La Fonda on the Plaza Santa Fe, New Mexico
October 18–20, 2017


The 2017 Contract Design Forum will be held at La Fonda on the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, October 18–20, 2017.

The Contract Design Forum— held in a different setting across the country each autumn—is a two-day gathering of the Contract Editorial Advisory Board, invited guests who are leaders in the commercial design industry, and representatives of sponsors. Practicing architects and interior designers are welcome to attend. Click here to learn about registration fee.

Why attend or sponsor Forum?
The one event of the year for Contract designers
Each year, the Contract Design Forum is held for the most engaged experts in commercial architecture and interior design—architects and designers who are principals of firms, and nationally recognized designers of workplace, hospitality, healthcare, retail, education, and civic projects. The audience is engaged in thought-provoking discussions, allowing attendees to think of their work and the future in new and different ways.

Diverse attendee mix
When attending or sponsoring Forum, you will be an important attendee at the event, which also includes Contract magazine’s 40-member editorial advisory board. This is the one gathering of the year for the advisory board. Ninety percent of the editorial advisory board members are new to the group since 2011. Many are new to the advisory board within the last three years. The board, which includes designers of every commercial project type, is diverse in composition across all generations of practitioners.

Not just one vertical sector
Unlike events based on one vertical sector with attendees all focused on one project type, at Contract Design Forum you will be among the design leaders of every commercial project type: workplace, retail, education, hospitality, healthcare, and public/civic. Here, you will enjoy conversation and new connections with architects and designers of a variety of project types. For example, a designer of workplace may be in conversation with a hospitality designer or an architect for a presidential library or a past Designer of the Year or a leading expert on sustainable design.

You will meet everyone in attendance
The Contract Design Forum audience includes no more than about 100 to 120 people. That’s everyone from the advisory board members to attendees to representatives of sponsors to editors of the magazine. The Forum program is specifically planned for an audience of this scale. And it is notable because, over the course of two days, you should be able to meet and have conversation with most everyone in attendance.

Superb speakers
The speakers at Contract Design Forum are not the usual suspects, and are not solely focused on commercial interiors. We carefully select speakers who will enable attendees to broaden their perspectives related to the impact of design in the built environment. This year, the speakers will have lessons that range from creative storytelling to urban design and planning to federally funded design programs to design education to the collection of Alexander Girard’s folk art. You will be inspired, challenged, and will learn a lot within two days.

See key sites in Santa Fe
Our home base will be the historic La Fonda on the Plaza, a beautiful hotel that has been at the heart of Santa Fe for nearly a century. And you’ll see more of Santa Fe, as well. We will visit the Museum of International Folk Art to learn about Alexander Girard’s folk art collection, and also go to SITE Santa Fe—a contemporary art space with a brand new building by SHoP Architects. We will enjoy dinners at both The Compound, a restaurant with a rich 50-year history that was designed by Alexander Girard, and Eloisa, which was a nominee for the James Beard Award for Best New Restaurant in 2016. And we will begin the program with a fun event: salsa making in teams at the Santa Fe School of Cooking!


Past Contract Design Forums

Del Mar, California
L’Auberge del Mar

Savannah, Georgia
The Brice Hotel

Aspen, Colorado
Hotel Jerome

Scottsdale, Arizona
The Sanctuary

Woodinville, Washington
Willows Lodge

Key Biscayne, Florida
Ritz Carlton

New Orleans, Louisiana
W French Quarter

Austin, Texas
The Lost Pines Ranch

Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Four Seasons

Scottsdale, Arizona
Arizona Baltimore

Sonoma, California
Sonoma Mission Inn

San Francisco, California