Jun 11

Expanding the Local Movement to Design Businesses

Design Annex launches biz.buzz, a new kind of networking event for design professionals in Somerville on July 28. At biz.buzz, we’re building a shop local movement for Somerville’s creative enterprises. Participants won’t just exchange their contact information; they’ll trade advice, referrals, and services to make each other’s businesses stronger. This event is the first of a quarterly series to bring together the city’s vibrant design community to grow this dynamic industry.

  • Join us for biz.buzz: Thursday, July 28, 6-9 pm at Precinct. Free.
  • RSVP to info@dannex.org, and don’t forget to bring your business cards!

While you likely know the big design players in Somerville such as Arrowstreet, Moshe Safdie and Altitude, you may not know the literally hundreds of smaller scale creative businesses bustling here in Somerville and making their own bold mark. The Design Annex’s goal is to interconnect this community of people working at the intersection of commercial and creative and through the shared connections to thrive together. Somerville has been a quiet hub design and creative businesses and it’s time we made some noise, locally and nationally.

This event supports Union Square Main Streets’ efforts, through the Design Annex, to grow the creative economy in Somerville. The Design Annex provides the resources to grow creative businesses including shared office space and equipment, industry networking, and advocacy for industry needs. Since its founding just 18 months ago, 25 small creative businesses have used the Annex’s resources and community to help grow their enterprises.

The networking series biz.buzz is our first big step towards accomplishing our goal of a tightly networked, strong design community in Somerville. Please join us and other creative business professionals to relax, share ideas, and share some drinks on Thursday, July 28, 6-9 pm at Precinct. RSVP to info@dannex.org, and don’t forget to bring your business cards!

Jan 11

Design Annex Seeks Intern

Union Square Main Streets seeks an entrepreneurial, energetic individual to advance Design Annex, our social enterprise venture. The Design Annex Coordinator is involved in all aspects of the management and running of the Annex including promotion and marketing, member services, event coordination and administration.

* Develop and implement outreach campaign to potential members in the greater Boston area.
* Develop and host events including: networking events in partnership with professional associations, “lunch and learn” workshops for architects, “Design Crit” for designers to share works-in-progress, business development workshops
* Promote and host weekly “Open Coworking” event
* Maintain administrative and organizational systems

Preferred Skills and Knowledge:
* Strong interest in community building. Maintains approach that makes others feel at ease and fosters participation.
* Exceptional teamwork and interpersonal skills.
* Excellent verbal communication skills. Ability to present and explain information in a way that establishes rapport, persuades others, and gains understanding.
* Strong organizational and project management skills. Ability to manage multiple projects. Ability to blend creativity, problem solving, and technical skills.
* Familiarity with office computer programs and web-based communication tools.
* Familiarity with Boston area design organizations a plus.
* Background in adult education a plus.

Working Relationships:
* Reports to Executive Director.
* Works directly with Design Annex members.
* Interfaces with other design professionals, design professional associations.
* May attend conferences and conduct outreach through professional organizations.
* Has contact with the general public.
For more information about the Design Annex: www.dannex.org

To Apply: This a paid internship position of 10 to 15 hours a week. Send resume, cover letter and salary requirements in a PDF or Word document to Mimi Graney, Executive Director, Union Square Main Streets at mimi@dannex.org

Sep 10

Sprout Explores Community Based Design

Our friends over at Sprout are holding a class that looks at community based technology and design.

Crowd-sourcing, social media, and open source tools are all becoming a part of collaborative and community based social technology projects. “Design for Empowerment” explores these communities and tools with the question: How can we create tools which foster healthy communities? How can you identify and describe a healthy community?

Through readings and discussion the goal of the class is to understand, contribute to, and support the creative communities of everyday people who design, build, and hack their own devices. It will focus on tools that enable non-experts to design and build computational and electronic artifacts as well as investigate software toolkits, hardware toolkits, open-source technologies, fabrication processes, and new manufacturing and distribution models.

Cost of the three month course is $75. Significant financial aid is available, and trades are acceptable. With exception to the first class, the courses will be on Wednesdays from 6-9pm at location TBA (MIT classroom).

If you are interested in the course, or have questions, the first session takes place during sprout’s project night on September 30 from 7:30-9 at 339R Summer St. For more information on how to prepare for Thursday, see http://whichlight.com/DFE/.

The course is led by Kawandeep Virdee, a complex systems researcher, maker, and multimedia artist excited by the possibility of cultivating interactions to create joyful communities. Please direct questions to him at whichlight (at) gmail (dot) com.

Sep 10

Art and Business, a manual for a happy marriage

Sometimes artists and creative professionals find that it’s hard to run their business as a money-making enterprise. When the saying goes “Do what you love and the money will follow” sometimes the following doesn’t come without a plan.
There’s a great e-book written by David Parrish specifically for creative entrepreneurs and people managing creative businesses and cultural organizations. It offers business ideas on marketing, intellectual property, leadership, organizational structures, business strategy, and more – written especially for creative entrepreneurs and creative enterprises. It’s written for a British audience but this clear and easy to read manual will be a helpful guide to everyone.

Aug 10

New Members Welcome

We’re mixing it up here at the Design Annex. Our recent Design Crit events attracted a combination of designers and non-designers and the synergy bubbling in the room got us thinking – wouldn’t it be great to have this every day?

We currently have openings for new members and are welcoming freelancers, solopreneurs and other professionals in any field to join us.

Drop us a line for a tour!