DesignThinkers brings the Western Canada Design Community together in Vancouver

While Brian Collins made the delegates sketch each other, Tom Froese made the auditorium sing — on May 31 and June 1 over 450 creatives attended the 23rd annual DesignThinkers Conference in Vancouver. 


Under the theme of 'Defy,' speakers and delegates alike engaged in honest conversations about what it means to be a visual communicator in the ever-changing world of today.


Attendees have access to the recordings of talks on the event platform Pheedloop for the next three months after which time they will be made available to all RGD Members in the Members-only section of the RGD website. Register here to get access to the recordings on Pheedloop.


Day 1 of the Conference featured talks from Brian Collins, Gemma O'Brien, Douglas Davis, Tammy Tsang and Bráulio Amado, among others. Speakers discussed topics that included inclusive design, the power of being kind at work, managing conflict and creative strategy. The day also featured virtual studio tours of Daó in Brazil, Relajaelcoco in Spain and The Office of Ordinary Things in the USA.


Day 1 finished with a Delegate Party at Yaletown Distillery Bar + Kitchen, where delegates and speakers were able to connect over some delicious hors d'oeuvres and drinks and have much-needed in-person conversations.


Day 2 was packed with just as much defiance and creativity. Sagi Haviv, Megan Bowker, Terresa Moses, Shaun Loftman, Tom Froese and many more took the stage to discuss topics such as our duty to engage in design with an abolitionist mindset, possibilities for the future, defying convention, defying time and more.  


President Nicola Hamilton RGD emceed the event and led conversations between delegates and speakers through Q&A sessions at the end of each talk. 


After the Conference, the RGD held an Awards Ceremony for the 2022 So(cial) Good Design Award-winners. Winners had the opportunity to receive a physical Award designed by RallyRally, produced by PECO from melting, pressing and refining the equivalent of 75 bags worth of plastic waste into a single block. The next day, a Design Educators Conference welcomed 50 educators to Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a keynote by Terresa Moses on Centring Abolition in the Paradigm of Pedagogy followed by talks from leading design educators from across Canada.  


In addition to the regular conference sessions, delegates had the opportunity to connect with peers during breakfast and lunch at roundtable discussions and to see, feel, sample, test and consider the latest products and service offerings available to our industry in the Designer Marketplace. 


Delegates and speakers were also invited to share thoughts about the DesignThinkers Conference on social media using the hashtag #rgdDT. See a handful of posts below:


Registration for DesignThinkers Toronto taking place October 27-28 (both in-person and streaming) is now open. 


Register now!


Thank you to our photographer Vincent L. Chan for capturing DesignThinkers. Click here to view photos from the Conference.


Thank you also to our Industry Partners for the event: DDB (branding), nurun (website), Adobe XD (learning), MET (printing) and Spicers (paper) and to sponsors .design, FunctionFox, Hemlock, Mitchell Press, Porchlight PressRightsleeve, Total Graphics, Vancouver Film School.