For the past two years we’ve hosted an event series we call Design Share at our Falls Church location. It’s proven to do everything and more that we set out to do. Namely:
- Connect with the local design community.
- Learn from each other by sharing behind-the-scenes looks at design and process.
- Provide a forum for people who are new to speaking to get experience in front of a low pressure audience.
Over the two year period we hosted 4 events in which 17 talented designers graciously shared their stories. Among them:
- Brian Talbot, National Geographic
- Jay Moore, AOL
- Eric Lohman, AKQA
- Rob Soulé, Viget
- Ari Kushimoto, CaviarFrenchFries
- Jason Garber, Ficly
- Elliott Muñoz, Edge Media
- Corey Greeneltch, Ironworks
- Ali Felski, Sunlight Foundation
- Dawn Sword, Serendipity Creative
- Owen Shifflett, Viget
- Stefan Poulos, Pappas Group
- Phil Gossier, Threespot
- Lee Costic, Lee Costic Design & Creative
- Gregg Glaviano, Grafik
- Katie O’Brien, Fleishman Hillard
- Sarah Sampsel, Washington Post
The format was simple. Share a short 5 to 15 minute presentation about a project and discuss further with a live audience. We archived many of these presentations at designshare.org.
Along the way, we learned a great deal about the DC design community. More than anything we learned that we all have our struggles and that good design takes great effort and a little perseverance. We also learned that the format isn’t anything substantially new; our favorite local design organizations (Refresh, AIGA, and ADCMW) are already hosting similar events and doing them better. This is one of the main reasons that we’re now thinking of something different.
At this time, we’re considering taking the idea to a new level. One that:
- Allows us to take a deeper look into the design universe.
- Allows for more meaningful connections to the local design community.
- Is unplugged. No videos. No fancy presentations. Straight talk about design creativity and craft. The good, the bad, AND the ugly sides of our craft.
- Adds a little more fun with a gaming element.
The idea: a dinner party.
- In the near future, we’ll invite select area design studios over to our place (or your place if you prefer).
- We’ll play games and share behind-the-scenes looks at recent launches.
- We’ll ask questions and learn from each other’s failures and successes.
- We’ll make connections in new, meaningful ways.
- We’ll complement, not compete against, local organizations like Refresh, AIGA, and ADCMW.
- We’ll tour the studio to show you our working environment and learn more about yours.
Much like the tradition of American Thanksgiving, where people get together to celebrate harvest (or the slaughter of turkeys), we hope for the same kind of fellowship, nourishment, and illumination.
We’re already planning for our first dinner party in January of 2012 which will give us more insight into whether or not this is an idea that has legs. If it does, we’d love to see this kind of idea sprout throughout the design community. We’re not looking for this to be an exclusively Viget idea. Heck, we’d love an invitation to share our work at your place if you’ll have us. At the very least, we hope you'll be inspired to invite someone to dinner at your place to chat about design.
Be certain to tell us of your interest in connecting with Viget. We have offices in Falls Church, VA, Durham, NC, and now Boulder, CO. Contact
tom.osborne [at] viget.com (VA),
peyton.crump [at] viget.com (NC),
or andy.montgomery [at] viget.com (CO)
to discuss more. Spread the word.