Higher Learning (or what I was doing in Hartford last night)

The AIGA is the professional association for graphic designers; and just recently, a Connecticut chapter was started. As their inaugural event, the CT AIGA hosted Sean Adams, the National AIGA president, as well as partner in AdamsMorioka, in a presentation called "Lessons in Fear."

Over the last 10 years at AdamsMorioka, they've made mistakes. Big design mistakes. Some were a collision of events that hit like a train wreck. Some were self-produced. All of the mistakes were motivated by fear. When is fear appropriate in design? Are we on the Love Boat, or a voyage of the damned? How do we know the difference? Where are the lifeboats?

I attended the presentation last night, and it was great. Sean Adams is a wonderful speaker; engaging, witty... the kind of guy you'd so sit down for a cup of coffee--or, say, 10 cups of coffee--with, and not just for the cool factor. I also got to hang with my fine friends from Elements (Amy's the VP of the CT chapter--Holla!)--you can read Chelsea's description of the event and see pics on their blog here.

Here's a couple of things I walked away with:

--Designers wear a lot of black. A lot (I know, who knew?).

--Even though in the back of my mind, I knew this, but it was still nice to hear: other designers don't have all the ideas--or answers for that matter--either. It's especially nice to hear that someone of Sean Adams stature sometimes gets "stuck."

--Change is not always bad; and while some change is scary, other change is good. And sometimes, that scary change, is really good change in disguise.

--Hartford could really use some street signs. And building signs, while we're at it. Hello? A whole room full of graphic designers, and yet no environmental graphics? Oh, the irony.

All kidding aside, the lecture was really inspiring and refreshing. I'm glad I took the time to go (it was either that, or work. I figured both would help my career... but something like this doesn't happen all that often, and work is always there). I'm looking forward to the next event, on November 19th, when William Drentel (co-founder of DesignObserver!) talks about "My So-Called Public Life."


Amy said...

Thanks for the shout out!

Amy said...

Also happy you enjoyed the event and we're so looking forward to hangin' with ya at the Drenttel event ... should be good!