RGD thanks champion of London's design community Jesse Gibb RGD.
Jesse Gibb RGD is a former RGD Board Member and champion for the London design community. A designer, photographer and maker of things, he runs a solo design studio in London (the Canadian one). Nearly 20 years in, he hasn’t been scared off yet and still gets a kick out of solving interesting design problems for interesting people, in the most interesting way possible.
I started volunteering with RGD in 2012, helping host Future By Design events at the design shop where I worked. Not long after, I was elected to the Board of Directors and started chairing the Programs (now Events) Committee, as well as sitting on the Membership Committee. Getting involved was a good chance to pick up where fellow Southwestern Ontario Member Robin Honey left off and continue to give our region a voice at the RGD table. In the Programs Committee Chair capacity, I was able help drive the grassroots push to engage regional design communities by facilitating relevant design-related programs and events such as Future By Design, our Design Documentary Screenings and the webinar series.
Design Canada movie screening, London ON
Q: What are your takeaways from the experience of hosting Future By Design, and what do you hope participants take away from the event?
There is still plenty of work to be done to promote and get people out to the Future By Design events, (at least in this region) which is frustrating, because they’re always so good. These are world class thinkers beaming from all over the continent to weigh in on topics that should be near and dear to any visual communicator’s heart. Those who do come out end up in really engaging conversations with other local designers and communicators, which only helps strengthen local creative communities and open the channels of communication and foster collaboration. And there are snacks.
Q: Based on your experience volunteering with RGD, how would you describe the role of the organization in the industry?
I think RGD is a beacon for new and experienced designers alike. An entity that helps give shape and direction to what often seems like an unwieldy industry. From the Accessibility Handbook and other high-calibre publications to a full calendar of events across the country, to the quiet advocacy work done on behalf of all designers, I think the Association plays a huge role in defining what design and visual communication in Canada is today and what it will be in the future. Indifference and inaction don’t really sit well with me - so pitching in is just something I need to do. I feel very fortunate to be able to do that with an organization that does so much, so well.
Q: Can you share any ideas or suggestions for what individual designers and/or organizations like RGD can be doing to further improve the industry?
I often find myself having to debunk the myth to non-members that RGD is an exclusive “Awesome Designer Club”. While we can boast our share of amazing designers to be sure, RGD is so much more than that. Just like any other industry, we are faced with a wide range of work that needs to be done, from the ultra mundane to the super glamorous. What’s important is supporting those doing the work, providing the resources to help them do it well and recognizing the value they bring. I’d like to see that perception change.
Q: What have you gained from being an RGD volunteer, and why would you recommend it to other members who might be thinking of getting involved?
Confidence, empathy and drive: confidence from being thrust into Board and Committee meetings with incredibly smart people, and coming out alive; empathy from mentoring and working with aspiring designers through portfolio reviews and other events; and drive from those same incredibly smart people who have shown me I can always work harder, do better and share more.
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