Sept. 29 2014 04:46 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

“Wayne Donaldson at the Americanization School, Oceanside California” by John Durant, on view in The Irving Gill Photographic Project “Wayne Donaldson at the Americanization School, Oceanside California” by John Durant, on view in

1. Architecture in October 

Oktoberfest is old news. This month is now officially all about architecture, design, planning and sustainability—at least in San Diego, where the minds behind much of our urban environment have banded together for the launch of the first-ever Archtoberfest.

"We're populating even more events as we speak," says Bastiaan Bouma, executive director of the San Diego chapter of the American Institute of Architects. "It's catching on... People really want to learn more about these important topics."

Bouma is one of the driving forces behind the month-long celebration, which includes almost 50 lectures, tours, workshops, exhibits and other events that strive to educate locals about the past, present and future of architecture.

Archtoberfest kicks off with the annual Orchids & Onions affair, happening from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at the San Diego Air and Space Museum in Balboa Park. The always-entertaining night commending and condemning San Diego's built environment includes food and cocktails catered by Snake Oil Cocktail Co. and Home Kitchen Culture; plus, comedian Lauren O'Brien will make sure even the Onion winners are laughing.

One of the anchor events of Archtoberfest is the San Diego Design Film Festival, running from Thursday, Oct. 9, through Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Reading Gaslamp Cinemas (701 Fifth Ave., Downtown). The fest features films like Art House, Maker, Hairy Who & The Chicago Imagists and other indie flicks covering the diversity of the design industry.

Other interesting happenings include The Irving Gill Photographic Project, featuring works by fine-art photographers Philipp Scholz Rittermann, Suda House and John Durant, at the Wisteria Cottage Galleries (780 Prospect St. in La Jolla) through Jan. 25, and the Great Downtown San Diego Places & Spaces behind-the-scenes tour of some of the city's most important historic buildings, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 19.

Check out for a full rundown of happenings, many of which are free.

"Spirit of the Dead Watching" by Paul Gauguin
Photo by Tom Loonan

2. Finest art 

Looking for some fine-art escapism? Check out "Collection Highlights" at and peruse dozens of the coolest pieces of art created during the last 100 years. Better yet, get yourself to the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park sometime on or after Saturday, Oct. 4, to check out Gauguin to Warhol: 20th Century Icons from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. Indeed, you'll see works by Gauguin and Warhol, as well as pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Kahlo and Lichtenstein—in all, more than 40 artists are represented. SDMA ain't wrong in describing the works as "masterpieces." The exhibition's on view through Jan. 27 and includes a number of related events, like the museum's popular Culture & Cocktails (Oct. 16). 

Photo by Field Gems Photography

3. Night moves

Night markets have been a part of East Asian culture for more than a thousand years and have become a huge part of the modern urban landscape in Taiwan, Hong Kong, China and Malaysia. But it's now also quickly becoming part of San Diego's, as well. The second annual San Diego Night Market will be held in the Convoy District from 4 p.m. until late into the night on Saturday, Oct. 4. The market will host a variety of vendors selling ethnic goods, clothing and a wide array of cuisine, be it boba or tofu. Add in DJs and Drive-By Cinema courtesy of Pacific Arts Movement and you've got yourself a party. The event's epicenter is 7990 Engineer Road in Kearny Mesa.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email Kinsee Morlan.


See all events on Thursday, Oct 20