doorway into the future of Montclair.”
Among the 60 events scheduled for the first annual Montclair Design Week is an on-going pub crawl. The week-long pub crawl will feature several local bars competing in a Design-a-Cocktail contest in which customers will vote for their favorite creation. The top three bars with the most votes on their specialty cocktail will battle it out during a final contest, judged by Lucinda Sterling, Luke Parker Bowles and Warren Bobrow, at The Annex at 18 Label St. Studios on 22 Frink Street on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.
Other events in the schedule include a “Designing X” Panel Series that features members of the community for interactive discussions. The series will conclude with a discussion about “Designing Parenthood” with panelists Erdi Alev (Kwik Coffee Healthy Food), Ozi Okaro (Ikuzi Dolls), Nicki Radzely (Doddle & Co.), Madeline Ruiz (Studio for Urban Architecture & Design) and moderator Hillary Frank, author and award-winning creator of “The Longest Shortest Time” podcast.
“We wanted to feature a variety (of events) because there’s so many different ways that you can come into the conversation about design,” Morozov said.
MDW has also partnered with Montclair Film to showcase a series of films about design throughout the week that are listed here. There will also be a series of kids activities including a design scavenger hunt and a cardboard creation challenge.
“it’s really about not just designing objects and things, but designing our lives and taking a more purposeful approach to it,” Morozov said.
MDW will launch with an opening party on the eve of the week at the MDW Hub at 427 Bloomfield Avenue on Friday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m.
Almost all events throughout the week are free, but all require registration which can be completed online at https://www.montclairdesignweek.org.