If you have a chance to get to the Philadelphia area, be sure to check out "Design Philadelphia". Get a close up look at all types of design - fashion, interior, multi-media, graphic and product design to name a few. There are open studio tours, lectures, gallery exhibitions, public installations, and cocktail parties. A great way to network, you never know who you might meet. Best of all-the events are free. Check out the "MRA Funhouse", an open house that is a model detailing construction, gardens, bathrooms, etc.
For the shoppers, check out "Joan Shepp" hosts artist "Denise Fike" as she paints a model posing in the front display window-sure to cause a traffic jam on Walnut Street. You should be able to convince your better half to check out the "Art of the Automobile" hosted by Michael Furman of the Simeone Automobile Foundation Museum. Everything is designed, we see designs all day long, cell phones, coffee, blue jeans, cars - everything is designed - find out why you are attracted to certain brands, how colors and shapes influence you, how object placement can effect your mood.