This week I’ve been attending The Design Conference in beautifully, bright Brisbane. I love events like this where people from all over Australia (and the world in the speaker's case) come together to celebrate the wonderful world of design. Listening to people you admire explain how they got to where they are is one of the best exercises in inspiration you can do.

It's also warm here and the sun comes up super early. I’m writing this on the balcony of our little apartment in the heart of Fortitude Valley. The town is just waking up below us and all the ibis and bush turkey’s have started scavenging for last night's degraded hot chips. The casual large birds around here are quite alarming.

I estimate that we’ve walked over 45,000 steps since arriving on Tuesday. The best way to explore a city is on foot. You need to be moving but slow enough to soak in the surroundings. Being kid free also affords us the luxury of stopping in at random cafes or bars for over priced but equally delicious mocktails. It’s nice to “live” in a city for a couple of days.

There are a few things that have really popped out during the conference so far.

Firstly and probably the most surprising is the New Zealand content. Coincidentally on the first day there were several designers and a typographer from Aotearoa. This isn’t really that surprising given the proximity to the country but the bit I found exciting was the casual use of te reo Māori. It makes me incredibly proud to be a Kiwi when I see and hear Māori culture being at the core of New Zealand culture, especially being a Pākehā (New Zealander of white descent).

This has lead to several conversations about the the current state of Aboriginal culture in mainstream Australia. Raw conversations about shame and how we as designers could be doing more. I’m certainly not saying New Zealand got it 100% right but seeing Pākehā address a crowd in te reo Māori makes my heart swell.

Another interesting word that jumped out for me was Impact. Kevin Finn, the author of Brand Principles spoke about the importance of having meaning work. He explained that a majority of people would even be willing to sacrifice a percentage of their salary to engage in more meaningful work. Lots of people rave on about finding your purpose or your ‘why’ but Kevin suggested that we should be looking at the impact of a business as a measurement of success.

When I heard the term ‘Impact Model’ something clicked in my brain. We want HUCX to have an impact as a business. While our purpose is to make fully, insulated homes accessible to everyday families, the measurable outcome of that is goal is the ‘impact’. Impact has a ripple effect.

People living in fully insulated homes use less energy.  Less stress of the power grid means there is more room for renewable energy to handle the load sooner rather than later. Being 100% renewable energy means no fossil fuels. Reducing carbon emissions is good for the planet. So in short, our prefab homes will save the planet! We want our business to impact our community!

The last few days have been pretty extraordinary and it will take me more than 45 minutes this morning to unpack the insights I’ve been gathering. Spending 3 days in the same space with 700 other designers has an awesome vibe and access to the keynotes speakers makes this conference even more special. Once there was a time when I would’ve been too shy to introduce myself to the talent - not this time! There is nothing quite as enthusiastic as a 40 year old, kid free, interstate graphic designer.

Video of the week
Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Tiny Desk Concert
Podcast of the week
Type Radio: Building the Brands of the Future
Font of the week
BT Fits: Font of the week by Beetroot

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