Thursday, April 17, 2008

Keynote - Thursday

After the 3am wakeup - finally fell back asleep around 5am. And promptly overslept.....
Figures.....

Presentation: Things I've Learned in my Life so Far
Presenter: Stefan Sagmeister

A video of the approximate talk can be found at the TED website.

Design for Music - record covers etc. Design for music industry right now - not a great business.
- "Tough to do gutsy work in an industy ruled by fear."
- Also includes building "identity", logo
+ Didn't want to do a representation of a building (Casa de Music).
+ Koolhaus building - still a logo (very distinctive) - look from all sides (6 total)
+ Added color - scanned an image (in this case - famous picture of beethoven) and gave color to logo to match the logo.
+ No set color - depend on the image
+ neat thing - all advertising can come out of it and communication.
+ Something simple can become very distinctive

Socially Responsible Design - group that wants to cut 15% of pentagon budget and move to education
- This particular group has funding and a chance of succeeding
- Direct client happy to experiment - can try out lots of stuff. Multiple ways to represent the same idea.
- Inflatable graphs
- A TV commercial (Mos Def) (truemajority.org)
- Lots of vehicles (3 little pigs) Anchor forced to explain what about
- Easy to get volunteers to drive these things

Corporate Design - not passionate about this, but $$$$
- Corporations have clear hierarchy, makes it easier to design
- Beginning to enjoy it more - how to be created
- Took entire photography and illustration budget and spent on cover (indented) - so can then shoot the cover under different lighting conditions.
- 1 idea - multiple, slightly different iterations.

Every 7 years - close studio and that an "experimental year"
- Fernand Adria (chef) - open 6 months, experiments 6 months
- Found for himself - a different quality to a year when you explore where there is no pressure.
- The need applies to most professions where creativity a role. From 5 minutes in the morning or 20% of time to pursue own stuff to sabatical year.
- Lots of things come out of those years
+ Reorg of studio
+ All studio does have to do with promoting and selling, 5% the actual work in. Thought it was a bit out of whack
- Because not available - unavailability can create desire. Good number of clients more willing to give jobs with unprecedented freedom.
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Unlimited freedom can be a very difficult thing to deal with.
- Took a list of things, then pick one and made it the 6 double spread pages.
- Surprised got very good feedback and a number of people asking for prints.

- Interest came because it was personal

In many fields connected with design (form / function), much has become mechanical. THere is room for a subjective point of view (follows with what Mark and Brent were saying during yesterday's conversations)
- Can be good. Can be stale
- Audience may not realize that a person behind any creation - design. "The machine makes the newspaper."

Often republished - as republished more, the quality of response improved..
- Often redesigned by the person.
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2nd client Paris - we have billboards - do something
- Took big camera through arizona - took one picture every day.
- Put up so one vantage point of in sequence (again, one line of things he learned)
- (Became something of a regular schtick)

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Everybody Thinks They Are Always Right - basis of conflicts.

- 1st iteration ( Esquire Mag tokyo) - peeing in the air (which turned out to be the main advertiser)
- 2nd iteration in scotland - 1 word per city (same phrase)
+ Wanted to create media event. 1 big inflatable monkey per city with a word.

The monkeys made it around.
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Bali's reaction to 2002 bombing. Encouraged everyone to look within vs. external retaliation.
- Everyone involved now in prison. Done quietly.

US reaction to 9/11. External retaliation
- Few in prison
- More died as result of reaction
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Helping Other People Helps Me
- Did light boxes for this one
- Sign painter at end of 19th century - you were a graphic designer
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Form and Content
- 1st thing a designer will do is relate the form and content
- Try to separate it sometimes
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(at this point he loses his powerpoint. We know how you feel!!!!!!)

(He started being successful because of the personal)
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Started the diary when 12. The ideas came out of that. (like most of us - there are years missing).

In Business Week - best addition to business life was keeping a business diary. He tried to do both - but his life is too fuzzy.

Friday morning exercise (or saturday morning exercise).

(For me - this is what the blog serves.) A reflection tool

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If I want to explore a new direction professionally it is helpful to try it out for myself first

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Self-censorship is the reason why he feels he does mediocre work rather than the client's demands.
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This video shows some of the process behind one of his contractual installations.



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