Strange times call for strange (and wonderful) measures!

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Montclair Design Week | DesignShed

Apr 11, 2020, 6:03:11 PM4/11/20
Dear Friends, Had you told me in early March that we'd be scrapping our planning for this October’s Montclair Design Week, we'd have t

Strange times call for strange measures.

Introducing Project PIVOT, and other notes from the frontlines. 

Dear Friends,

Had you told me in early March that we'd be scrapping our planning for this October’s Montclair Design Week, we'd have told you, you’re crazy!​


 Fast forward to NOW. Montclair is forever changed, and we can't pretend things will be "business as usual" on the other side of this pandemic. As an action-oriented organization, we're not ones to sit on our hands, so if this global event is some strange invitation to invent a future worth making, then we’re going to that party!


 Introducing Project PIVOT, a collection of six new initiatives we can do NOW to help build up our community’s creative capacity from here on out. Brought to you by DesignShed, the year-round engine behind Montclair Design Week.


This collection sheds light on how design impacts our lives in ways we don’t easily see, and offers up tools for listening, empowering and spurring us into action. No one knows what our future holds, but we do know that spring is in the air, the ground is soft and it’s time to plant seeds. Let's step into the future together, and take part of something big.


Yours in community,


Petia Morozov

Founder and Executive Director,

DesignShed/Montclair Design Week

 PPE DONATION DRIVE  is our first Project Pivot initiative, to collect and distribute much-needed protective gear for our frontline healthcare workers at our local hospitals. Our donation drive is open 7 days a week, there's no amount that's too small or large.



Sign up for a drop-off time slot. Our drop-off is fully safe! For large donations, please call us at 973 744-2544x3 to arrange a pickup time.

Donate your PPE

 SHIELD OUR HEROES  is a project with MIXLAB to design and produce $1 face shields for frontline healthcare workers at local hospitals, funded through GoFundMe.



Donate any amount. For every $100 you give, you're protecting 100 healthcare heroes. Help us reach 30,000 shields by April 30!

Join our assembly team! Hosted in Montclair State's new incubator!

Donate Today

 PHONE BOOTH STORIES  is a call-in project to record our moments of inspiration, of need and of the many ways we’ve been impacted, in this age of COVID-19. Open 24/7!



Call 973 744-2544x2, then: Press 1 to record an idea that you think could help. Press 2 to record a real need you've noticed. Press 3 to record how you think COVID-19 will impact our community 

Learn More

 MONTCLAIR MONDAYS  is a weekly series co-hosted with Montclair Center BID and Montclair State’s Center for Entrepreneurship to support our local business community. 


Are you concerned about your business or non-profit making it through COVID-19? Join our weekly conversations inspired by a different theme, and come away with resource-rich ideas to help you pivot.

Register to Join

 MASKS ON A MISSION  is a GoFundMe campaign to source hard-to-find protective equipment for our local first responders. Thanks to a humble band of local superheroes, they have offered to leverage their trusted overseas manufacturing partners, and facilitate large orders of surgical-grade masks.



Donate any amount. For every $20 you give, you help protect 10 frontline first responders.

Donate Today

 SEW GOOD  is an open-source project to mobilize our sewing and making communities, with vetted patterns, resources and 3d-printed tools to sew much needed PPE to our local hospitals.



Fill out our simple form. Our crew gathers online to share tips, laughter and a triumphant moment of solidarity.

Join Our Crew

 Special Edition Flashback 

Lately, we've been revisiting our Instagram posts and tracing the steps that led us to PROJECT PIVOT. Here's a select few that chronicle how we've been paying attention to the design of healthcare all along.

 POST FROM JULY 21, 2019 

“Design Is...HEALTHCARE. The medical school you choose. The specialty you practice. The hospital you work in. The scrubs you wear. The staff you hire. Your advocacy. Whatever your role, you are design! MDW is a place for me to think bigger than medicine. It is new ways of thinking that help me become a better human and, ultimately, a better physician."


When we launched our "Design Is" series last year, Jaimee, our volunteers coordinator and pediatrics resident, was our first post. We're so grateful to her for opening up about public health, and she inspires us to dig deeply.


"Join us TONIGHT for a jam-packed hour of volunteer Q&As and community vibe! ...

Are you considering contributing your talent and energy to Montclair Design Week? If your answer is "Yes, very much!”, “Yes, a little bit” or “Maybe”, look no further!... Learn how and why MDW just may be the right choice for you!"


How bittersweet the night was. A packed house on our first volunteer session of the planning season, and the last time we'd see those smiling faces before waking up to news of the first COVID-19 case in Montclair. 


"Everything is designed, including our public health policies to handle pandemics. Just as importantly are the processes designed to carry them out....At MDW, inclusion matters, too. Well designed public health involves multi-pronged, community-wide planning of all kinds. Let’s consider this as we design our own public health strategies." 


A chilling foretelling of inequities still to come. The disproportionately high rates of COVID cases in black and brown patients are a direct outcome of those inequities in public health.


"Beginning Sunday, March 22, we are holding a donation drive to collect critically needed medical supplies during this pandemic.

Hospitals across the country are experiencing severe shortages of PPE, adding unnecessary risk for all essential services providers. We are ONLY accepting new, unopened boxes of masks, eye protection, and latex-free gloves, and they will be donated to our local hospitals."


The decision to leap into immediate action was made official, but the scope of our efforts would evolve organically for two more weeks.

 And the Theme for MDW2020 is...  

Can we all pretend it's February 13th, the night of our MDW Theme Party? We'll never forget how you turned out to share your love and insights for this community, entrusting us with your contributions. Your responses left us inspired and moved. We felt so honored to be your platform for change!


We promised you that we'd reveal our theme, and believe us, it couldn't be more relevant. This year, we're focusing on inclusion – what it looks like, what we want it to look like, and how inclusion isn't just a goal, it's a measure of good design. Introducing "100% Montclair." In a time already steeped in radical uncertainty, the tools we use to get to radical inclusion are up for grabs.

 DesignShed is Official! 

With five community tools launched in less than two years, it's time you met our parent organization!


DesignShed is the year-round engine that powers Montclair Design Week (our annual signature event), Mapping Montclair (open-source mapping platform), Awesome Montclair (micro-lending program), Pecha Kucha Montclair (creative storytelling platform) and now, Project Pivot, our collection of six rapid-response initiatives during COVID-19. 

Sometime soon, Montclair Design Week's communications channels will move to DesignShed's platform. We'll stay in touch with you as MDW until then.


In the meantime, if you like the work we're doing to activate our community, please let us know with your donation. As an all-volunteer team, your dollars go a long way in fueling our efforts, and is 100% tax-deductible, thanks to our fiscal sponsor, PEAC Institute. A very special thank you to Marco De Mel Pedersen for our gorgeous new logo!

Don't miss a beat.
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