Spring Arts Guide 2013

International Design Festival Feb. 21-May 19 at various venues

The District can’t seem to do design right. Don’t get me wrong: The District Architecture Center and Industry Gallery, to name just two of the city’s best and newest design stations, should be the envy of any comparably sized city. But D.C. doesn’t honor design as an event the way it does, say, snowball fights. While D.C. celebrates no-pants days on the Metro—a Metro that is a testament to design, I might add—cities such as Detroit, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Portland have invested years and thousands of dollars in citywide design festivals. It looks as though 2013 is the year that D.C. puts on big-boy pants: This spring, the Penn Quarter modern-design shop Apartment Zero is joining up with Arlington’s Artisphere to conduct a three-month international design festival, featuring films, workshops, exhibitions, and big-name Italian designer Roberto Palomba. Will the first annual Washington D.C. International Design Festival top DesignPhiladelphia? Probably not. That festival has been running since 2005 and damn near takes over the city’s arts and cultural venues over the course of its tightly edited four-day run. But will the first annual Washington D.C. International Design Festival be a good start? It already is.

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