Nonprofit launches 2017 celebration of Rhode Island design sector

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Being the home of colleges like the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), the Ocean State is turning out talented designers who settle here after their higher education, and attracting similar talent. To that end, the state is starting to ramp up the marketing of its design community and show off the talent based here.

DESIGNxRI, a nonprofit economic development corporation, partnered with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation to launch “Design is Rhode Island,” a marketing campaign for the state’s design sector, on Wednesday morning during an event at the Waterfire Arts Center on Valley Street in Providence.

Wednesday’s event also launched the fourth annual DESIGN WEEK RI, which includes several events over 12 days showcasing designers and their economic impact on the state.

The nonprofit says Rhode Island boasts the third largest percentage of creative sector jobs in the country — after New York and California. 500 new design businesses launched between 2007 and 2012, despite the recession during that time.

The DESIGN WEEK events for 2017 include Friday’s “PARK(ing) Day Providence,” turning metered parking spaces into small temporary mini-parks, or “parklets,” as well as film screenings, a creation/design competition, and parties celebrating design.