Three years ago, Mark Dudlik wrote an open letter that pissed off the Phoenix design community — he wrote that the local design scene was dead. What the local designer meant was that support for local design wasn't strong enough, and if nothing was done, talented and creative people would inevitably skip town. The community reacted, and Dudlik was ready with a solution. This year marks the third Phoenix Design Week (October 1-18), which has grown from a few days of exhibitions and get-togethers to a three-week showcase with a national conference. The annual event gives designers from a variety of backgrounds (communication, graphic, industrial) and cities from around the country plenty of excuses to get out of their studios, talk about culture and creativity, and work together on new design ideas for Phoenix.