The Future of Interaction Design Stalls at Not Being Able to Log In: well at least for me that is

Adobe_IA

A couple of weeks ago I came across a presentation from Adobe titled The Future of Interaction Design with Hugh Dubberly and Jodi Forlizzi. The event was described as follows: “a one-hour online conversation on the Future of Interaction Design. Participate in this discussion and share your views! All you need is your browser, your telephone, and your point of view to be an active participant — or just listen in”.

I was interested, I even stayed home from work to listen in. The emails that confirmed my attendance arrived so I felt confident that it would be a smooth process to log in. Well, instead of listening in I’m blogging about the fact that I couldn’t log in. I went through all the scenarios and it just wouldn’t work. I have to admit that this was my first time trying to listen in w/ an Adobe presentation, but there shouldn’t be any type of learning curve to log in. If you get an email confirmation, you accept it into your iCal things should just be a simple login with user name and password. But that didn’t happen on this day. Maybe there was a glitch in the information architecture and I missed a step, but I’ve gone through much more confusing logins w/ success. Until we can figure out how to get people access to online interactions (no matter what their online understanding is), the conversation about what to do after the fact will be futile. Well I hope the talk is recorded for those that were able to participate and then I’ll be able to listen in…

UPDATE: Apperently I have officially become New York. When I hear 9 am, I just assumed it was Eastern time. The start of the event is 9 am Pacific time = 12 pm in New York. My very big bad.

No sound

UPDATE 2: I had minor success logging in – but only after Sonali sent an email to the moderator did she get a direct link as a guest and then sent it to me. Unfortunately you needed a phone to hear the sound. That would have been fine except we had to connect through wifi b/c our net was flaking out this morning. So for me at least it was a bust. I lost an hour at home and another forty-five minutes at Renegade. I hope the next session works out better, for what it’s worth they’re looking feedback on how to improve things.

Pecha Kucha New York

Pecha Kucha New York

Just heard about Pecha Kucha New York, which is like a speed design talk. They describe it like this: each presenter is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up.

The line up for the next talk January 31st is as follows:

Amale Andraos and Dan Wood
WORK Architecture Company

Afaina de Jong
Afarai

Hadi Ghaemi
Human Rights Watch

David Reinfurt
Dexter Sinister

Donna Wingate
Precipice Alliance

Peter Simensky
Neutral Capital

Raina Kumra
Raina Kumra

Joe MacDonald
Urban A&O

Mathew Waldman
Nooka

Marc McQuade
Pidgin Magazine

Jon Santos
Common Space

Ada Tolla and Giuseppe Lignano
LOT-EK

I’m not familiar with all the designers, but the two that I’m really interested in hearing are David Reinfurt and Mathew Waldman. Dexter Sinister and Nooka rank pretty high in my biased opinion. For more info on the event and the speakers, check out Pecha Kucha New York.

Likemind Six Recap

Likemind 6

Just got back from Likemind held at sNice in New York. Like all the events that I’ve been to with this Likemind, the mix of people were friendly and had a lot of things going on. Some of the new people that I met ran sites like brand experience lab, Lets Meet Out, the happy corp, Roboyouth and ran into old friends like cellar door, PSFK, do.palicio.us, Jack Cheng and Charles Gallant.

I’ve also posted some flickr pics HERE.

D&AD Global Awards 2007

D&AD Global Awards 2007

I just received a friendly hello from Ruth at D&AD mentioning that they’ve extended their deadline for the D&AD Global Awards 2007 to Wednesday, 17th January. If you don’t have anything that you feel strongly about this year to submit – it’s good motivation to get your act together and shoot for 2008. All the details about sending your work can be found at http://awards07.dandad.org

Where did Design in Canada go?

poster by GDC ABN

I haven’t heard much about the design scene in Canada since the move, so I’m happy to mention that if you’re in Edmonton Saturday, February 10, 2007 there’s only one event that you need to go to. It’s the GDC ABN’s Design A to Z Silent Auction.

More info from the press release:

This event will allow our chapter to continue to host distinguished speakers, hold workshops, and fund other initiatives. It will also raise awareness of our organization with the public and promote interest in local design. It will be a wonderful opportunity for designers and design enthusiasts to network and enjoy a night of entertainment at the Union Bank Inn facilities.

For donation and volunteer inquiries, please contact either Robyn or Vanlee.
Robyn Stuart, Events Chair
780.428.5491
events@gdcabnorth.net

Vanlee Robblee, Admin Assistant
780.990.0839 ext. 227
admin@gdcabnorth.net

What was 11 Spring Street

11 Spring Street (Wooster On Spring)

The simple question would be was it worth it? You have the option to do anything you want on a Saturday in New York and you decide to stand in on something for a couple hours – only to be rewarded with the chance experience something that will only be here once. But the bigger question is what do you do with that time? Standing in line seemed like such a painful obstacle, but really where would you rather be? You can’t live through a lens yet it’s hard not to want to capture every moment. That’s how I saw it

Sunday is the official closing, so like they say go early to 11 Spring Street, and if you want to see some of my quick shots, visit my set at http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/sets/72157594423917521/

Renegade SawRority Party

Renegade SawRority Party

There were whips, paddles, a suitcase full of money, dance revolution, twister and the opportunity to smear your rear! All of this combined to make the annual Renegade party which was themed as the chance to go back to University with the SawRority. If your kind of curious to see the evidence, you can head on over to my flickr set to see the mayhem first hand.

Massimo Vignelli Talk

Massimo Vignelli Talk

Finally, a design talk where I can say that I left afterwards with a smile. If anyone is wondering who they should invite for their next big talk – put Massimo on the top of the list after you’ve considered swissmiss. By far Vignelli has been the best individual that I’ve seen talk in NYC. The talk was way longer than the average 55 minute lecture I’m used to seeing. I didn’t end up leaving F.I.T. until after nine. And I would have stayed another hour if there were the questions to keep him on stage.

It would be too difficult for me to do a play by play review of every slide he showed, but I did my best to shoot a bunch and post them on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/sets/72157594379518635/ I came to the talk thinking that I knew a bit about the designer, but it was apparent that I really didn’t have a clue. The number of products that he had designed was quite exhausting outside of the graphic design stuff. I just had no idea that he was so into dishes and environments.

In the past when I think of modernism, I attached it with serious business. Strong lines and very systematic without a sense of humour. But after hearing Vignelli and others that believe in the philosophy – I have reconsidered. While every point made sense, the delivery had a punch line that everyone in the audience couldn’t help but chuckle. I’m learning that Modern people have a great sense of joy.

As much as I left smiling, it wasn’t all b/c of the jokes. I truly felt I became a better designer for listening to him share his thoughts. Some of these notes are not much different from what you’ve come across in your own travels, while others might strike a new note.

· ask yourself what the rules are, what does it mean?
· design w/ intensity and passion
· nothing comes easy
· 72 points is big!
· I only design when I need something
· let the emptiness sign
· this is me in 1972, do you like my pants!?!
· five different levels of hierarchy
· if you can’t find it, design it

Stuff Happens

The NY Art Book Fair

It almost seems inevitable that I’ll go to a design event/thing, and the next day some one comes up to me and asks why I didn’t tell them about what’s going on. So for the sake of letting people know about some of the cool things going on in NYC that I’ll be thinking about attending, I offer this short list below – happy event hopping!

F.I.T. Visiting Artist Program: Massimo Vignelli
November 16, 2006 at 6:30pm
Katie Murphy Amphitheater, New York

The NY Art Book Fair (via swissmiss)
http://nyartbookfair.com/
Friday & Saturday, November 17 – 18, 11am – 7pm
Sunday, November 19, 11am – 5pm
548 West 22nd Street (10th & 11th Aves), New York City

Architecture 06: Michael Rock
http://www.archleague.org/index-dynamic.php?show=481
Thursday, November 30, 2006 at 6:30 p.m.
The Great Hall, Cooper Union. 7 East 7th Street, New York City
Co-sponsored by the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of the Cooper Union.

adc young guns

adc young guns

NYC is funny w/ time. Some days time flies so quickly and other times it just stops. Last night was one of those nights where I thought I was at the Art Directors Club Young Guns for hours, but when I looked at my watch as I left I had only been there for about an hour and a half. The event itself wasn’t boring at all, I’m just saying that time in NYC is not like it is elsewhere.

It seemed like everyone had a pretty good time, there didn’t seem to be the stiffness that usually follows a design show w/ stuff on the walls. I saw one winner with a lot of family supporters. It was impossible to miss how proud they all were of him. It really was quite the moment to witness.

The event was also relaxed, it didn’t feel like a pressure cooker. Tamara mentioned that it might have been due to the fact that no one had name tags on. Once a name tag goes up, it becomes a different type of event. It may have also been relaxed b/c of the free flowing wine and beer. It’s hard to say.

The work itself was interesting – lot’s of energy. I’m not sure if the style really suited what I do, but all of it was cool to look at. There was one diy poster that I was particularly fond of…

adc young guns

adc young guns

NYC is funny w/ time. Some days time flies so quickly and other times it just stops. Last night was one of those nights where I thought I was at the Art Directors Club Young Guns for hours, but when I looked at my watch as I left I had only been there for about an hour and a half. The event itself wasn’t boring at all, I’m just saying that time in NYC is not like it is elsewhere.

It seemed like everyone had a pretty good time, there didn’t seem to be the stiffness that usually follows a design show w/ stuff on the walls. I saw one winner with a lot of family supporters. It was impossible to miss how proud they all were of him. It really was quite the moment to witness.

The event was also relaxed, it didn’t feel like a pressure cooker. Tamara mentioned that it might have been due to the fact that no one had name tags on. Once a name tag goes up, it becomes a different type of event. It may have also been relaxed b/c of the free flowing wine and beer. It’s hard to say.

The work itself was interesting – lot’s of energy. I’m not sure if the style really suited what I do, but all of it was cool to look at. There was one diy poster that I was particularly fond of…

Learning to Spectacle

Architecture and Books: Spectacle

Tonight’s design lecture was sponsored by the Architectural League and the Municipal Art Society. I came into the talk tonight without knowing much about the new book Spectacle by David Rockwell with Bruce Mau. Sometimes a little ignorance goes a long way. No preconceived ideas nor expectations. Just a guy sitting in on the conversation.

The night started off with David talking about the influences of growing up in both New Jersey, going to theater and then moving to Mexico at a young age. Reflecting on not how things looked, but what they felt helped influence some of the theories behind the book. He then moved on to defining what the working meaning of “Spectacle” means for the book. The breakdown for the what they are included Big, Bold, Brief and the what they do contained Connect, Transform and Immerse. With each of those headings he broke into simple examples that were in the book. A short two minute movie of the examples followed.

The discussion followed with Chee asking if the book’s premise was an oxymoron. Design brings order to chaos, yet under the subject headings that are Spectacle it seemed as though it was about creating chaos. The quick response was that it was more about creating opportunities, planning for spontaneity. Bruce followed that up by talking about the culture of no, regardless of the emotional effect. As opposed to cutting things down, think about the possibility. Emotional connections become real experiences.

What was really interesting was what was written on the cover of the book. Spectacle, David Rockwell with Bruce Mau. I’ve never seen a designer of the book placed in the same sentence as the author. I asked them about the line afterwards. Was it conscious or did it just happen? With some laughter it seemed like they had spent a lot of time with exactly how that was going to be expressed. David then went on to say that “it was the right thing to do”. During the discussion Chee asked Bruce about how he worked to place 3 Dimensional experiences into a book. For him it was about a cinematical experience – a sequence, flavour of expressions.

As for the overall talk tonight, the three of them shot out a lot of good sound bytes. Enough that I was curious about the book itself. With a bit of salesmanship it was mentioned that the first run of the book was sold out and that they were lucky to have enough for sale tonight. I’m not sure if I totally believed it, but it sure made people pick up the book quickly.

Me at the World Graphic Design Foosball Championship 2006 (WGDFC)

Me at the World Graphic Design  Foosball Championship 2006 (WGDFC)

WGDFC 2006 was a great way to end a busy week. Foosball, beer, designers and some friendly competition. Organized by the office of paul sahre and the studios of karlssonwilker inc., it was a great venue and they ran it pretty smoothly considering how many people were there. Lillian Coryn and myself did our best to represent Renegade. In the end we had two loses and one win. With a little practice we’ll score a lot more goals next year.

Some of the things that I overheard walking around included “are you in line?”, “is that how long the line is?”, “I think the bathroom is broken!”, “no, the bathroom is fine”, and trash talking about typography “hey man, what’s your favourite typeface!”. Looking at the uniforms or lack there of was also a great time passer. In my opinion Princeton Architectural Press won the award for most innovative use of sign stickers that you could probably buy at Home Depot. Big type was popular too, one guy had a big letter “A” in tennis ball material on his shirt, while another team who I’m guessing were from Los Angeles b/c one guy had a giant “L” and the other had a giant “A” which looked pretty cool when they were standing beside each other. There were track suits, people wearing shorts, pink shirts, striped shirts, and one astronaut uniform worn by no other than Felix Sockwell. Lillian and I had a couple cool ideas, but we just ran out of time…

Whenever I go to something like this, I never know how the vibe is going to be. By the end of the night usually everyone is pretty relaxed and having a good time. For the most part that was the case, I met some people that I knew through e-mail and a couple others through reputations. But in a two floor foosball tournament, your bound not to run into everyone you know or want to meet. Till next year.

I’ve placed all my flickr photos from that night at http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/sets/72157594348304555/

D&AD Print & Editorial Forum in NYC

D&AD Print & Editorial Forum in NYC

Left to Right: Chris Dixon – Art Director, New York Magazine NY, Peter Buchanan-Smith – Creative Director, Paper Magazine NY, Chair – Jeremy Leslie – Group Creative Director, John Brown UK, Josh Liberson – Partner, Helicopter NY, and Suzanne Sykes – Art Director, Grazia Magazine UK

D&AD Print & Editorial Forum in NYC

Considering the level of speakers and their reputations in the magazine world, I was pleasantly surprised at how intimate the D&AD event was. The 50 (rough guesstimate) people that attended were dressed in quite a sophisticated British kind of way. But it was also relaxed too, and I while I was there by myself I only felt slightly like a loaner, but I digress.

Each designer had ten minutes to present their work. What was really interesting is that each of the four speakers presented in their own unique way. Peter Buchanan-Smith read from a set of prepared sheets of paper about his story of coming to NYC. Josh Liberson spoke to the audience somewhat ad-lib in more of a conversational way about some of the magazines Helicopter has redesigned. Suzanne Sykes got off the podium and talked about her weekly magazine Grazia. Chris Dixon was more commenting to each of his slides from New York magazine. Each person did a really effective job of presenting who they are and what it was that they were about.

Jeremy Leslie moderated the discussion afterwards. There were the inevitable NY vs London questions which I thought was slightly ironic considering two of the designers on the panel were from Canada. When the microphone was turned to the audience to participate, it took a couple ice breaker questions before the audience really felt comfortable asking questions to the four really talented designers. Usually I always have a couple questions, but I really didn’t think there was much that someone on the panel didn’t touch upon. I’m not working in the magazine industry, but I love buying magazines. Beautiful typography, stunning images and great content make my days go a bit better. And each of the four designers presented work like that, so what else did I really need?

After the event I had the chance to talk with one of the D&AD people. Not knowing ahead of time, but this event was D&AD’s first talk in North America. Laura Woodroffe mentioned to me that a lot of entries for their awards programme come from North America so D&AD felt it was time to make a presence, and to get out the word that D&AD is more then just about the awards. One such thing is professional development which is something that I’m hoping to take more advantage of myself.

Jeffrey Zeldman talk w/ AIGA NY

Jeffrey Zeldman talk w/ AIGA NY

Before design talks I like to ask myself a number of questions so I can be a more active listener. Naturally the questions change depending on who’s talking and what their subject matter is. With Jeffrey Zeldman, I know him as one of the leaders in “web standards”. He has a well respected name in a diverse field, so I was interested in what he had to say. The title of his talk was Selling Design, so web standards wasn’t going to be priority number one of the night. Not such a bad thing considering the AIGA organized the event. So what was I looking to get out of the talk – I wanted to learn something I didn’t know, find out his design process, learn about what makes him different.

Something I didn’t know was that he started off in an ad agency before going into the web. And like most others when the web was in it’s early commercial side, those that created sites didn’t have a lot of experience. What they did have was an understanding of the brands they were working on. In one example, his knowledge of Batman helped convince the client that he should design the site. He knew what would diminish the image of Batman and what wouldn’t.

Is it simple enough to create great work only if the client is great? Perhaps not so true – VW wasn’t apparently nit the easiest client to deal with during the glory DDB days. Zeldman concluded that the great ads that got created was that the agency never stopped working on the same job. If you always do your best, even after three or four sets you will still come up with great stuff.

Respect your clients, simple enough – it’s a two way street. But you also have to be able to smell trouble. If you’re getting a lot of paperwork before the project starts, that may indicate a lack of focus. If the problem is hidden in all the early documentation that could indicate other problem issues that could pop up later on.

Zeldman also talked about the importance of being calm and methodical. You need to be able to explain your creativity and research in a clear manner – hence your process. This is helped along with having a relationship with the client before you start showing the design. It’s also important to keep reminding the client where you are in the scope of things, what has already been agreed and what’s going to be achieved.

Along with being able smell trouble, you need to be able to translate what the client is trying to say. As he talked about this, it seemed like I had heard a similar thing at another talk in Edmonton. The point being that you need to understand and interpret what they client is saying.

Everybody understands design today, or at least everyone reacts to design emotionally. When talking about your work to the client, convey the meaning as opposed to the raw technical things that are obvious in front of their eyes.

And you also need to be able to respond to criticism. What is it that they don’t like, and why. He used some examples from Dan Brown – push back, look into it, get agreement. Both sides need to feel as if they’ve gained something from it.

The overall talk was a good refresher on a business that happens to be in design. There wasn’t any shocking new pieces of info, but it didn’t need to be like that either. He related to the audience and in turn the crowd gave their full attention.

In a bit of gossip – the AIGA is getting a new website – probably in December.

Burnt Toast?

Me looking up wondering if the conversation at the AIGA NY's Your AD Here was going to get interesting

Before I go into my thoughts about the AIGA NY’s Your AD Here talk, I want to make clear that the criticism is not directed to those that organized the event. I’ve been there where you put a lot of time and effort into a talk and the volunteers hope that at the end of the night the audience has gone home with some new ideas…

I’ve never left a design lecture early, but I did tonight for the first time. I think there’s at least three reasons that I can point to my disappointment – though there’s probably a lot more. 1. The moderator asked irrelevant questions, 2. some of the panelists provided irrelevant answers, 3. maybe I am looking for inspiration at the wrong talks – yeah, I wish I went to the Henry Jenkins and Steven Johnson conversation at the Museum of the Moving Image.

The panel was moderated by Randall Rothenberg with Jane Hope, Gary Koepke, Neil Powell, and Brian Collins. I had a couple expectations going into the talk – I wanted to hear something new, how they applied “it”, and to answer the basic premise of what forward-thinking integrated marketing solutions are. I really didn’t get any of that tonight. It was disappointing but true that this talk could have easily happened ten years ago which suggested to me that four of the five people on stage might not really be interacting with what is going on today outside of their own fish bowl. The reason why I would single Brian out was that I think he is the only person on the panel that could claim that people have blogged and just talked about a campaign that truly made people believe in something that he was a part of. That something of course is the Dove campaign that many, many people have talked about. I don’t think it was lost on anyone that people clapped when he asked if anyone had heard of the campaign. I hesitate to use the word campaign as it is more than just that. Each of the other people got a brief chance to mention a campaign that they were proud of: a phone company in Canada (Telus), a SUV company (Hummer), and a beer that I’ve never drank. Now, which one would you want to be associated with?

If there was one thing to take away from the talk, it is those that are taking an active role in communication today have a real chance to win big soon. It is only a matter of time before those that are really stirring things up and asking the right questions are going to be able to talk with those in business who understand that what worked ten years ago will not work today and tomorrow.

One more thing about Designism

A friend sent me an e-mail over the weekend in response to some other comments that were posted on my Designism picture from Flickr…

There has been bad work by big agencies (and for clarity purpose there is a difference between advertising agencies and design agencies) for small and big non profits. However to say there is a relationship between high-end designers and bad grassroots design is over generalized and short sighted. Of course it may be a bad idea to approach a multi-million dollar advertising firm to do work for a grassroots inative. You have no clue if they are doing it because they care, or if they are just trying to improve their reputation. If the designer working on your project doesn’t agree with what your doing, or possibly even disagrees, good work is not going to be produced.

You can read the rest of his post at http://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelsurtees/249409688/?#comment72157594299245487

Today in New York

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