ICOGRADA DESIGN WEEK (Keynote Speeches)

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Design Week Vancouver is rolling along and last night’s keynote speeches were by Helen Walters, Cameron Sinclair and Don Ryun Chang. The main theme of all three speakers was; “How does design create value and how do we value design?” The bulk of the conference is happening today and Thursday with full days of discussions and talks like “If it Works in India…” by Ashwini Deshpande. If you are current student this is a great opportunity to get informed on global design issues before doing the jump into the work force.


The conference is being held in the always classic Canada Place and the keynote talk started just as the sun was setting.


In typical Vancouver spring weather, the rain came and went as the sun set.


The totems looked on as the attendees registered.


The design currency icon was a guiding light.


The conference booklet primed the participants with the main concept for the meeting.


The stage was set comfortably for the speakers.


Helen Walters was the first to speak after the misc dignitaries and politicians welcomed everyone to Vancouver. She had four points on issues she saw happening in the design world from her view as the editor of innovation and design at Bloomberg/ BusinessWeek. The last was in regrards to designers becoming the leaders and innovators of business. One example is of Apple’s Steve Jobs making sure that innovation not only works and is functional but has elegance and beauty.


Next to speak was Cameron Sinclair, a co-founder of Architecture for Humanity, who showed through examples from around the world how architecture can make a big difference to the lives of others. His call was for designers to use their skills to help in some way. It doesn’t have to be parachuting into a third-world country. It could be as simple as donating a bit of time and skill.


Don Ryun Chang spoke last from the perspective of living in Korea and the ying and yang of design. The new must be able to co-exist with the old, even though we live in constant change. Don is a graduate of UBC from “when he had more hair”.


Question period was pretty mellow but brought up a few good questions. One of them had to do with how to re-design society so that corruption does not hamper positive change. Cameron Sinclair answered that is isn’t just the developing world that had corruption and kick-backs, it was evident in all levels of society. Quid Pro Quo.


My notes might not be the most legible but it is sometimes easier to draw things here and there than get photos in a dark room.


Page 2 of my notes and sketches.


The third page of notes.

Thanks to Icograda and the GDC for allowing Vancouver Is Awesome to get a peek at this global design event. Still lots to hear, learn and see!