Society of Design Conference 2015

Photo by cbower2366 on Instagram

Photo by cbower2366 on Instagram

Just back from an extended trip to Philadelphia to talk at the Society of Design conference. It took place in the Harrison Auditorium in Penn Museum and was hosted by Craig Welsh of Go Welsh.

Photo by wittynoggin on Instagram

Photo by wittynoggin on Instagram

As part of my talk, I revived the rearranging-corporate-copy idea of Corpoetics to write a poem based on Go Welsh’s profile copy.

Photo by @themodernchris on Twitter

Photo by @themodernchris on Twitter

I also took the chance to talk about a few interesting pieces of writing spotted over the last year or so.

Photo by thatgreenalien on Instagram

Photo by thatgreenalien on Instagram

And it was my first opportunity to talk about a new version of this book, which will be coming out early next year.

The best part was being able to hear from six other speakers, all from different disciplines. To give an idea of the range:

John Ryan talked about his work as Director of Interaction Design at Local Projects, including this City Pulse installation at One World Trade Center. 

Oskar Zieta talked about his studio’s mind-boggling technique for inflating steel with high-pressured air to create strong but lightweight forms, for use in everything from furniture to space stations.

Spencer Charles and Kelly Thorn spoke about their beautiful work, previously for Louise Fili and now independently – I was a particular fan of this layered ampersand poster.

Alisa Wolfson gave an insight into design as part of a big ad agency – she heads the Department of Design at Leo Burnett in Chicago. Recipeace is the award-winning D&AD White Pencil project, but I also liked this single-minded branding work for McDonald’s.

Craig Dykers runs architectural firm Snøhetta, which is responsible for a wonderful array of buildings, including The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet and the 9/11 Memorial Museum Pavilion.

When Snøhetta turned its attention briefly from architecture to graphics, it immediately created one of the stand-out projects of the last decade. These Norwegian banknotes won a competition a while back and are coming into circulation next year.

Finally, Annie Atkins talked about her graphic design work for The Boxtrolls and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Not only great work, but also a fascinating story told with clarity and humour.

Thanks to Craig Welsh and everyone who provided such gracious hospitality.