Search button Search

2021 Call for Proposals

For our 15th Edition we’re looking to push past the traditional online programming (think heads bobbing on the screen and an endless supply of slides). We all have screen fatigue but by June while California will hopefully be looking a little more normal, we can’t guarantee the pandemic (or the city) will allow for face to face gathering. Instead, we’re pushing the boundaries of online programming to create more engaging content for 2021. Get creative and find ways to communicate your experience, knowledge or message by engaging attendees in a more energetic way. Contact us for a free brainstorming session or guidance on how to best approach your event and make the most out of your participation!


San Francisco Design Weeks’ mission is to inspire and enable progress in the creative community. This year, we’ve taken the time to revisit and adapt to better reflect the world around us. The following principles are designed to inform our perspective as we move forward together.

  • Celebrate our differences and advocate for each other
  • Foster space for accessible and inclusive creativity
  • Listen and learn by amplifying marginalized voices
  • Spread knowledge and share resources
  • Use our power to support our community
  • This year’s theme puts these values into practice as we explore the power of design.

    Proposals with a diverse line-up of speakers will be given priority by our review committee. We are offering Application fee waived for Minority-owned companies/brands or representing underserved communities.

    We have opened up registration! This year we created four options for you to get involved!

    Not just another design competition. The San Francisco Design Week Awards is an international design competition seeking to encourage thought leadership by supporting designers whose works can contribute towards a positive future for society. San Francisco Design Week is the premier gathering of the world’s most active design community. We welcome applicants from across the entire range of design industries.

    Host a Virtual Event - Events will happen everyday from 9:00 am - 8:00 pm excludes blackout times. Each host will be given a 1-hour time slot. Get creative! We are looking for events that are short,engaging, meaningful for the audience.
    Host a Virtual Studio Crawl - Events will happen Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Only proposals that give a guided tour of the interior/exterior of the studio or create a unique experience that shows off the personality of the studio will be accepted.

    Purchase a virtual booth Each exhibitor booth will give you the opportunity to showcase your services, meet with potential clients, and network with the members of the community. Each booth will be available to festival audiences throughout the whole festival along with live sessions every day. Examples on how to use your Booth are Product Demo, Company highlight/introduction, Mentoring/Portfolio Review Sessions, or Job Fair.

    Will you have an exhibition on display for a week or more that overlaps with SFDW or does your retail store support local makers or perhaps feature high-end design? Products with form AND function or perhaps sustainable solutions or design with social impact? Does your coffee shop or cocktail bar showcase beautiful design elements and materials? Do you want to shine some light on great murals around town or public art that is not getting the attention it deserves or will be popping up in the city in June?

    Important Dates

    • The 2021 Summer Edition will take place June 7-13 online
    • Deadline for Summer Edition proposals May 07, 2021.

    Autumn/Winter Edition will be a hybrid of in-person and online, local health guidelines permitting. Studios and brands participating in the Summer Edition will be given priority proposal approvals for Autumn/Winter Edition

    The virtual environment

    As we all become more proficient in the virtual world, we are all looking for interactive and engaging experiences that help us connect better with our community. In order to accomplish this, we looked for a platform that could offer a seamless experience, with more accessibility tools and is easy to manage. Some of the features are:

    Improved Live streaming features
    • up to 10 speakers at the time
    • screen sharing
    • breakout rooms
    • Upload Pre-recorded content display as Simu-live event with Live Q&A (Highly recommended)

    Chat Features
    • General Chat Room for all attendees on the landing page
    • Chat with attendees in your specific event: Chat room for each session

    Host Features
    • Q&A during your event
    • Polls to gather how your audience feels
    • Chat boxes, private, during the event, during the whole festival
    • Networking Hub built into the platform for the whole duration of the festival
    • Ability to connect directly with attendees outside of your event in groups or one on one
    • Continue the conversation after your event with the new Discussion Feature
    • Gather and set engagement ratings from event Leads for easy follow up/future engagement

    A wide array of Accessibility Features
    • Closed Caption
    • Multilingual Translation
    • Accessibility Profile options like Seizure-Safe, ADHD-Friendly and for the Visually-Impaired

  • Content Adjustments for easier readability
  • Color Adjustments like Dark, Light, or Monochrome mode
  • Orientation Adjustments to mute sounds, stop animations, hide images, and more!
  • Speaker Management Features
    • Direct Access to the platform to upload speaker bio and profile
    • Easy login to personal platform page showing what events speakers are participating in or attending
    • Direct Access to the Backstage Greenroom to connect with your team before the live session begins
    • Built-in Backstage private chat room to communicate with SFDW production team and your event host team

    Engagement Tools
    • Gamification
    • Badges
    • Prizes

    Written By

    on .