Two days of creative overload with presentations from 16 local and International speakers you say?… I’m there! After attending my first design conference last year, We Can Create, I was sure that would not be my last attendance. As with the TEDx events there’s a lot to take in, but you come away reeling with ideas and inspiration (and of course there’s a little fashion spotting that goes on too, which can be quite entertaining when you have a work-from-home clothing etiquette!).
One of my favourite presentations from day one of the proceedings was the Special Group (quoted above), an Auckland based Agency who are the brains behind all those nifty graphics you see on TV Channel FOUR (amongst many other things). They divulged a wonderful little tidbit about the giant rubber ducky that featured in one of their “feels like FOUR” campaigns – it’s 195m2 of PMS 123 yellow vinyl! (Yes, it’s nuggets like this that make us creative types giggle). They also designed a delightfully simple range of packaging for Eco Store products, of which the shampoo & conditioner sets are pictured below.
Special Group, NZ
Op art influences can be seen in the striking work of Alex Trochut, who has worked with indie bands The Arcade Fire and The Decemberists (yes, I’m a little jealous). He proudly opened his presentation with the above quote, referencing the fact that no piece of design work is truly original these days, and putting your own individual stamp on things is more important than ever in standing out from the crowd.
Alex Trochut, Barcelona
Another amazingly talented artist speaking on day one was Sydney based Benja Harvey from Paperform, whose paper creations are astounding! He has an amazing collection of work to date, including a pop-up book for Kylie Minogue (of which the lotus flower pictured below was a pop-up CD holder). And of course he had us all making paper planes, which filled the auditorium with the surreal noise of several hundred people busily folding in anticipation of flight. As a little insight into the amount of work that goes on behind the scenes in his pieces, he revealed that for one project he made around 80 mock-ups for 5 finished pieces. Holy moly, the man has patience!
Being a lover of all things quirky, “the big drink” installation (yes, it’s a giant drinking straw!) by Justin Drape from The Monkeys induced another giggling fit. It was part of the annual sculpture by the sea exhibition held at Bondi Beach, and as you can imagine there are no doubt many photos in existence taken with people artfully framed so as to appear to be drinking the sea thanks to the project! Resident Monkey, Jay Gelardi, also came up with “a clever little app that recognises all of your recently tweeted swear words and suggests a reasonable donation” entitled the Charity Swearbox.
The Monkeys, Australia
One of my favourite speakers from day two was Kelli Anderson, who dabbles in design, illustration, paper engineering and letterpress. Her Paper Record Player in particular was a real feat of ingenuity, for which she created a wedding invite that the recipient could manipulate into a make-shift record player that actually played music! Her Handkerchief Invite is also a beautiful thing, and a novel take on the traditional format. She was involved in a collaborative project to create a perfectly-counterfeited New York Times, where instead of “all the news that’s fit to print” it features a utopian future of “all the news we hope to print”. There’s some great reaction footage too from when they released them on the unsuspecting public.
Kelli Anderson, US