As the second-fastest growing city in the country, Raleigh, NC, is quickly becoming a permanent destination for designers, artists, restaurateurs, architects and more. Recognizing this a few years ago, Matthew Muñoz and Jonathan Opp, from New Kind, wanted to create a design retreat to engage and inspire this growing community and encourage collaboration. And they found a great way to do it, by partnering with Greg Lowenhagen, founder of the Hopscotch Music Festival. In 2014, they merged the design component to form the first Hopscotch Design Festival.
Since then, it’s evolved and grown to a regional event that invites creatives from around the world to participate, but one thing remains constant, according to Muñoz: “The intent of Hopscotch Design was to celebrate and showcase the amazing local talent and invite national talent for inspiration and education,” adding, “This community is made up of people who believe in design and its importance to shaping the future of Raleigh and our region.” The lessons learned here can be applied anywhere, and word has spread, which is why attendance to the event has doubled since the first year.
“Our lineup has always focused on showcasing the people who are shaping what’s next right now in diverse fields—design, technology, healthcare, film, science, radio, writing and more. We focus on the people we believe are improving the status quo,” Muñoz explains. “Given the changes this year within the United States and around the globe, we’re focused on socially-minded leaders who are using design to disrupt the status quo, ask big questions, and push us all to find a way to discover our voice and how we want to make a positive impact.”
[Online course: Typography 101: Letterform Design]
This isn’t a typical event where attendees are stuck in cold air-conditioned conference rooms for hours on end. Hopscotch has multiple venues to encourage participants to get out and explore the city, eat delicious food at local establishments, and make art. Oh, and the best part is the overlap with the Music Festival, where you can unwind, listen to some great music, and dance. “It offers another way to experience creative expression and play—which we all know is necessary for creation,” Muñoz says.
Some of this year’s speakers include Jonathan Lee, design manager at Google; Josh Silverman, design producer at Twitter; Firebelly’s strategist and writer, Kristin Lueke; and Anna Charity, creative director at Headspace, among many others. Don’t miss your chance to register for this one-of-a-kind event, which takes place September 7 & 8. It’s only open to the first 550 people who register.