Photos by Rick Etkin and Rob Shear
Over 700 creatives gathered in Vancouver at the DesignThinkers Conference on May 29 and 30, 2018 to listen to world-renowned designers talk honestly and openly about the creative industry.
Led by the theme of “Speak the Truth,” speakers discussed the need for diversity in the design community, the rise of artificial intelligence, how design can support Indigenous reconciliation in Canada and much more.
Day 1 opened with an inspiring kick in the pants from Meg Lewis, who challenged delegates to think about what fuels them and discover what makes them and their work unique. Throughout the day, delegates listened to in-depth talks from Michael Lejeune, Pia Betton, Sebastian Padilla, Randy Hunt, Ellen Lupton, Aaron Draplin and Gemma O’Brien. Ranging from funny to factual, the talks uncovered the term ‘Design Thinking’ and what makes a design complete, among many other things.
Featuring another stellar lineup, Day 2 began with a keynote by Stephen Gates, who talked about how we can be contributing, honest designers who encourage others and aren’t afraid to fail. Talks throughout the rest of the day were led by Forest Young, Grace Hwang, Krys Blackwood, Bob Hambly RGD, Samantha Warren and Josh Higgins. Topics were just as varied as the day before, covering how to design for behaviour change, how to change a UX so that your client and user are happy and more.
Lightning Talks, which are 10-minute sessions delivered by distinguished Vancouver-based designers, were interspersed throughout the longer sessions. Ian Grais CGD, Vida Jurcic, Carson Ting, Angele Beausoleil, Greg Durrell, Judy Snaydon and Angela Bains all offered their superb insights into the design industry.
Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes and Aritzia CEO Brian Hill were also presented with DesignThinker of the Year Awards at the DesignThinkers Conference. DesignThinker of the Year is awarded to Canadian chief executives who have incorporated design and design thinking into their organizations to achieve business objectives and drive innovation.
In addition to listening to the talks, delegates were able to meet and have books signed by Aaron Draplin, Ellen Lupton and Bob Hambly RGD. Delegates were also able to take part in Networking Sessions, Speaker Q&As and the food and fun-filled Delegate Party! The Designer Marketplace was also available to delegates both days, which featured networking opportunities with graphic design and communications companies.
DesignThinkers Vancouver 2018 ended on a high note with the RGD So(cial) Good Awards Ceremony and Exhibit. These awards celebrate graphic design projects from around the world done under the theme of communication design for social good.
Delegates were invited to share their thoughts and musings throughout the conference on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #rgdDT. Here are a few highlights:
Thank you to all of our Conference partners:
Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC)
And to our 2018 Conference design partner Zulu Alpha Kilo for the incredible 'Speak the Truth' branding that helped pull the Conference together...
Read more about it here.
Thank you to Rick Etkin and Rob Shaer for capturing the Conference; view all photos from DesignThinkers Vancouver 2018 here.
RGD members will have access to recordings of all of the talks in the Members Only section once they are uploaded.