This week I’ve been attending The Design Conference (TDC) in Brisbane. This is my second pilgrimage to the sunny state so I can immerse myself in three days of creative talks from interesting people from all over the world. So far, I’ve had a fantastic time, it's hard not to when the weather is so balmy!

After last year's experience, my expectations were high so I waltzed in knowing that the calibre and quality of speakers was going to be top notch. I was so confident and pressed for time in the lead up, that I didn’t even read the program to see who was speaking. This has only added to the experience with every session being a delightful surprise.

Interestingly TDC called out the design community during the year to nominate people they’d like to hear from over the three day event. This makes for a more diverse talent pool with not only the obvious ‘giants’ in the industry speaking but some of the up and coming creatives getting their chance in the spotlight.

I feel like I wrote about this last year after the conference but the beauty of TDC is the breaking down of barriers between the speakers and the audience. Everyone is encouraged to connect. This hasn’t been the case in lots of design events I’ve been to where the guest speakers are ushered off into green rooms then whisked away so as not to interact with the commoners. 

Not at TDC. Maybe it's because it's in Brisbane and not Melbourne or Sydney and most of the speakers have flown in from somewhere so they have nowhere else to go. Maybe they’re forced to engage with masses because we’re all in the same space for three days. Maybe, just maybe, it's because they are human beings who just like talking shit like the rest of us which is what I’ve found to be the case. 

This is the part of the conference that I’ve found to be the most energising. Connecting with the other humans. Humans I already know, humans I’ve just met and humans I want to know more about. Maybe it's because I binged all of Bridgeton last weekend and am currently listening to Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky but it reminds me of those grand Victorian balls where everyone spins around, twirling from partner to partner. 

One conversation leads to another, then another, then you find yourself on your butt listening to some inspiring speaker talk about how they discovered and fell in love with their craft or weave their ancestry into a beautiful typeface. We then continue to twirl with conversation partners old and new, reflecting upon what we’ve just seen and heard. 

I’m absolutely romanticising the whole event but it's been a massive few days and I’m amazed I’ve managed to thread this many words together to be honest. I’ve been reminded of how we’re all just dancing to our own tune and we get these brief, beautiful moments where we sync up and move together. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you do. It's about being present in the same space and brave enough to take the first step.

Video of the week
Tenacious D - Video Games
Podcast of the week
Smartless: John Goodman
Font of the week
Black Beruto: Font of the week by Masahiro Naruse

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