Richard Florida of The Atlantic's fascinating CityLab team released some data maps earlier this week locating the big urban design centers around the country. He looked at the cities with the highest concentrations of people working in the industry (designer meaning "architects and landscape architects; commercial and industrial designers, graphic designers, fashion designers, interior designers, set and exhibit designers, and others") and then broke the field down into smaller segments and mapped those findings.
The above map shows a nice little trend – that San Francisco has the highest concentration of designers in the country, as measured by the "location quotient," which "measures the concentration of a given occupation in a metro area to its concentration across the country. An LQ of 1 means the occupation’s share matches the national average, an LQ of 2 is double that, and so on." And we're #1 here! Florida writes, "While it is commonly assumed that the media and fashion mecca of New York or the movie capital of Los Angeles have the leading design clusters, they actually came in second and third, respectively. San Francisco is the nation’s leading design capital, with an LQ of 1.8."
When it comes to self-employed designers, we're also tops:
Dig deeper into the stats and maps and we're second to Minneapolis when it comes to graphic designers (but we're above New York). We're also second on the list when it comes to concentration of architects (this time Seattle beats us).
But overall, CityLab's stats are a confirmation that San Francisco doesn't just feel like a city where every other person you meet is a designer. SF currently is that city.
[Maps from CityLab]
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