What often inspires me is watching other people talk about their work in a conference/panel format. The V&A have put on some great design conferences during London Design Week, and I helped Designersblock with their first conference in September (in fact I was on one of the panels too).
It inspires me so I know how much it could inspire others – which is why I organised, with an MA student, a panel discussion at Goldsmiths university where I study BA Design. It was the final lecture of the term in the series entitled ‘Design Means…’ organised by a committee of design staff and students – a great opportunity for us to have a say in speakers we want to hear and to gain experience in making it happen. This was the first panel discussion of its kind at Goldsmiths and attracted a packed lecture room.
The panel were an eclectic mix so it was quite an ambitious task to get them to speak in the same language – or so it seemed. Once the discussion started flowing, the panel members connected well and provided insight for each other as well as the audience. Joe Glasman, a composer, made Jocelyn Bailey, a policy advisor, aware of the idea that music can be a form of designed branding, which is work that he does. Jocelyn highlighted the idea that designers could design systems such as our political system, and brought forward the fact that most people don’t know what design actually is. This rang true with Jan Hendzel, of the furniture designers Hendzel and Hunt, who has found that it can be difficult to make clients appreciate the level of expertise and time put in to design work. Mike Knowlden agreed and spoke of how food design – a loose title for what he does with Blanch and Shock – can be eaten in a few minutes but can take days to make, and much longer to conceive.
There will be a film of the discussion available in due course – check back here in a few days!