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AIGA Baltimore’s Ideas for Action team (from left): Bernard
Canniffe, Javier Rios, Ande Campbell, Michelle Stidham, Laura Evans,
Michael Trush, Noel Cunningham, Aura Seltzer, Yvonne Hardy-Phillips,
Barbara Bates-Hopkins, Nick Hum, Pat Tracey, Nick Sprouls and Brian
Ghiloni. (photo: Alissa Jones)
AIGA Boston board celebrates a successful end to the 2011 “Best of New
England Design” competition. From left: Michael Estabrook, Jason Stephens,
Justin Hattingh, Christine Lefebvre, George Restrepo, Matthew Bacon, Mat
Budelman, Elizabeth Brenke, Tracy Swyst, Jeremy Perkins, Sarah Smith, Kathleen
Byrnes and Sarah Wilkins. (photo: Dan Watkins)
Each year all across the country, AIGA chapters work hard to present invaluable, thought-provoking, one-of-a-kind events, where connections are formed, knowledge is learned and frontal lobes are activated. Asking them to choose a favorite is like asking a parent to name her favorite child. Still, we wanted to know: What was the
biggest/best/proudest event your chapter hosted in 2011? Here are 21* great moments to revisit, in the words of those who made them happen.
*Actually, make that 25! We’ve added another four since we first posted this article on December 29. The more, the merrier!
Our second annual award show, “The Big One,”
went off with a bang this year. We enjoyed the Anchorage Museum as our new
location and had a fully packed house. Event planning went smoothly as we
implemented lots of new and more efficient ways to pull such a big event off.
Yay, here’s to next year! For more events, check out AIGA
Alaska on Facebook.
AIGA Baltimore and Bernard Canniffe held a collaborative
workshop called “Ideas for Action.” This was an
opportunity for design professionals, students and other members of the
community to work together to address social concerns in the Baltimore
community. The workshop emphasized how small actions can have big effects.
AIGA Boston “BoNE (Best of New England) Show,” held biannually since 1995, once
again showcased the extraordinary work of design professionals, educators, and
students in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and
Vermont. Held on June 9, 2011, in Boston, the show's theme, “Wicked Problems.
Wicked Solutions,” focused on the problem-solving nature of design work, which
was borne out by the winning work as selected by judges Ann Willoughby (Kansas
City, MO), Bobby C. Martin, Jr. (New York, NY), and Jon Kolko (Austin, TX).
Honored pieces were displayed in a traveling exhibition, published online, and
featured in a handsome full-color hardcover book.
For the fourth year in a row, AIGA Colorado
hosted “Bordo Bello,” a skateboard-deck-art fundraiser and silent auction for our
mentorship programs. This year was our biggest to date, with more than 650 people in attendance, more than $18,000 raised during the one-night event,
and more than 250 artists and designers—local, national and international—in participation (Debbie Millman, Chip Kidd, Matteo Bologna, Friends of Type,
Mark Weaver, Aaron Draplin and Gary Baseman, to name a few). An online option for bidding allowed us to engage an even
bigger audience. Evening entertainment included a DJ, break-dance crew, classic
arcade games, T-shirt screenprinting, free drinks from Odell Brewing Co., and
even a marriage proposal!
This year, AIGA DC hosted
its fourth annual Design Continuum fundraiser as part of our ongoing efforts to
provide scholarships to local design-minded students. This year’s masquerade-themed
event featured Mark Randall of Worldstudio, past scholarship
winners, and a diverse crowd of new and familiar faces. Thanks to the
generous donations from the evening, we were able to meet our fundraising goal
of $10,000 at this event that will go toward supporting the annual scholarship
program or will become part of the nest egg for our future endowment.
Everything is bigger in Texas, and AIGA DFW’s
biggest of the big for 2011 was our inaugural Dallas Design Week, with events featuring
Debbie Millman, Roger Black, Bill Gardner, McGarrah Jessee plus many others, and
finishing off with our AIGA Fellow award dinner inducting Dallas design
legends Douglas May and Don Sibley. Design Week 2012 will be even bigger and
better—keep an eye on aigadfw.org for details!
One of the most successful events of 2011 by AIGA Hampton Roads, in Virginia, was entitled “Shameless Self
Promotion.” We assembled a panel of five local experts in the fields of PR,
SEO, photography, copy writing and social media—all areas that can aid
designers in the promotion of their freelance or corporate careers, but that we
may need guidance with. The result was a beyond-sold-out event (we expected
about 30 people and had standing-room-only at about 70), which has now led to
the development of similar advice-oriented event tracks such as our morning “Rise and Design” series and our upcoming “Assembly
Required” series dedicated to in-house designers.
AIGA Iowa hosted a bookbinding workshop
during our third annual Design Month in October, and it was so popular that we are
planning to host another one in the spring. Attendees were able to create a
dozen mini-books and fold origami boxes to arrange them in. The creative juices flowed, and everyone left with great ideas on how to use their new skills in future
projects. Photos from the event can be found on Facebook; follow us on Twitter at @aigaiowa.
Expanding on one of our most popular events, in
both participation and attendance, AIGA Jacksonville’s “Always Summer Poster
Show + Mix Tape” event became the “Always Summer Weekend.” We kicked off on Friday,
September 30, with speaker Aaron Draplin of Draplin Design Co. (DDC), who
presented his acclaimed talk, “Tall Tales from a Large Man,” in which he shared
personal stories about life-changing events, projects and conquests that were raw,
real and incredible. On the following night, the “Always Summer Poster Show +Mix Tape” event featured roughly 80 locally designed and contributed music
posters—a record number—and more than 150 attendees. Combined it was an inspiring,
rejuvenating experience that provided encouraging words from Aaron Draplin with
the creative liberties of a client-free project to add up to a fun,
AIGA Knoxville’s greatest achievement in 2011
was the success of Design Week in May. It featured five days of event
programming designed to reconnect and galvanize our creative community and then
together reach outward to the East Tennessee community. We awarded our first AIGA Fellow award to a
local veteran designer, had students
from local universities document their day at a local studio while we streamed
it in real-time on Tumblr, and held panel conversations about contemporary
issues in design, open studios and workshops the rest of the week. Visit the AIGA Knoxville website and Facebook page to learn more.
“Design Camp”—AIGA Minnesota’s 31st
annual pilgrimage to the woods of Northern Minnesota for three days of
presentations, workshops and socializing—was our watershed 2011 event. In
recent years, “Design Camp” had become heavily student-centric, but in 2011 we
successfully shifted its focus toward more professional design issues by
including a three-part professional practice workshop, presentations by five
national design leaders, and emphasis on the wide range of work our profession
includes — from illustration to advertising, product to pro bono. We also
attracted attendees from across the United States, Canada, and one person from
Chile. Follow us on Twitter at @aigamn.
“Value of Design: A Case Study” is AIGA Nebraska’s most concerted effort yet
to connect the dots between design and business value. We recruited three of
Nebraska’s smartest design firms and freelancers, who each selected a client
they’ve had a close partnership with. At the event, each designer/client team
presented a comprehensive recap of their working relationship and hard evidence
of both design and business success.
This year AIGA New Orleans modified our traditional members-only party to be more open and inspiration driven. Instead
of a traditional “holiday party,” we opted for an event that invited three presenters from around our region to come in and give a short presentation
about the successes they experienced over the last year and what keeps them
inspired and producing good and valuable work. The party was held on the rooftop of a newly renovated building, which provided sweeping views of downtown New
Orleans and the Mississippi River. The exclamation point of the evening was
provided by the amazingly talented Debbie Millman, who shared with us her own
personal journey with AIGA and continued leadership role within the design
Our aim with AIGA/NY’s “My Dog & Pony V: Fundraising Edition” was to leverage the success of prior “My Dog & Pony” events (in which presenters
typically shared past pitch work) while also seeking to expand our audience
beyond the design community. On the eve of Brooklyn Beta, we asked four candid and visionary speakers to share how they were
raising money to fund their creative projects: Adam Leibsohn of Voyurl, Archie Lee Coates IV of +Pool, Ben Pieratt
of Svpply and Ben Nabors of The Happy Film. We were happy to hear that this event resonated
among our attendees—and hope that this signals a groundswell in designers
pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors.
AIGA Oklahoma’s best event for 2011 was the
creative workshop taught by Stefan Mumaw, author of Caffeine for the Creative
Mind. This was the first workshop we have put on during business hours, which
proved to be a challenge for some but a well-deserved break for those who were
able to attend. The workshop was incredibly fun and insightful for worn-out
AIGA Raleigh’s second annual “Merry Mingle” was a huge
success. The event was a joint collaboration between AIGA, AAF, AMA and TIMA.
The event brought the creative community together to socialize, network and
raise money for a local charity that provides bikes to underprivileged kids. It was not only a great step toward
uniting the local creative community but showed how we can band together for a
good cause while celebrating the holidays.
At “Typewalk” AIGA Reno/Tahoe members set out
to explore the seedy underbelly of Reno typography. Attendees captured the true
spirit of Reno through the typography used in signage, posters and neon lights
throughout the downtown area. Photography from the evening was then repurposed
for a limited-edition series of posters.
Good design is alive and well in Richmond,
Virginia. In March 2011, AIGA Richmond proudly organized the Greater Richmond Awards of Design Excellence (GRADE) for the sixth time. Judges Jen Sterling, Vernon
Lockhart and Ross Nover chose the best of more than 300 entries, with the best
collected in a letterpress-covered exhibition catalog. Follow us on Twitter: @aigarichmond.
AIGA SF’s revamped two-day “Compostmodern” conference attracted more than 600 attendees. Day 1 featured
17 speakers such as Debera Johnson, founder of the Pratt Design Incubator; Marc
Mathieu, founder of BeDo; and Bruce Mau, chief creative officer of Bruce Mau
Design. Day 2, an “Unconference,” allowed attendees to meet and collaborate on
projects and topics of their own creation along with conference speakers and fellows. Watch videos here.
AIGA Santa Barbara’s biggest/best/proudest event of 2011 was an exclusive screening of
The Life and Work of Marian
Bantjes, Graphic Artist, prior to lynda.com’s official release of the documentary. Co-founders Lynda
Weinman and Bruce Heavin introduced the film and followed with a Q&A. The
event was held at 240 Studio, a 3300-sq.-ft. commercial photo studio, and more than 100 people attended.
In September, AIGA Seattle held
“HIVE 2011”, a one day conference exploring the value of design in technology.
Not only did this event attract new sponsorship opportunities from companies
like Microsoft, Google and Amazon; this event also positioned AIGA as a thought
leader in the interactive space. Combining a diverse series of speakers and
workshops, “HIVE ’11” effectively created a unique bridge between designers,
managers and developers in the tech sector—capturing both where this group is
currently at and where it is headed in the future. See videos here.
AIGA South Dakota organized an artistic food
drive where teams were tasked with collecting nonperishable food donations and
using them to create a sculpture. Sculptures were on display at the local mall
where the public could vote for their favorite, as well as donate
nonperishable food items or money. All donations and food from the sculptures
(2.4 tons of food and $100) were given to Feeding South Dakota at the end of
the event, and made a huge impact for the hungry in our communities.
The first annual STL Design Week, presented by AIGA St. Louis, kicked
off with an incredible opening night. To honor photographer Scott Raffe’s
cancer fight we raised $10,977 for pancreatic cancer research with an
exclusive, one-time-only circus performance by the legendary Zoppe family, Tino
Wallenda, Vince Bruce and Circus Flora members; a concert by musician Erin Bode; a photography
and art auction; three food trucks, a sneaky good cocktail, cotton candy and
Gus’ Pretzels, all in a historic theater that was perfect for the packed
Design for free? Yup, we asked 20 committed
and caring members of our design community to join us in March for our third
annual “Design Charrette.” As a way for
AIGA Toledo to give back to our community, designers, web developers and
writers came together in a focused kamikaze-like action, and in one day
developed a complete identity system, website and collateral materials for
Claire’s Day, a local nonprofit organization in need.
This year we hosted our first “Annual Suds
Summit Membership Meeting” at Magic Hat Brewery! We started with a tasting and a
tour (this place looks like Mardi Gras threw up all over it) and concluded with
break-out groups focused on gathering input for future chapter initiatives.
Members left with custom-designed pint glasses and confidence that our small
chapter is moving and growing! Find AIGA Vermont on Facebook.
Together, design and business can solve society’s toughest problems. Attendees learned how from a wide range of industry leaders at “Gain: AIGA Design for
Social Value Conference” in San
Section: Events and Competitions -
Conference , Gain conference, social responsibility, business
In this video, hear
from leaders in the AIGA community on the importance of design in
solving society’s trickiest problems, see examples of how individuals, chapters and companies are already making a
difference, and learn how you too can get involved.
Section: Why Design -
Design for Good, pro bono, social responsibility, design educators, students
It has been argued that the transition to a sustainable society is essentially a design problem, one of the most important of the 21st century. In this compelling video from the 2011 “Pivot: AIGA Design Conference,” Terry Irwin explains why making this transition will require nothing less than a reconstitution of our collective cultural image.
Section: Events and Competitions -
Conference , AIGA Design Conference
Great designers need more than good ideas to succeed. In this exclusive members-only webinar series, visionary
designers pair with Adobe experts to offer guidance to help lead
you to your next breakthrough.
Section: Tools and Resources -
Do satiric images still have the power to move mountains? Wilkinson, editorial cartoonist for the Philadelphia Daily News, reflects on the power of cartoons to rile the masses and trigger violence.
Section: Inspiration -
interview, Voice, illustration
Another competition is in the books! The Big One, Alaska's annual design show awards ceremony and exhibition, was Saturday, November 15 at The Boardroom. The event was truly statewide, with entries coming in from as far north as Barrow and far south as Nikiski.
Despite the connectedness of the current business world, aspiring design professionals face new challenges in the age-old problem of getting noticed, especially by the elite practitioners. George Nelson’s wit and insights helped me understand design as both a serious profession and a creative adventure. Here are a few of his choice observations and some thoughts on the special relationship we know as mentoring.
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