Posts Tagged 'sagmeister'

AGIDEAS: Day 1

Ned Culic, my teacher from my Imaging class has been bragging to us to go to AGIDEAS since the start of the year.  Me being Mr.Ignoramas ignored his suggestions that it’s worth 6 months of Uni compressed to three days until something clicked and I finally decided to buy a ticket (and I got paid for a freelance job so I had some rare cash to spend).  My oh my, what a great decision that was!  Here is my review of all the individual speakers in order of appearance dependent on my rather rudimentary memory of mine:

 

STEFAN SAGMEISTER

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 I never understood the fanaticism that Stefan can cause.  I see it in most of my fellow design students.  People really love this guy but I never really understood why.  Yes, I agree he’s good but worth going crazy about?  Example in point:  Stefan was the first speaker at AGIDEAS this year.  He comes onto the stage and someone shouts from the audience, “We love you Stefan!” Rock and Roll!  And then he started to speak and to quote a horrible film, he had me at hello.  Wow!  Inspiring talk not really about design but keeping yourself happy and motivated.  I am now an official mad convert as well.  I bought his book “Things I have Learned” while there.  It is a rare thing for anyone creative to have the freedom to choose to have ‘a year off’ and go and live in Bali to only work on personal projects.  He explained that he was currently toying with some furniture design (since his New York apartment needs new furniture of course) so he has started to make a quite unique coffee table.  The table looks like a regular wood coffee table with a glass top but between the glass and the wood are compasses.  Yes, those things that point North.  And full of them.  The genius part is that the table comes with these mugs with magnets underneath so when you put the mugs on the table all the compasses go nuts and all point to the mugs.  Great stuff.  Indeed, we do love you Stefan!

 

SHANNON BENNETT (VUE DE MONDE)

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The inclusion of a restauranteur to the speakers list at AGIDEAS was a strange one I first thought.  What has this got to do with design I thought.  For those unaware. Vue De Monde is a very pricey fancy modern French restaurant in Melbourne.  For all of those reasons mentioned, I have never been, but I definitely do now.  Shannon Bennett’s presentation was the epitome of thinking outside the square which is what most of us designers strive to do.  Examples?  The use of a blood bank fridge to store their sorbet solution at -6 degrees but still keeping in a liquid form due to the fridges unique vibrations to avoid solidifying.  This means that when the chefs take out a bottle and poor it in front of the customers bowl, it begins solidifying in front of them like magic!  Take the menu home and plant it.  They have herb seeds throughout the fully biodegradable cardboard.  A truly unique experience.

 

ALEXIA SINCLAIR

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Alexia produces composited images of fashion with old school dark fantasy elements.  Kind of cool if your into that sought of thing.  You can’t question her technical competency. I did find it interesting that alot of her shots were taken randomly and that one project could use a random photograph she might have taken years ago.  In fact, most of the creatives that spoke over the week seemed to take alot of photos all the time.  Maybe there’s something in that kids.

 

JILL BILCOCK

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Jill Bilcock’s presentation was unfortunately a little disappointing.  She went though different styles of editing that she uses but the information seemed rather elementary to me.  More like a 101 on film editing rather then inspiration.

 

CHRIS BOSSE

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OK, so this guy knows his stuff.  The’re only the archetucture firm who, you know, built the Beijing Olympic pool. No small task indeed.  Originally from Germany, Chris now operates in Sydney and this is for a purely efficient reason.  They now have three offices around the globe. Germany, Dubai and Australia with the reasoning being that they can work around the clock. ie-Germany starts the day with the first 8 hours, they go home, send the files across to Dubai, they work for 8 hours, they go home, sent the files to Australia, they work for 8 hours, go home..etc.  Talk about German efficiency!  An impressive future project of there’s is for a brand new carbon neutral city in Abu Dhabi.  Their goal is to build the city square that accommodates the hot 40+ degrees days so they are going to build these giant umbrella like structures that are the size of skyscrapers which will cover the square during the day but will be open during the night.  Awesome!

 

KATE CULLITY

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It is always inspiring to see someone who is passionate about something, period.  Kate’s passions was evident as soon as she spoke about the Uluru Aboriginal Cultural Centre where she unexpectedly choked up while she was describing the project.  Granted, I don’t know much about landscape design but her use of historical indigenous history and agriculture throughout her pieces and the almost non-destructive environmental footprint achieved is to be commended.

 

ETIENNE MINNEUR

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Ah, the French.  You got to love them.  One of the highlights of the festival, Minneur is a curiosity.  He produces the websites for Japanese fashion designer, Issey Miyake, but dislikes clicking the mouse on websites.  The last Miyake website he produced was only viewable once, inserting a cookie on your computer so when you go to the website for the second time, nothing will display (this was changed a week into the website campaign).  His love of video games has made him try similar concepts on the book format.  You may be familiar with choose your own adventure type books when you were younger, but then add ink that appears and reappears at different temperatures and on different flips of certain pages, sensor devices to determine how hard you punch the book (if that is indeed the exercise that the book asks you to do) and a breathalyser to see if you are drunk – and the book will change accordingly!  Lastly, another prototype of his is  the 20 min book, where a book is sealed in plastic and once opened, the ink of the book will display for 20 minutes before vanishing and you thought reading the Iliad was stressful enough?!

 

DET SGT (RETIRED) ADRIAN PATERSON OAM

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A cop comes into a packed auditorium and introduces himself by saying that he’s nervous being watched by a a couple of thousand intellectuals.  Clever start.  This guy used to be the imaging specialist.  You know, the guy who sketches all the bad guys from the victims descriptions.  He gave us a brief history on the image technology  on crime fighting and was also the guy that developed the computer imaging software that Victoria Police use today.  Nice change of pace.

 

MICHAEL PERSSON

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Used to be marketing director for Absolut Vodka and now currently works in the same position at Volvo.  Gave us a lecture on Scandinavian design.  Nothing you haven’t learned about in design history class.  Could have been interesting but instead my mind drifted to random thoughts of violence.  Next.

 

DAVE WARREN

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The guy makes very expensive speed boats.  Probably interesting if your an industrial designer if the presentation was good.  It wasn’t.

 

MICHAEL WELDON

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It’s good to see anything related to graphic novels make an appearance.  As you can tell Weldon’s work is heavily influenced by his young comic days and is currently in the process of writing/illustrating his first graphic novel about a place called “hell” situated in the family home.  The shots that he shown so far look awesome and his making money out of it!  Double awesome!

 

BART WILLOUGHBY

Music is something I don’t get in these conferences.  Makes the day go longer and we were running an hour late as it was.  Next.

JOHN MARSDEN

Scratching my head again.  What’s an author doing here?  John’s presentation was entertaining but I can’t remember too much about it.  I do recall that he spoke about being true to yourself, an example of this was when he applied for a job as a teacher at Geelong grammar, he gave them 30 rather unorthodox references: his pupils at the time.  John got all of them to write up a small reference in 5 minutes good or bad.  One of girls wrote “We are always in for an interesting class when John gets us to lie down on the floor”. He sent that reference to them as well.  He got the job.

 

GARSUN YU

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Garsun Yu is pretty awesome.  Full stop.  Creator of the titles for The Hulk, 300 and the Watchmen amongst others, he obviously knows his stuff.  His step by step video on The Hulk was enlightening to see how text doesn’t only have to static elements on a screen but can become part of the visual storytelling as well.  It was also interesting to see how he did the Watchmen titles since he didn’t direct the title sequence that was shot (unlike The Hulk) but still managed to make it look like every shot was designed with that title in mind in that particular placement or movement.  Great stuff.

Day 2 and 3 to come.


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