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Eighteen months ago, AIGA's national board of directors met in
California for an annual meeting to review the goals and strategies
of our organization on behalf of more than 20,000 professional and
student members. Board members Stanley Hainsworth
and Kenna Kay
proposed ways to heighten the impact of AIGA's activities,
including efforts to expand AIGA's conferences from standalone
events to more of a "design movement" that would coincide with a
weeklong flurry of activities including a film festival, additional
conferences, an awards ceremony, studio tours and a plethora of
opportunities for both designers and the general public to be
inspired and moved by the power of design.
I remember a hush went over the room that day; we were all
mesmerized and daunted by their ambitions. Yet this week we are
proud to present to you the 2010 "Gain: Design and Business
Conference," with the very appropriate theme "Design
(Re)Invents." Through the tireless efforts of the national staff,
the hard work of the "Gain" committee, led by Stanley and Kenna,
the help of some amazing partners and the coordination of local
chapters, we have an exciting week in store.
This week the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum presents its
National Design Awards, along with a number of related activities.
We have linked with F+W's "Mind Your Own Business" conference;
brought in several of Fast Company's "Masters of Design,"
who will be recognized this week, to speak at "Gain"; planned
smaller events in honor of Milton Glaser, one of our profession's
most brilliant "reinventors" and a 2010 National Medal of the Arts
recipient, whose exhibition of recent work
is on display at the AIGA National Design Center; and encouraged
other open and private events that could draw on the designers who
will visit New York during this week.
National Design Week is now underway in New York City and
beyond. Here are some highlights:
AIGA's biennial conference on design and business kicks off
Thursday, October 14, with local studio tours hosted by AIGA/NY and
select pre-conference professional development workshops. "Gain" is
the cornerstone of the week's design events in New York
City, and represents two full days of learning how industry leaders
have addressed business challenges through design. "Gain" attendees
will meet the brightest minds in design and business for
incomparable inspiration, learn how to innovate through design,
network with peers from across the country and close out the week
with exclusive after-hours viewing of the National Design
Triennial. Of course, "Gain" would not be possible without the
generosity of Presenting Sponsors American Printing, Aquent, Neenah
Paper and Pantone.
AIGA is committed to extending the insights from national events
into the public arena, so that designers and business leaders
worldwide may benefit. Videos of select "Gain" presentations, along
with full-text transcripts and closed-captioning for the hearing
impaired, will be posted later this fall. If you plan to be in New
York this week, you cannot miss this event! The most
valuable discussions will continue beyond the stage with networking
receptions, evening events and more to engage with ideas and with
each other—a value that simply can't be replicated online. Join or
follow the discussions at @AIGAconference and search
tweets on Twitter.
During its fifth annual National Design Week, the Cooper-Hewitt
offers free admission to the National Design Triennial "Why Design
Now," along with a series of public programs and a range of online
resources for students, teachers, design professionals and the
general public to celebrate the important role that design plays in
all aspects of daily life.
National Design Week is held in conjunction with Cooper-Hewitt's
most visible public education program, the National Design
Awards, which recognize the best in American design across a
range of disciplines to promote excellence and innovation in
design. The 2010 recipients will be honored at a gala dinner on
Thursday, October 14, followed by an after-party.
If you're a design firm principal, now more than ever, it's
essential to step back from the day-to-day and rethink how you do
business. HOW magazine's "Mind Your Own Business
Conference"—co-located with the "Gain" conference at the Sheraton
New York Hotel and Towers—is a key tool for making your creative
firm indispensible to current clients and irresistible to new
prospects. At "MYOB," the country's foremost business consultants
will be on hand to answer your most pressing questions about your
firm with three days of close-up, nuts-and-bolts problem solving
combined with big-picture, long-term planning, with a reduced joint
registration fee with "Gain" for AIGA members.
Across the country, AIGA chapters are kicking off a busy fall
filled with amazing local design events happening in your
area. Even if you're not a member of AIGA, I can't recommend highly
enough our local talks, activities and mixers. They're a great way
to get your creative juices flowing, and a wonderful way to meet
the fantastic community leaders—all volunteers, I might
add—that make AIGA such a supportive and welcoming community. Check
out the list of upcoming events on AIGA.org,
or find your local chapter here.
Held at Tribeca Cinemas, the very first U.S. film festival
celebrating the creative spirit of architecture and design will
feature a dynamic selection of feature length films, documentaries
and shorts, including screenings of Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight and The Visual Language of
Herbert Matter. Plus, there will be lively discussions with
filmmakers, architects and designers about the design process,
architecture in film, and the brilliant designs we see and use
One of my most personal goals as president of AIGA has been to
break down the barriers separating design specialties in order to
use our collective talents more effectively. I am so pleased to be
able to share this truly inclusive week of events with all 20,000
members of AIGA, and I would like to thank everyone who was
involved in making this week's events a success for breaking down
some of the barriers separating design specialties to use our
collective talents to inspire and encourage designers
Image credits: Paperclip art designed byDesign Army, as part
of the 2010 "Gain: AIGA Design and Business
Conference" identity;ribbon illustration by
Debbie Millman is a partner and president of the design division at Sterling Brands, one of the leading brand identity firms in the country. Millman is president of AIGA, and chair of the School of Visual Arts’ master’s program in Branding. She is a contributing
editor to Print magazine and host of the podcast “Design Matters.” She is the author of How to Think Like a Great Graphic Designer (Allworth Press, 2007) and Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design (HOW Books, 2009).
NEW YORK—March 5, 2013. A new professional fellowship program developed by Design Ignites Change and AIGA aims to support social impact projects by providing seed funding and mentoring to creative professionals.
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represent the range of contributions designers make to clients, future
generations and society at large—through inspiration, thoughtful critique,
social impact and the education of future design leaders.
Member since 2012
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