Douglas Burton, co-owner of Apartment Zero, was “raised in museums and art galleries, visiting them every week of my childhood,” he muses. This passion led Burton to pursue a career in design and, eventually, to open Apartment Zero—a modern furniture store and hub for expositions, symposia and dialogs that revolved around consumers, designers and a growing cadre of embassy folk until its lease expired in 2010.
The absence of a brick-and-mortar venue has not stopped Burton from mounting what promises to be his largest event to date: The Washington, DC International Design Festival, which will take place February 21 to May 19 at Artisphere in Arlington (former site of the Newseum) with input from the embassies of Spain and Italy, local retailers and experts on design.
The cornerstone of the event will be “The Next Wave: Industrial Design Innovation in the 21st Century,” an exhibition of products designed over the past 13 years, with a focus on lighting, tabletop, furniture and textiles from more than 15 countries; the work of six local designers will also be on display. “The Next Wave,” says Burton, “will reveal a frozen-in-time snippet of what’s going on globally in industrial design.”
The Festival will also feature a series of public events, including a photo contest, a panel on the role of women in design, a pop-up store and more. apartmentzero.com.