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OFFF 2017

24 April 2017

OFFF 2017

I’m going to resist describing the details of my trip, breakdowns of my favourite speakers and the usual anecdotes people mentioned after a design conference. Instead I’ll simply describe 2 chance meetings I had and a couple of personal takeaways from my experience at OFFF Barcelona 2017.

Getting a kick up the arse from your design hero

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Joshua Davis several times: In the past we have talked cake, the virtues of being a bag bitch and in 2016 at Reasons To Be Creative: Bombs.

Our brief conversation in Barcelona was, perhaps unintentionally, a really big kick up the arse for me. I haven’t created much rewarding work in the last 12—18 months. Ideas in sketchbooks, but nothing else. I feel like I should have had something interesting to share with someone like Joshua Davis, a project, something. I had nothing. Sorry.

During and after OFFF our conversation stuck in my head. Like an uncomfortable echo. A really Loud. Shouty. Uncomfortable echo. This conversation was, at the same time, refreshing, galvanising and motivating. Whether or not Joshua intended this reaction in me or not is unclear. The point is, some of his chaotic energy rubbed off and I’ve gained some positivity from communicating with someone who is genuinely listening and genuinely interested.

Advice from Ben wright from DesignStudio

After Ben’s quick fire talk alongside Wasted Rita and Guille Cascante, he kindly answered my questions on process and organisation: Is it possible to design the environment in which creative work happens? Can you change an organisation from within? His answers (‘yes you can’ and ‘maybe’) were both useful and informative. Most telling was what he didn’t say. For now, I’ll call this a much needed guiding light.

Take aways

Now what?

Both will see the light of day in 2017.