Thursday, September 15, 2005

AIGA Design Conference (2005) - the anticipation

I'm fortunate to have this year's AIGA Design Conference in my own backyard. As the conference kicks off today, I hope to use this space to concentrate on my perspective of the event rather than a journalistic account of activities. In an attempt to interest people other than myself, I'll also be posting occasional local tidbits for conference goers and an ongoing total of how much footwork is really involved in a 4-day conference. This last bit will be gleaned from a pedometer I will have strapped to me at all times. My hope is this will accomplish at least one of the following:
a) Get me off my duff and down to every activity, even if it's to say "hey! I just hoofed it another .4 miles!"
b) Finally answer the question of how many miles a conference makes you walk
c) An excuse to blow off the gym this week
d) Get approached by a fellow conference-goer who spots the sleek look of my
sportline 350 and wants to discuss the merits of being a nerd

More to the meat of the conference, I'm particularly interested to hear how speakers will (or won't) use the platform to try and put definition around the design profession. For some reason that's not entirely clear to me, designers have an irresistable need to define what is or is not design: design is not art, design is process, design is collaboration, design is problem solving, design is visual, design is a job.

For the last several years, AIGA has taken the welcoming position of design as a "broadly defined discipline" regardless of its short-lived recent foray into design as communication (oops!). Nothing like a good identity crisis to get me interested.

Since I am not a graphic designer, I'm interested in AIGA as a cultural force providing less definition around design as a closed profession and more interest in the context, process, results, and importance of design-as-concept.
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Local tidbit: Best beer and music selection within stumbling distance of the convention center: Bukowski.
Walk-o-meter: 0 miles

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