I asked each of our designers to share something from the trip:Ashley LaRue:
Our SEGD Chicago trip was such an amazing experience! The guest speakers were my favorite part of the conference. Listening to them makes me feel inspired to go out and change the world, even if it’s just a small change in my home town. Listening to their experiences seems to re-charge my creative juices. I take what they say and try to look at how I could apply that to myself, as well as my work at ASI. The socializing and networking opportunities were great too. It’s always nice to see first hand what new products are available.
I love how SEGD chooses where to hold their conferences. Being able to leave the hotel and walk around Chicago was an awesome experience. Walking around looking at the architecture and art was probably my absolute favorite part of the trip. From walking to Navy Pier one evening, walking by the Trump Tower (and hearing the story about mounting their huge letters, and Donald’s first trip to the building) to seeing the “Bean” at Millennium Park. Another favorite was sitting on the benches outside the hotel on the Riverwalk of the Chicago River, just watching the boats go by. The morning we left Anna, Terri and I took a run/walk down the river walk out to Lake Michigan. The entire trip was a beautiful experience!
The SEGD Conference experience in Chicago was awesome! First was the Michigan Avenue walking tour which was so cool and quite inspiring. Digital displays everywhere..inside stores and out! The city abounds with creativity. We ended the tour at the top of Hancock tower….what a spectacular view of the city! The conference speakers were enlightening and motivating, as was the Nexpo (tradeshow). It was very interesting to see what businesses are out there and the remarkable capabilities that some have to offer. And let’s not forget the evening walks, restaurants and a beautiful morning walk to Lake Michigan and Millenium Park! A fabulous experience that I am grateful for being able to attend.Alan Parsons:
I felt the best conversation was the talk by Dana Arnett, VSA Partners, “Design Thinking and the Future of Cities.” It reminded me a lot of how Iowa State University College of Design was structured. And, that was when I was there eight years ago. The talk focused on multicultural and interdisciplinary approach to design and data collecting. I enjoyed the idea they presented that graphic design can be used as a “catalytic force for making meaning”. This is very true as I believe design is all around us. Everything is design. To do this design should include other resources such as; editing, writing, other arts, branding, marketing, architecture, or things seemingly outside the realm of graphic design, to bring these things together for cohesiveness. In other words it’s experiential design across interdisciplinary areas. This let design encompass varying ideals and cultures.
This means the designer needs good intuition but has to listen and include the customer, too. The customer can be very involved in the process of creation as well. Not only does “good design” use the designer’s intuition but the designer should also utilize all that the client has to offer as a resource, and should look outside for other resources.
It’s also important to gather data to back up and quantify your concepts and designs. This can help give better meaning to a design. “If there is no meaning – there’s no point; it’s just information or a pretty picture.” Observation is also key in creating a meaningful design. Data collection alone won’t make a good design, though. A designer’s own intuition along with Observation-Data-Research all combine to create good design.
This talk, along with my upbringing at ISU College of Design, has lead me to strongly believe that a designer must be good at taking their skills and intuition into the realm of social sciences, philosophy, behavioral sciences and collecting data/research in order to create something uniquely relevant for a client, something with strong meaning, to make “design an experience.
The most surprising thing about Chicago is all the green space you wouldn’t expect to find in a large city. Between roads and buildings of concrete and structure are parks full of grass, water, and life. Millennium Park is one of those spaces full of exciting activities for people of all ages. I briefly walked through on my tour to The Art Institute of Chicago and instantly knew I had to bring the rest of my SEGD group so they too could appreciate the beauty inside the city.
The crown fountain area is a place for young and old to cool off on a warm day, while living art videos display on the towers and “spit water” at unsuspecting visitors. The Bean is an attraction that provides interesting photos and a great background for ‘selfies’ in its reflective surface. The Pavilion houses many outdoor activities such as concerts, exercise groups, or it is a great place to just relax. You could truly spend an entire day in Millennium Park and not even notice you are in the heart of such a city like Chicago.