Reporting live from rainy Savannah is one of thirteen MFA Interaction Design students attending the Interaction 10 conference. From a packed day of lectures to a rain-soaked walking tour of America’s first planned and designed city, Stephanie Aaron recaps the day’s highlights.
Nathan Shedroff kicked off the conference this morning with a challenge: innovate and create meaning. For him, meaning is the deepest connection one can make with the user, and all design is the process of evoking meaning. His key point for the future? Consumerism isn’t dead, but it needs to be so we can move on to a path that is innovative, sustainable, and profitable. Nathan left us with three key questions to ponder: What does a more sustainable world look like? What does a more meaningful world look like? What does a post-consumer world look like?
After Nathan’s talk I went to hear our own Liz Danzico speak on, and lead an experiment in improvisation. She also asked that we creating meaning in the products and services we design. Her talk, ranging from jazz to neuroscience, showed how frames can allow consumers to be co-creators.
Greg Vassallo launched the third talk of the day with a moving segment on lessons he learned while living in a hospital for a year and how he applied them to being a design consultant. His ten lessons include useful tips such as “lighten up,”“it’s okay to ask for help” and “treat the patient, not the illness,” which encourages all to step back and consider the big picture, to ask ourselves, “are we solving the right problem?”
The morning was capped with a rain-soaked walking tour of Savannah—America’s first planned and designed city. The city has not one center but 24 squares, each is a self contained unit consisting of all walks of society, from richest to poorest. The streets surrounding the squares have no traffic lights, and is a self regulated system. There are two overlapping grids, the back streets contain services such as electricity, telephone poles and sewage, etc. and the front streets are of homes, shops, and civic institutes.
Students will be covering the conference over the weekend. Check back for posts to come.