18th June 2011
I recently had the pleasure of travelling to far-away Vancouver to speak at the inaugural Interlink conference, hosted by the incredible Shawn Johnston.
I loved Vancouver. It’s a beautiful city spread either side of a natural harbour full of life. Despite several days of rain, I did my best to explore the bars, eateries, and general sights and sounds of the place.
Figure 1: Vancouver skyline from the Seabus. A bus, on the sea.
Somewhat impossible to ignore were the NHL Ice Hockey play-offs, with Vancouver’s Canucks in the Stanley Cup finals after a million years or whatever. During the games, the streets were crazy, and I lost track of how many strangers attempted to high-five me after the first two wins. I’m a pathetic Englishman when it comes to such greetings, so I’ve been practicing ever since. Watch the elbow, they tell me.
The whole day was wonderful, but I was especially taken by the excellent talks from Denise Jacobs and (of course) Frank Chimero, who can talk about design like nobody else. By Friday afternoon, as I was about to close the conference day, my head was full of snot, my throat sore, and my brain unable to hold information, so I sort of lost track of the first twenty minutes, and ended up speaking for approximately an hour, which was 25% too long, and left no time for Q&A. Sorry about that!
Figure 2: Speakers on the way to breakfast… in the rain.
Still, the response was good and I was thrilled with the positive feedback. A Dialect of our Own Design is an evolution of some talks I did through 2010, updated to consider where we go next, taking a look at our increasing maturity and responsibility as web professionals.
You can view my presentation on Speakerdeck if you so desire.
The next day, I managed to do my 4-hour workshop despite all my head-cold symptoms amplifying and my voice almost giving out. I’d like to thank all the attendees for their support and understanding, and for making what could have been a terrible afternoon somehow bearable. You lovely people, you.
Figure 3: Preparing for my workshop.
Again, huge thanks to Shawn Johnston for putting on a stunning event. It’s hard to believe he’s never even been to a web conference, let alone organised one. The man is a cast-iron legend. Also, it was a pleasure to hang out with so many friends old and new, and explore wonderful Vancouver. Go Canucks! Oh, wait…
Here’s a Vancouver Flickr set if you fancy a trawl through my snaps.
Colly, despite how badly you have been feeling, you knocked it out of the park, as well as everyone else did. Interlink was truly the best lineup of speakers that I have seen to the date. You truly are a pro at what you do and have honestly didn’t even think of keeping track how long you went on for.
Both, your talk and your workshop were filled with brilliant information, your insights based on your personal experiences that I am sure everyone very much enjoyed!
# Simon Collison responded on 18th June 2011 with...
Thank you, Petra. Lovely comment, and it was great to finally meet you.
Likewise! Hopefully next time we meet you won’t be sick and stressing over your presentations, so we’ll get to chat up some more ;-)
I just want to say that out of all the speakers at this event I enjoyed yours the most.
With a genetic bias that has woven its way through my family down to me (overly dramatic way of describing it, I know) – It is raw creativity, composition, colour, shape, form, feeling, and (sometimes awful) experimentation that have always been at the forefront of how I perceive the world.
I’ve never received any formal creative arts training to help me reign-in this energy, but as I worked my way through a year of introductory graphic design classes, certain things clicked. Even though art movements & art history weren’t emphasized, I found these areas invaluable in guiding me when I get lost. I constantly revert back to historical art movements like Russian Futurism, Modernism, and most recently on a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, Vorticism, as ways of cutting through the ‘noise’ that online creative accessibility so easily creates.
As I moved on to web design, none of this has changed, and hearing someone speak about the correlation between the ‘old’ compositional theories & truths, and applying them to ‘new’ interactive mediums really did resonate with me. I look forward to continue reading more of your essays, and hope to see you speak again in the near future.
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