Chattering classes, professional conferences, blogging, etc.

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Alex Deschamps-Sonsino linked yesterday suggesting a degree of jadedness in the design industry.

Rick Poyno wrote this about design conferences.  As most of us discover this after going to one or two professional conferences, I thought it might be worth pasting it in here to reassure ‘newbies’ that they aren’t the only ones who have noticed.

Typical professional conferences are trite and banal

“Only rarely at this kind of event will you encounter strong analysis and original new ideas. “Programmers of design conferences often appear to be unaware of the limits of their world view, uninterested in new thinking and practice, and insufficiently confident to address controversial issues,” says Nico Macdonald, one of the most active conference-goers on the British design scene. “Design conferences tend to be aimed at ‘jobbing’ designers, who the program­mers think want ‘dog and pony’ show-and-tells, maximizing presentation with minimal explanation and little” . . ?

We want our conferences to concentrate thinking and propel discussion to a higher level

“Too many design conferences don’t aim much higher than entertainment, escapism and the vaguest kind of hero-worshipping ‘inspi­ration’ – as in, “I wish I could be a famous designer like you.” What they should provide is unique occasions to concentrate design thinking and propel it to a higher level. discussion.”

Small focused conference are most likely to promote interaction and debate

The most rewarding conferences are those that succeed in promoting interaction and debate.  For that purpose, small and focused is likely to work best.

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