June 3-5, 2019 • San Jose, CA
Layers is a 3-day conference about design, technology, and business, learning, creativity, snacks, leadership, art, culture, responsibility, ethics
Tickets available now!

What is Layers?

A conference of thoughtful content, wonderful attendees, and generous snacks, Layers provides a positive backdrop for the challenges and accomplishments in design and technology. For designers and non-designers alike, we showcase design fundamentals for industry newcomers and advanced ideas for seasoned professionals.

At Layers, you'll:

  • Hear about the creative process from professionals of all backgrounds
  • Learn how different people approach project challenges
  • Get hands-on access to the people creating leading design tools
  • Build meaningful connections with industry peers

...and have the best time.

San Jose, June 3-5

Montgomery Theater

271 S Market St, San Jose, CA

  • Mon: 5p-8p Registration Party
  • Tues: 9a-5p Conference
  • Wed: 9a-5p Conference + Closing Party (TBA)

Layers takes place at the historic Montgomery Theater, right around the corner from Apple’s WWDC.

We have a limited number of pre-paid hotel rooms set aside at the Hotel Clariana, just 5 blocks from Layers. Register your hotel room for June 3-6 at a flat rate of $1000 for 3 nights with check in at 3p and check out at 11a. Reservations can’t be shortened, but it may be possible to lengthen your stay.

We’re putting the finishing touches on our speaker lineup and can’t wait to share it with you soon.

Accessibility + Special Accomodations
The Montgomery Theater is equipped with ramps and limited ADA compliant seating. If you have specific needs or requirements, or questions about other accessibility offerings, drop us a line and we’ll do what we can to make sure your needs are met. There are limits to what we can do, but we work hard to make Layers comfortable and easy for anyone to attend!
We’ve reserved a block of 30 hotel rooms at the Hotel Clariana in downtown San Jose. It’s 5 blocks away from Layers which translates to about a 10-minute leisurely stroll (accounting for waiting at crosswalks and bumping into friends.)

There’s a combination of Single King (20), Double Queen (8), and ADA (2) rooms available. We’ll be taking requests on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot guarantee your choice of room.

Check-in is at 3pm on Monday, June 3rd (a few hours before Layers kicks off) and check-out is at 11am on Thursday, June 6th. We cannot shorten or cancel reservations. If you’d like to lengthen your stay let us know and we’ll see if it’s possible.

In effort to get you the best rates possible, we’ve booked this block outright and will be manually managing reservations on our end. We will make it a priority to assist you with everything hotel-related, but responses may not always be immediate.
Why do you talk so much about snacks? Are you feeding us meals?
We really love snacks. And when you’re in a different city, trying the food is half the fun! Since conferences leave little time for exploring the town, it’s nice to bring little pieces of the city to you. We source new and interesting local vendors every year to make it feel more like you’re visiting a place and not a conference center.

While full-sized meals aren’t served, attendees enjoy 3 hearty snack sessions per day and a 90-minute lunch break.
There are a limited (but growing) number of scholarships available to Layers, and anyone is welcome to apply. Scholarship applications must be submitted no later than April 14th, and scholarship recipients will be notified no later than April 19th. If more scholarships become available beyond that, we will provide updates to ensure everyone has a chance to apply.
I'm a [senior/junior] level designer, is Layers right for me?
Whether you’re curious about becoming a designer or have done it for decades, we have something for you. When selecting our content, we’re always thinking about presentations that speak to senior and junior-level designers alike. Concepts and lessons are layered: fundamental design ideas are reinforced throughout advanced content. We also try to showcase people in from totally different industries to show everyone something new.
I'm not a designer, what would I get out of attending Layers?
Here’s the thing: whether intentional or unintentional, everyone designs. Design can be expressed in pixels, gestures, words, materials—anything. Learning processes from the perspectives of different people and disciplines gives everyone more tools to do their jobs better, whatever those jobs may be. For people who work in and around design or tech, or people who are interested in learning more about it, we encourage you to be a part of and contribute to our community.
Can I speak at Layers?
Speaker outreach takes place months before registration opens and our roster is likely full at this time. We still love hearing your ideas, so feel free to reach out to us at info@layers.is. You might end up on our stage some day!
Can I sponsor Layers?
Short answer, yes! Medium answer, we would love to see how we can make it work. All sponsorships are custom-structured so we can find something that best fits the personality of our event and your brand. For the long answer, send us an email at info@layers.is and we’ll talk!

Frequently Asked, Answered Here

Code of Conduct

Layers is committed to providing a harassment-free event for everyone. Harassment isn't only result of intention; it can also take place when we don't stop to think about how our actions could make others uncomfortable. Let’s go over some common forms of harassment:

🚫 Verbal comments that reinforce social structures of domination related to gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, body size, race, age, religion, etc.
🚫 Bullying of any kind, in-person or online
🚫 Sexual images in public spaces
🚫 Deliberate intimidation, stalking, or following
🚫 Sustained disruption of talks or other events
🚫 Uninvited and/or inappropriate physical contact
🚫 Unwelcome sexual attention
🚫 Advocating for, or encouraging, any of the above behaviour

If any attendee or speaker engages in one or more of the inappropriate behaviors listed above, we reserve the right to take any action we deem necessary. This includes, and is not limited to, issuing a warning, complete removal from the conference without refund, and contacting the appropriate authorities.

In the unfortunate case anyone is made to feel uncomfortable at our event, notify us or one of our volunteers immediately. Whether it's a full-fledged complaint, or a "hey, that person could have handled this better" observation, we’re dedicated to providing a safe space for everyone to discuss their experience. If approaching us in person is difficult or uncomfortable, reach us at info@layers.is or submit an anonymous form.

👩🏻 Jessie & Elaine 🧑🏻

Thanks to Geek Feminism for the list of what qualifies as harassment. We welcome feedback on our code of conduct; if you believe an important qualifier of harassment is missing, please let us know at info@layers.is.


brought to you
by Opening Night

Opening Night was founded in 2015 by Jessie Char and Elaine Pow. Together they produce thoughtful events that draw from their combined backgrounds in design, technology, and retail.

Elaine and Jessie

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Designed By
Grayson Yokota

Coded By
Patrick B. Gibson