Creative Change is Happening in San Diego: Creative Mornings and UCSD Design Lab

An exciting thing is happening in San Diego. The design community is coming together in collaboration like never before. We've always been here - boutique agencies with innovative approaches, tech entrepreneurs with a passion for design forward thinking, and independent freelancers exploring the beauty of the city. But progress is in the air and a new Design Alliance is forming that will help stakeholders find each other and lift our community to greater heights. 

UCSD Design Lab

UCSD has opened a new Design Lab. Inspired by the need for technological innovation with design thinking, their goal is to make UCSD a world leader in design theory and integrative programs - and to practice the TOM approach of "thinking, observing, and making" for the benefit of people. The Design Lab is a multidisciplinary research hub working across the UC San Diego campus, the greater southern California region, and with global partners. They champion design as a way of thinking in all arenas of life, business, education, and entertainment.

Creative Mornings - San Diego

Creative Mornings gathers pros together for free Friday morning coffee and breakfast talks. They bring together all creative types, entrepreneurs, developers, crafters, who are driven by passion and purpose, confident they will inspire one another and affect change. We think is a great way to start the weekend. 

Photo by Oriana Jones

Photo by Oriana Jones

The San Diego chapter of Creative Mornings is hosted by Nate Spees, CEO at Grizzly and advocate for San Diego and the impact creativity can have on our incredible city. Portfolio Studio is proud to be a 2017 sponsor of this great community hub.

Maker Studios

Maker Studios are places that you can go to really let your creative ability fly. Many designers, from all industries, have phenomenal ideas but are unable to fully realize them without access to top of the line equipment. Most creatives simply don't have the personal budget for the latest 3D printer or an industrial sewing machine.

Maker Place

Maker Place

Enter 'Maker Studios' Fab Lab and Maker Place. Maker Place founder, Steve Herrick, says, “Think of it as your dream shop ... the one you’d build if you had a really big garage and a huge budget.” There’s equipment for woodworking, metalworking, electronics, embroidery, sewing and specialty tools such as laser cutters and engravers. Fab Lab is a non-profit community space that not only offers access to the tools, but also classes on how to use them. These studios are local resources where creatives can fully realize their ideas.


Hackathons are focused on mentorship, learning, and teamwork. Typically, programmers, graphic designers, project managers, subject matter experts, and others collaborate in a sprint-like event. Together they create robots, applications, prototypes, products, and whatever else they can dream up. This past September, SD Hacks attracted more than 1000 hackers from throughout California for Hack Day 2016. Student participants were able to get hands-on experience and network with peers and companies. This year promises to be even bigger. 

Design Forward > San Diego

Human-centered design has the power and potential to drive San Diego’s economy, industry, and quality of life. Design Forward brings together designers, civic leaders, and industry innovators to explore the possibilities for San Diego design thinking and doing. The Design Forward Summit will return again in October with keynotes, intimate salons and a design showcase, and give attendees an insider’s view on how design thinking can reshape our economy and how San Diego is poised to be a leader in this global trend. In support, the Design Forward Alliance advocacy group will work to unite the design community throughout the year and help harness the growing energy and optimism around design here in San Diego.

Together, through collaboration and innovation, San Diego's design community is bound for greatness. We couldn't be prouder to be a part of it.

Portfolio Studio is the creative hub that brings ambitious students together with working pros for training and portfolio building. We offer courses for Copywriters, Graphic and Web Designers, Art Directors and Digital Strategists. Contact us for more information, or take a look at our current courses.