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As I’ve progressed in my love for (and career in) graphic design I’ve begun to keep tabs on the local design scene here in Phoenix, Arizona. The last 12 months have proven to be busy for the creative community here in town. Here are some highlights that I thought would be worth mentioning:

  • Gangplank – I’m not really sure of the hazy details of Gangplank’s history, but it’s basically a co-working space in Chandler, centered around developing innovation in Phoenix (and it’s environs). Much of the impetus for the movements within the creative community in the last year have either come from or been supported heavily by individuals and businesses associated with Gangplank.
  • PHXDW – Also known as Phoenix Design Week, in October I watched this inaugural event take the Phoenix design community by storm. Based on the ideas and passion of local designer Mark Dudlik to put Phoenix on the design map, over 400 fellow designers, illustrators, web developers and creative community members showed up and countless organizers and volunteers were galvanized to make it happen. I truly hope this is merely the beginning of pushing our city towards creative relevance.
  • PhxLayers – based on Coudal Partners’ Layer Tennis photoshop ‘competition,’ the first season of PhxLayers pitted local designers (including myself) against one another in a battle for image-manipulation bragging rights. Oh, and got the word out about Phoenix Design Week. Gotta love creative promotions. By the way, there’s rumors of a second season starting up some time this spring. Guess I should get to practicing.
  • Dojo Collective – while planning and organizing Phoenix Design Week, Mark Dudlik and Dave Bjorn combined their passions for design, education, and community outreach and started this collective, focused on mentoring the next generation of designers through community projects and one-to-one mentoring. From what I hear, Spring 2010 will see them ramping up several projects to get the creative community to reach out the greater Phoenix community.
  • Sprawl – boy, Mark Dudlik is a very busy man. Sprawl is an extension of Dudlik’s work to galvanize the creative community in Phoenix by providing an initiative behind which to promote Phoenix designers. Rock on, Mr. Dudlik.

I’m looking forward to what all 2010 has in store for designers here in Phoenix, and for the greater community of the city as well!

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