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Design Droplets is an AGIdeas 2010 Media Partner.

Photography ~ Photos coming soon…

The second day of AGIdeas International Design Week kicked off to an engaging and entertaining start with the fantastic dutch artist Theo Jansen. Theo is the creator of Strandbeests, amazingly beautiful lifeforms that are made of plastic tubing and roam the beaches of the Netherlands. It was fantastic to see Theo speak in person at an event and be able to marvel at his passion and unique way of sharing and speaking about his work. I suggest taking the time to become familiar with Theo’s work if you aren’t already, just type his name into google to find a myriad of information.

Following on from Theo the audience heard from Nathan Drabsch who founded the DMC Initiative, a company specialising in Broadcast and Motion Graphics. I particularly liked several of Nathan’s quotes the best being “[Ask] a crap load of questions and [get] answers” – Nathan speaking about the design process.

Faye Plamka was next onto the stage and is the type of illustrator that most people probably never really think about or meet until they end up in a court room. Faye is a court artist working for the ABC and Channel 7 here in Australia. Luckily the audience was able to discover Faye and her work without having to go to court. Faye was one of the few speakers who didn’t speak about her background (a refreshing change) and instead was up on the stage sharing her art and telling interesting stories from the court room. Prior to becoming a court artist Faye waas one of Australia’s top Illustrators.

Amanda Henderson founder of Gloss Creative had a huge amount of insight to share with the audience on a variety of areas in the field of design. Having already heard Amanda speak confidently and extremely well at the AGIdeas Inconversation event I was surprised by how stiff and rigidly she spoke when on the main stage, which made her talk difficult to listen to. As I said she did have plenty of great insights to share and also showed of a great time-lapse video of the whole process of putting up one of their incredible 3d environments. Amanda had a great take on design philosophy – “design philosophy should guide who you are, but should not be a straight jacket”. As well as a great take on collaboration – “the sum of the parts is always greater than the part”.

New Zealanders Ricky Campbell and Steve Le Marquand from the world renowned studio RESN had some fantastic work to get up and present and they are currently hiring. However their presentation while funny, was really only that and left a fair bit to be desired. I was really expecting much more from such a creative group.

Melbourne artist Ghostpatrol shared his work with the audience and took the time to really show what it is like being someone who just loves to draw and now for reasons unbeknownst to him is now a widely respected artist. While Ghostpatrol was nervous and stumbled along, occasionally forgetting what to say and used the word odd a bit too much, his take on the world was interesting and genuine.

Closing our the first half of the day was Dan Formosa. Dan shared a few of the projects that Smart Design has worked on recently. To get a good idea of what Dan talked about have a look at the article recently written on the AGIdeas workshop he ran and check out his interview here on Design Droplets.

After a lunch break, during which a lot of the audience headed along Melbourne’s South Bank precinct, Australian based typographer Wayne Thompson of Australian Type Foundry spoke about his journey to becoming a typographer and stepped the audience through the process of font creation and showed the phenomenal amount of time that goes into the process of creating a font from scratch.

Clemenger BBDO’s Peter Biggs followed up Wayne’s presentation with a high energy, fast paced presentation full of memorable quotes and insights. Below are some of quotes from Peter’s presentation.

- “My tip to you is make up a musical instrument and say you play it. They will then think you are some sort of genius”

- “follow your bliss…” – Joseph Campbell

- “we got there by doing stuff that terrifies us everyday”

- “It is culture now that is the competitive advantage”

- “There is no such thing as safe creativity”

- “Our interest’s on the dangerous edge of things” – Robert Browning. This is where Peter believes all creative cultures have to stand everyday.

Peters 5 steps to building culture in an organisation are…

1. Define the adventure – this is the leaders role
2. Fear and Friction are good – “It should inspire them and cause them terror”
3. Remind people why they are here
4. Celebrate competent failure, punish incompetent failure.
5. Generosity and venerability in all things.

Brendan Dwyer, a Melbourne based Show Designer, gave an insightful talk into the world of bespoke shoes. Brendan creates custom shoes for movies, actors, musicians, other famous people and anyone looking for a highly unique pair of shoes. Brendan shared amazing work and insights. “Design should be useful, stimulative and transformative”. Brendan also spoke on how important community is in the creative world. Brendan spoke about how community gives creatives “inspiration and a sense of place”.

The Australia Project, a project three former AGIdeas Fabrica award winners created, was showcased by it founders. This was essentially their official launch of the project. It looks exciting and there is probably more to say that I can write here so start by visiting their website and engaging in the project.

Poster designer Rico Lins, from São Paulo Brazil, gave the audience a great guided tour of his influences from early Brazilian history which was in my opinion was quite informative. He then talked at length about one of his pieces of work. While it was interesting in terms of process, from my point of view it got a bit boring as it dragged on. However I spoke to several graphic designers at the event that felt it was quite an insightful talk.

If you are an Australian graphic designer or illustrator you probably quite familiar with and have been inspired by the work of Les Mason. If you are any other sort of Australian designer you would mostly like have seen some of his work. Les was a true Australian design icon who recently passed away. Les’ widow and two close friends gave a heart warming tribute to Les which was appreciated by all and bought a tear to the eye of many in the audience.

The final speaker for day 2 was Javier Mariscal. Javier was loved by most of the crowd as although his english was a bit hard to understand he presented with a huge amount of passion and enthusiasm. His animation for an upcoming feature film was impressive and a nice round up to the day, since by this time everyone was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information to be absorbed and processed.

Keep your eyes open for further updates on AGIdeas 2010 and please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences on AGIdeas 2010 or even stories or experiences from past AGIdeas events.

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