show & tell | Jun 18, 2019 |
Is San Francisco design in its golden era?

The Bay Area is embracing its status as an authority of style and design at this year’s fourteenth-annual iteration of San Francisco Design Week, which starts on Thursday and continues until June 28. The theme, fitting for the second year of interior design influencer and author Diane Dorrans Saeks’s tours, is “CommUNITY”—and yes, it’s spelled that way on purpose. “Dynamic change is creating a community of purpose among Bay Area creatives and tech entrepreneurs, with collaborations on the rise between digital professionals, craftmakers, design studios and artists,” according to the organization’s statement explaining its theme choice.

Noteworthy on the week’s schedule is Dorrans Saeks’s Dynamic Minds series, four exclusive tours of 10 design and architecture studios across the city—none usually open to the public, offering a treat for those outsiders (and insiders) looking forward to peeking inside. Stops include Ken Fulk’s new St. Joseph’s Arts Society, a historic church turned arts society, and a tour of Carpenters Workshop Gallery’s outpost there on June 24 at 1:30 p.m.; the Modernism Gallery by Aidlin Darling Design, as well as the workspaces of ODADA and Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, on June 23 at noon; the studios of Stanley Saitowitz, the Wiseman Group and Jonathan Browning on June 22 at noon; and a concluding tour that includes studio visits with Fulk and Geoff De Sousa as well as showroom visits to BAMO and De Sousa Hughes on June 29 at noon.

On each tour, attendees will see new models, virtual reality demonstrations, and other new design strategies from each firm. “I planned the afternoon seminars to be rich in ideas and practical information,” says Dorrans Saeks. “Each visit is very focused to study the latest concepts on a broad range of residential, commercial and sustainable design.”

She also suggests that the time for studio tours is better now than ever. “This is a golden age of design in San Francisco,” she says. “Even 20 years ago, San Francisco had a handful of internationally known design firms.” Today, the city’s designers work around the world.

“Most of all, in San Francisco there is the firm belief in listening closely to the client and creating highly individual and personal rooms and residences,” says Dorrans Saeks. “Comfort, a modern sense of home, an art collection, respect of the site, classically beautiful materials, a place to gather for friends and family, are part of the process.

San Francisco Design Week takes place June 20–28. To register for a Dynamic Minds tour with Dorrans Saeks, purchase tickets here.

Homepage photo: St. Joseph's Art Society, designed by Ken Fulk; photo by Douglas Friedman

Want to stay informed? Sign up for our newsletter, which recaps the week’s stories, and get in-depth industry news and analysis each quarter by subscribing to our print magazine. Join BOH Insider for discounts, workshops and access to special events such as the Future of Home conference.