@studiocatherine Not in the slightest! Our printers just require a little extra time.
At my age it’s rare to get a real buzz anymore. But after all these years I still managed a contact high at agIdeas International Design Forum last week (Wednesday 23 May – Friday 25 May 2012). I can’t be sure whether it was mixing with ‘designeroyalty’, being around all those idealistic students who haven’t yet taken out mortgages, or the sheer thrill of anticipating the return of the Ken Cato bow tie (or collarless shirt – I’d settle for either).
But there it was – two sessions on Wednesday and I felt like I (or at least the design collective) could change the world. And, by all accounts, we should according to David Berman – a Thursday morning session I very regrettably missed. Berman is a designer, author of Do Good Design; How Designers Can Save the World, fellow and ethics chair of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada and vice-president, treasurer and sustainability chair of Icograda (feeling yet like your career hasn’t really hit the highs you’d envisaged?).
Dana Arnett of Chicago-based VSA Partners was my tip for the festival and delivered with an entertaining presentation on the magical outcome of merging your passion and your thinking. A youth spent dabbling in 1960s counter-culture epitomised by Peter Fonda in The Wild Angels (you know the one: “We want to be free to do what we want to do, we want to be free to ride our machines without being hassled by the man, and we want to get loaded and we want to have a good time,”) led to a cold call to Harley Davidson and a long standing relationship of brand building through authentic storytelling.
Australian illustrator and Academy Award winner Shaun Tan was a surprise delight with his unassuming manner and subtle humour – perhaps not so surprising to those familiar with his work. Tan paralleled his role as storyteller to the central character from one of his short stories in Tales From Outer Suburbia. The water buffalo, although knowing the answer, merely points children in the direction of whatever it is they are seeking so they may discover that answer for themselves.
Also interesting was media artist and computer scientist Jon McCormack and his work in computer code as a medium for artistic expression. McCormack’s designation of computers as once tools, then assistants, now collaborators and soon to be artists was exciting and unnerving in equal measure.
But the highlight for me was undoubtedly Possible Worldwide’s Dale Herigstad with his talk on ‘new television’ and the developments in stereo 3D and augmented reality. As one still straddling the divide of Early and Late Majority, merely aspiring to one day make the leap to Early Adopter, I barely understand a word of it – but it sounded exhilarating. Herigstad described the spectrum of passive to dynamic media encompassing print, photography, film and video, big screen, interactive media, virtual reality and stereo 3D, with the tipping point occurring somewhere between big screen and interactive media. He demonstrated with the aid of 3D glasses the three spaces; the traditional surface space, the content space (the space through the screen) and the interaction space – the new territory (the space in front of the screen). He spoke of the current landscape where brands control the content space and the future vision of augmented reality where individual viewers control what they want to see in the interaction space using subtle gestures and, with advancements in resolution, facial recognition detecting mood. That’s a television worth early adoption.
I miss the days when agIdeas served up a hot buffet lunch to delegates. The ‘deal’ at The BoatBuilders Yard was actually their standard menu and they were ill-prepared for the lunchtime influx. But despite the obligatory misses throughout the Festival, agIdeas still delivers an unequaled program of inspiration and information sourcing speakers from diverse backgrounds; the vanguard of innovation. It’s a buzz with ROI.