While in the past I’ve had my issues with the AIGA, I’m actually pretty excited to be heading down to Memphis for the Make/Think AIGA Design Conference. I tend to go to a lot of design talks so being part of something bigger for a couple days is quite appealing. Back in the day before I lived in NYC, there was Michael the designer in Canada who was part of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) and worked his way from student rep, to Chapter VP of Education, to Chapter President and for a brief period National VP of Communication. It was a ton of design volunteer work that I enjoyed because I got to meet, talk and work with a lot of smart people. It wasn’t all fun but I really looked forward to the GDC National AGM’s because I got to hang with people that had put in the same effort from across Canada. While it wasn’t a conference because an AGM is actually about meetings, they did have a conference feel in the evenings. The real fun was away from the board rooms and back in the hotel. There were many nights that I didn’t sleep at all—and we’d geek out on design talk. That type of stuff isn’t for everyone but it was something I looked forward to. Now I find myself a couple years later as a member of the AIGA heading down to hear a lot of talk, and hopefully see some cool stuff that will make me think.
The great equalizer for someone that likes to write about design talks is to put the said publisher on stage. While it will be brief I’m part of 20/20 which is 20 presentations in 20 minutes! I’ve done a thirty second design video talk so it was only natural that I’d move up to doing something for a minute. What I mean by a great equalizer is that while over the weekend I’m going to be hopefully questioning what I’m hearing, it’s only fair that people might look the same why at me. I’m lucky that what I’m a part of is a fun kick off to the conference so people probably are going to be a bit more forgiving. In any case I’ll have some of the experience of knowing what it’s like to feel before going on stage to share ideas. Hopefully that won’t make me soft when it comes to (dis)agreeing with ideas over the weekend.
As for the actual conference I’m hoping to hear more about designer’s working within the realities of technology and less about how print is going to come back even stronger after business starts picking up again. There looks like there’s enough different tracks that I shouldn’t be bored. And outside the conference walls I’ll hopefully meet up with some people I’ve never had the chance to say hello to. If you happen to be reading this and are going to Memphis—let me know. As for the concept of live blogging, I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that or not. I’ll be carrying my laptop with me, but I’ll also have my iPhone too. The more likely scenario is that I’ll tweet some of the more interesting sound bytes that I’ll build into a post later. But at this point it’s all tbd which is kind of cool.