Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Design Week Celebrates Dreamers and Entrepreneurs

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

St. Louis Design Week Celebrates Dreamers and Entrepreneurs

Article excerpt

The aim of St. Louis Design Week isn't just to validate and inspire the city's creative community but also to make the undercurrent of design more visible.

The event, in its third year, aims to celebrate methods ranging from architecture to printmaking. But the real focus is not on what you see but on the creative people behind the work.

"I've lived in Chicago and San Francisco, and I think that the people who figure out a way to stay in St. Louis or come back to St. Louis and thrive are the really creative people," says event chairwoman Margaret McDonald, a design director with Arcturis, an architectural and interior design firm. "These are people who are not defined by a really big city."

Working in a smaller community means working a little harder to find an audience, peers, inspiration and distribution methods that's what it means to be creative, she says.

McDonald also acknowledges that the line between art and design is often blurry, but each is integral to the other. She wants everyone who participates in Design Week to come away with a clearer understanding of that.

From landscape design to billboards, there's no reason for what we see to be uninspired or uninspiring.

One annual Design Week activity, DART St. Louis, challenges participants to make art from scenes typically taken for granted. On Tuesday at FK Photo (2745 Locust Street), each participant will throw a dart at a map of the city. Where the dart lands determines a one-block radius for the participant to explore and photograph.

The photos become part of an unpredictable tour of the city. A slideshow of last year's images will be shown as part of this year's festivities.

"I always aim high," explains Curt von Diest, co-founder of DART. "I have an underhanded throw because I really like north city. There are a lot of very beautiful buildings in a very tragic state. I'm drawn to that, and I'm always anxious to explore an area that I've maybe never traveled to before."

He says the photography project can force people out of their comfort zones, to areas of the city where they don't know what they'll see. …

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