The Design Conference #TDCBNE17

By Ash Thompson
-
6 July 2017

“I just want to blow people’s minds.”

I think I heard this line from Matt non-stop in the year leading up to the conference, and rightfully so. This is a guy who is extremely capable, but is also well aware of the bar he is raising for himself and by extension: Brisbane creatives.
 
It is no secret that Outfit sponsored the conference this year, and we are extremely proud to be in a position that affords us an opportunity to give back to the design community as well as have our technology featured in a playful and clever way during the conference.
 
The speaker list was amazing this year, and a well balanced list of equal men and women, something Matt is extremely proud of. Lauren Hom took us on her journey to lettering. The guys from Cyrcle completely baffled everyone with their intense and open talk about their rocky path. I was pleasantly surprised by the intensity and quality of their work. Dean Poole was on a level of his own, talking about art direction, but really just speaking with unbridled passion about his journey and experiences with art.
 
Though a lot of the talks were outstanding in terms of content, my personal highlight was Prue Jones who covered off some amazing topics around AI and UI. It’s not often you walk away from a talk feeling as though you’ve just been jolted awake!
 
Friday morning kicked off with another amazing Creative Mornings Talk from Cork and Chroma founder, Hillary Wall. Her topic was “serendipity”, and I was thoroughly engrossed in her talk. She shared a Taoist story called “Maybe”, look it up if you have a chance. It’s always really wonderful to see the creative community pull together and around each other during weeks like the design conference.
 
AGDA hosted “Under the Influence” with a great panel of experts covering a range of topics like, where is design heading, humanising technology and design thinking. Dean Poole and Mike Rigby the highlights for sure.
 
Joel and Matt from ustwo were also another favourite of mine, mainly because they riffed on so many things relevant to Outfit. Project, Technology, Design. They define themselves as a product studio and they are the minds behind Monument Valley, so it’s fair to say they know a thing or two about product.
 
I couldn’t review #TDCBNE17 without mentioning the Outfit Lanyards that were kicking around. The avatars were designed by Jonathan Calugi and we were so stoked with the finished product. Platypus Graphics did an amazing job at printing them. Check out our wrap up video here:
 
 
Kelly Thompson was another highlight of mine. I have followed Kelly since I was a design grad, and I first saw her present at Semi Permanent. Her work is stunning, but she has taken a very different tack in the last few years, as the Founding Director of Maker’s Mgmt. She also opened up about a few personal challenges. It’s always nice to see the other side of the coin, and have an artist give you a full view of the process not just creatively, but personally.
 
Mike Rigby brought a big agency angle to the conference, while keeping his feet firmly planted in the real issues that a good agency is lucky enough to tackle. I didn’t know it, but Mike was behind the “Love Has No Labels” initiative and admittedly, I got a little teary during that part of his keynote. This is the clip if you haven’t had the privilege of seeing it yet.
 
Matt stepped everything up this year, from breakouts, to workshops, sponsors, the keynotes and most importantly the inclusive feel this event continues to foster. And how does this keep happening? Will and sheer passion of course! This coupled with the enthusiasm from a group of people lead by a guy who is genuinely interested in shaping our design community; a guy who doesn’t want to keep losing our best design talent to Sydney and Melbourne and beyond. If you didn’t make it to this year’s conference, I hope this has placed the event firmly on your must-do list for next year.
 
Outfit-team-tdc17-brisbane.jpg
 
The guys from Outfit who attended also added their pick of the conference:
 
“A good wake up call to the closing session of the conference, Prue Jones got the audience engaged and truly scared me about the technological advances we'll be making over the next decade. What's really interesting is the role good design can play and whether or not we will descend into complete chaos.” - Jahl
"Among the presenters, I was really intrigued by the experience of Camille Walala, a Commercial Artist from UK. Camille has developed a style of geometry with vibrant colours to show her desire for putting a smile on people’s faces. The adventure of this adorable lady reminds me, as a designer, our job is not only to catch the trend and create eye candies, but also to keep trying and to develop our own style. Another big one is to remember the reason why we design." - Lennon
 
“I’ve never seen such a unique lineup of speakers at one event. No matter what area of design you are interested in there was someone there that you would’ve enjoyed. Digital product, motion design, lettering and type, branding, industrial design; every session was packed with a different, amazing group of speakers, with a different, amazing set of skills.” - John
 
"Intuitive design is only as good as the intuition of the user! For us at Outfit, it was really interesting to hear the thoughts of Joel and Matt from ustwo on the role that we play in digital product creation and how product development is in a constant loop of learning, affirming and repeating interface behaviour." - James

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