It’s no secret that Boston is a hub of creative design: from the lush green spaces to stunning buildings and infrastructure, every detail was molded by a designer’s keen eye. Even while driving over the Zakim Bridge, created by internationally acclaimed architect Miguel Rosales, Bostonians experience a prime example of design done well—though they may not realize it. One Bostonian in particular, Tony Fusco, is dedicated to demystifying and popularizing design for the public through Boston Design Week.
Fusco is half of the dynamic duo that makes Fusco & Four Associates, a full-service marketing and public relations agency based in West Roxbury. Along with partner Robert Four, the agency has specialized in design, fine art, cultural organizations and luxury products for 40 years. Since 1996, Fusco and Four have been producers of premier fine arts and design events throughout New England, including Boston Design Week. An avid art collector and reader, with an interest in art deco, Tony’s passion for design is steeped in everything he does. “Everything around me is designed,” Fusco laughed, “from my pen down to my computer mouse.”
The annual Boston Design Week celebrates design in all forms through unique events, panels, exhibitions and more. After a special, all-virtual fall program in 2020, Fusco and Four were hopeful about the ways in which technology could promote their spring event. “We learned a lot,” Fusco explained, “and what we’re finding is that going virtual didn’t restrict our audience, it actually expanded.” This year’s festival touts 12 days of 50 virtual and outdoor events from various arts, culture, and design organizations across the country, a majority of which are free. While the main goal of Boston Design Week is to increase public awareness and appreciation, the festival also allows for cross-pollination and free-flowing exchange of ideas between design professionals. “Design Week ‘drops the barrier,’” Fusco explained, “So an architect who might be interested in the program on interior design would be able to explore, or perhaps an interior designer could try the program on graphic design.”
Boston’s colleges and universities that offer interior design, graphic design and product design programs make Boston a natural choice to host an event like Boston Design Week. In addition, Boston’s history with design runs deep. From colonial and pre-Revolutionary War architecture like the Bulfinch dome on the Massachusetts State House, to art deco and contemporary design, the city holds a “huge historical reservoir of design,” that Boston Design Week taps into, according to Fusco.
More than anything, Fusco hopes that attendees of Boston Design Week will gain a better sense of the role design plays in their lives or, at the very least, learn something new. As Boston continues to grow and develop, Fusco encourages people to become involved in the ongoing conversation. “People need to be aware of design in order to participate in that discourse of what they want their city to look like, what they want their home to look like, and what they want their neighborhood to look like,” Fusco explained. “The more people are aware and conversant about design, the more citizen input will be considered in future projects, and will ultimately lead to a better Boston.”
Whether you are a design aficionado, a curious creative, or anything in-between, you won’t want to miss Boston Design Week, happening April 28–May 9! Visit the festival website for more information, a full list of events and registration details.