1) Richard Turley
Senior VP of Storytelling, MTV (previously: Bloomberg Businessweek)
"Let's Talk About Me"
- "Typography can change the world!"
- on bad clients: "the worse I made it, the more they liked it…"
- while at Bloomberg Businessweek:
- Helvetica – hating it and loving it at the same time
- using – and breaking – the grid
- constant state of reinvention – question everything
- balance of serious and funny – can use this to manipulate readers and make them think differently
2) Steve Vranakis
Executive Creative Director, Creative Lab, Google
"Making Technology Matter, and Using Technology to Drive Creativity
- "must be brave & kind" - listed in a Google Creative Labs job posting
- make design matter
- coding = a creative discipline
- developers = artists
- code / poetry = right words in the right order
- break the conventions / structures
- *importance of PLAY
- on DevArt:
- a global art show – all work created completely with code
- inspiring the next generation of artists
- DevArt participants:
- Karsten Schmidt – outcome more important that authorship
- Varvara + Mar – code is the soul of machines
3) Annette Diefenthaler, Ellen Lupton & Lawrence Zeegen
The Future of Design Education
Q1 What is the most important trait(s) for students leaving college / entering the workforce?
- one core skill more important than multiple - single skill permeates through portfolio
- don't pretend you can do everything
- not skill sets, but mindsets
- must be able to embrace new thinking – looking for innovators who will push the industry forward
- don't duplicate / copy others
- "nobody's going to be everything"
- there should be no division – skill set and mindset should be integrated
- students must be adaptable and be able to teach themselves, or know how to acquire the skills they need
- importance of learning both high tech and low tech (analog techniques), as well as learn from each other
- educators are responsible for teaching the entire gamut of students, from all skill levels and backgrounds
- strive for better, not best
- must question metrics – not just about graphic design "hard skills"
- things to consider:
- how is the student inspiring / challenging the discipline / industry?
- how the student having an impact on his / her community?
- how is the student able to communicate / inspire / teach others?
- ultimately, educators must embrace diversity of skills and help break down barriers
- critical thinking is more important that software knowledge
- "teach spelling AND poetry in tandem" - always with an element of FUN
- students must have "digital fluency":
- able to use but not necessarily produce
- ability to tell stories with existing apps, platforms, tools of visual distribution
- make students work within constraints, units, specific parameters – teaches problem solving
- resilience creates systems that can change
- design is the most basic form of literacy for both designers and non-designers
- empower students to do good - either at industry/agency level, or within their community
- time = money; make students execute projects in time constraints
- find ways to "get to amazing" within 24 hours
- ("or at least pretty amazing" - EL)
- "I will go to my grave as a graphic designer!"
- "graphic design" connotes discipline, long standing traditions
- "communication design" connotes business, marketing, PR (yuck)
- "graphic design" doesn't adequately describe the tasks any more
- too insular
- gap between real money / real time
- need to connect graphic design with everything else
- too much focus on self, homework, etc.
- add communal spaces to create a studio experience, encourage peer-to-peer learning, which is invaluable
- also, make all classes electives…
- most classroom spaces are terrible – feel too "school-like"
- learning / working environments affect how we think, act, and the quality of our work
4) Ellen Lupton
Curator, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum + Director of Design MFA Program, MICA
"This is your Brain on Typography"
- narrative storytelling plays a key part in experience design, product design & graphic design
- story = "whole action of a certain magnitude" - Aristotle
- narrative is satisfying
- Vonnegat's story diagram of ecstasy & misery
- design adds stories to life
- effective, satisfying uses of narrative in humour:
- misdirection / deception
- rule of three
- delayed answer
- we crave conflict and the humour that and resolves it – catharsis + cathexis
5) Charles Adler
"Stories from Vast Fields of Creative Independence"
- 90s – art had been industrialized, industry was handcuffed by the mainstream
- early 2000s – new power of the internet: to subvert industry
- *rules were meant to be broken
- rules are often temporary
- it's okay to question everything
- don't be afraid to ask WHY
6) Erik Spiekermann
Creative Director, Edenspiekermann
"Keeping the A**hole Factor Down
- "I make sh*t"
- poster: "Move fast and get sh*t done."
- life's too short for kerning
- get rid of redundancy!
- on Helvetica: "nothing wrong with it, but nothing right with it either"
- formula for how many books one needs: n+1
- don't work WITH a**holes; don't work FOR a**holes
- important to have an agile design process – be flexible
7) Jessica Walsh
Partner, Sagmeister & Walsh
- "player" = a person who plays
- work should be PLAY
- contrary to the thought that play is wasteful, it actually:
- prepares us
- allows us to practice our skills
- allows us to fail with fewer consequences
- play shapes the brain
- play is a state of mind
- play deficit can be as detrimental as sleep deficit
- play's "flow state" is the ideal state to innovate
- Rules for play:
- you must have confidence to FAIL
- you must have dedicated, uninterrupted TIME
- [quote from poster: "Not everything will be okay, but some things will."
- play by your own rules
- constraints are good for play
- fight for what you believe in
- *Sagmeister & Walsh only present one solution to clients - take it or leave it
- *get off the computer and MAKE SH*T
- do works that feeds your soul, not your ego
- *acknowledge when work becomes a burden
- "In the particular lies the universal." -James Joyce
- re: pleasing everyone "if no one hates it, no one really likes it"
- pay attention to what you like to do when no one is paying you
- when in doubt, RISK IT
- make less pretty crap, make more stuff with heart.
Day 1 here.
A huge thank you to Janine at Uppercase Magazine for this amazing opportunity, and to Design Thinkers for offering the press pass to this event. Thanks!