a month of inspiration

Our top creative event picks for Austin x Design month

Our top creative event picks for Austin x Design month

AIA Austin could have bought themselves a nice set of silver in honor of the 25th anniversary of their annual—and wildly successful—Homes Tour (Oct 1-2). But thankfully, they decided that a month-long series of events promoting innovative design and education throughout the Austin community would be a better way to celebrate.

Austin x Design, presented by more than 20 organizations in addition to AIA Austin, delivers an entire selection of diverse events throughout October, each of which demonstrates the unique ways that design can shape—and improve—our daily lives. Whether you’re interested in green architecture, progressive revitalization or family friendly events, Austin x Design has something for everyone. Browse the list below and mark your calendars for these upcoming events.

Cross-Disciplinary Creativity

Music in Architecture - Architecture in Music (Oct 19-22)

Inspiration comes in many forms. And when different forms collide, the results can be truly incredible. Music in Architecture—Architecture in Music, a cross-disciplinary symposium presented by the Center for American Architecture and Design, in conjunction with the UT School of Architecture, the College of Fine Arts and the Butler School of Music, examines the connections between the two arts through performance, installation and academic research.

For four days, teams of musicians, composers and architects from all over the world will descend on the UT campus to stage site-specific original music and architectural installations.

These teams of creative collaborators—all finalists of an international design and composition competition—will stage their mutually inspired performances in a variety of locations, including the LBJ Library Grand Hall, the Waller Creek Bridge and Bass Concert Hall. There will also be indoor performances featuring refreshingly inspired cross-disciplinary installations, like one of this year’s pieces, a harp constructed in the shape of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Performance times and venues vary, but all events are free and open to the public, except for the performances at Bass Concert Hall (Oct 21). Tickets are available at the Texas Performing Arts Box Office and online.

For the Family

Box City (Oct 15)

Hosted by the Architecture in Schools program at Pease Elementary, Box City gives children the opportunity to see their design dreams come alive in a city of their creation.

With a helpful checklist and a mix of local professionals—architects, interior designers, city officials, etc.—to answer any and all questions along their creative journeys, kids will learn about the industry by building their own design, whether it be a house or a space station, from the ground up. Starting with an initial sketch of their design, the young participants will learn about everything from getting the permits for their cardboard box structures to finishing the landscape and pasting up wallpaper.

Parents are likely to be just as inspired as their children as they watch the blank canvas of a miniature city grid—made up of individual plots of Masonite sheets—turn into a bustling hive of innovative design.  

There will be two sessions, 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. or 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m., and all ages welcome. Attendance is open to the public, but spaces are limited to approximately 50 spots per session and children must be accompanied by a responsible adult. Call 512-452-4332 to reserve your spot.

Innovation & The Environment

The Old Bakery Block Idea-Thon: Revitalization of Congress Avenue’s Under-Utilized Spaces (Oct 8)

There is no way that this year’s Green City Festival will suffer from a tragedy of the commons. The City of Austin, in partnership with more than 20 non-profit organizations, has put together an all-encompassing itinerary for an eco-friendly festival fit for the whole family. 

Spend a day learning about the environment with other nature lovers. Pick and choose your interests from an array of activities, including guided bike tours, do-it-yourself demonstrations and an informative speaker series focusing on everything from backyard composting to creating rain gardens. There will even be an iPhone app-based scavenger hunt scattered throughout local landscaped gardens, "green" buildings and storm water ponds.

Interactive exhibits will also be on display to the public, including the fashion made from trash, “Trashion,” and an enormous installation of more than 54,000 cigarette butts collected from Austin parks and streets earlier this year.

You can even be a part of the art by donating caps and lids of any size, shape or color to sculptor George Sabra’s latest work, The Plastic Cap Sculpture. With the help of students and community volunteers, Sabra will create a large-scale public sculpture from thousands of reclaimed plastic caps and lids in hopes of inspiring people to take action and achieve greater awareness of the environment.

New and Noteworthy Artisans

Guild of Austin Artisans Exhibit at Perry Estate (Oct 7-9)

The Guild of Austin Artisans’ upcoming exhibit, “Visual Conversations,” is an incredible opportunity to discover and enjoy new work from more than 30 local artisans. 

And what better venue to experience the exclusive showcase of an organization dedicated to the renaissance of architectural craft in buildings constructed in central Texas than the historic Commodore Perry Estate?

The GoAA exhibit will be the first event at the newly renovated Perry mansion, originally built in 1928. The estate is one of Austin's historic landmarks, as well as an exquisite example of the city’s history of architecture and artisanal design.

So make some time to celebrate the presence of classic craftsmanship in the modern design arena. The opening reception will be held on October 7 from 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. at the Perry Estate, with Tito’s Vodka cocktails mixed by The GoodeTime Gals and food by Frank.


And don’t forget to check out Austin Design Riot (Oct 20), hosted by CultureMap, Apartment Therapy and Threshold Furniture & Design Studio. The celebration, honoring the entire Austin design community, will feature an evening of giveaways, food and drinks, scavenger hunts and more.

Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona Flume_AustinxDesign_September 2011_more than architecture
More Than Architecture
Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona Flume_AustinxDesign_September 2011_guild of Austin
Guild of Austin's Artisans Exhibit at Perry Estate
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The Old Bakery Idea*Thon
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Green City Festival
Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona Flume_AustinxDesign_September 2011_walking
Green City Festival
Austin Photo Set: News_Ramona Flume_AustinxDesign_September 2011_Box City
Box City Courtesy of Box City