the Fourth

Charlottesville Design Week

april 4–8, 2023

Charlottesville is many things to many people: Jefferson-town, home of the Hoos, the nation's fastest-growing tech hub, and now? Virginia's design destination.

For three years, hundreds of the commonwealth's designers have convened in Cville for a week of mixing, learning, sharing, and showing off. The Charlottesville Design Week, which is almost completely free to attend, has two simple goals:
  1. Help Virginia's designers develop a strong sense of community

  2. Convince the general public that good design is worth a damn

Whether you push pixels, press ink, set type, build environments, sew dresses, or do basically anything else design-related, you will feel right at home during our growing festival.



Opening Meetup*

Tuesday, October 8 from 6:00 – 7:30pm at Vault Virginia

Kick off the festivities with Tuesday Design Society's weekly meetup. Introduce yourself, bring a design to show off, and get to know the people behind the Charlottesville Design Week.


Sold Out!

Wednesday, October 9 from 12:30 – 5:00pm around Downtown

Take a guided tour through Charlottesville's downtown design firms. Visit the agencies’ offices, hear about their work, and see the available creative opportunities. Bring your resume!

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Review slots sold out! (Observer spaces still available.)

Wednesday, October 9 from 5:30 – 8:30pm at Vault Virginia

Present your portfolio to a panel of expert judges... in front of a crowd of peers. Don't worry, though, it's more Great British Baking Show than American Idol. Who knows? You might even leave with a job.

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Design Marathon*

Thursday, October 10 from 8:30am – 5:30pm at Vault Virginia

Donate a day of your creative juices to a deserving local non-profit: Cultivate Charlottesville, the umbrella organization for The Charlottesville Area Food Justice Network (cafjn), City Schoolyard Garden, and Urban Agriculture Collective of Charlottesville.

Participants form several “agencies-for-a-day,” working with a variety of designers, copywriters, and developers to satisfy the beneficiary's brief. Once everyone puts down their laptops and color swatches, everyone heads to the Showcase event, where Cultivate Charlottesville will pick the winning agency. The prize? Making an impact in the community. (Also, breakfast and lunch are provided!)

Design Marathon: Showcase*

Thursday, October 10 from 6:00 – 7:00pm at Vinegar Hill Theatre at Lighthouse Studio

See the Design Marathon agencies present their work to Cultivate Charlottesville. It's like the best scenes from Mad Men, but live and in person. Not to mention, the selected design will be put to use by Cultivate Charlottesville for years to come.

Film Screening*

Thursday, October 10 from 7:15 – 8:30pm at Vinegar Hill Theatre at Lighthouse Studio

The first public screening of Gary Hustwit's latest documentary, Rams. The film portraits Dieter Rams, the greatest industrial designer of all time. In the process, the 74-minute feature examines “consumerism, sustainability, and the future of design.”

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Friday, October 11 from 8:30am – 5:00pm at Vinegar Hill Theatre at Lighthouse Studio

A day-long conference featuring local and national design leaders, examining a cross section of design practices. Topics include Pushing Architectural Boundaries, Changing Behaviors through Design, The Experience of Tomorrow, and Print is Dead! Long Live Print!

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Friday, October 11 from 6:00 – 7:45pm at Vault Virginia

Hosted in partnership with Charlottesville Dress Company, the Fashion Show is a charity event for the International Rescue Committee (irc). It's an opportunity to see the best local fashion designs, eat and drink regional fare, and support a noble cause... All at the same time!

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Saturday, October 12 from 10:00am – 4:00pm at Vault Virginia

Browse local designer products and meet the people who craft them. From posters to notebooks, from furniture to clothing... if it's made in Charlottesville, you can find it here.

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Saturday, October 12 from 10:00am – 4:00pm at Vault Virginia

Learn a thing or two! We have workshops covering light photography, design thinking practices, letterpress printing, and more!

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Closing Party*

Saturday, October 12 from 7:00 – 10:00pm at Common House

Say goodbye to the third annual Charlottesville Design Week by spending an evening with all the new friends you made at it! The schedule might say this ends at 10pm, but downtown stays up later than that on Saturdays. Tacos, anyone?


Join us for a wonderful week of design. Most events are free, and the ones that cost money are well worth it.