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A day in the life at DesignThinkers Toronto

A group of four people at the delegate party. Olivia is on the far right.

As told by Olivia Montagnese Provisional RGD.


There’s no shortage of things to see and do at DesignThinkers Toronto. We asked Olivia Montagnese Provisional RGD, who has attended DesignThinkers nine times, what a typical “day in the life” at the conference looks like for her.

The doors are open. What are you up to?

On the first day of DesignThinkers, I like to arrive at the venue shortly after registration opens so that I’m able to thoroughly browse the supplier showcase booths and the giveaway table before it gets too busy. My friends try to get there around the same time as me so that we’re able to catch up, talk about what sessions we are excited to see, get breakfast and find good seats. Since there is so much excitement on the first day, arriving early and already having my schedule planned out helps me to feel more calm and ready for the busy day.

And lunch?

During lunchtime, my friends and I usually spend some time catching-up with other colleagues from the industry, and then we usually get lunch in together in the area.

You’ve watched a lot of DesignThinkers presentations over nine years! Any favourites?

There have been so many informative and memorable presentations, but some of my favourites that have resonated with me have been from Anton and Irene, Blake Howard, Emily Oberman, Aaron Draplin, Gemma O’Brien, Jessica Hische, Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski, Vèronica Fuerte and Adam J. Kurtz.

I especially admire Timothy Goodman and Meg Lewis’s work, so it was such a special opportunity to be able to meet and chat with them.

Olivia and Timothy Goodman.
Olivia and Timothy Goodman in 2017.

The conference has more than just presentations, though. What do you do during your breaks and downtime?

During breaks, I usually chat with my friends, and visit the showcase booths, specifically spending a lot of time at the Swipe pop-up to hoard more design books 🤓

The delegate party is always a blast. How do you feel about it?

The delegate party is always such a fun way to end to the first day of the conference. Due to the pandemic, I’ve really missed it as the energy was amazing, and it gave me more time to catch-up with those in the industry that I don’t see often.

Olivia Montagnese (she/her) is a designer and artist based in Toronto. She’s interested in the arts and culture scene and hopes to shift perspectives and create unique and meaningful experiences through her work. She graduated from Humber College’s Graphic Design program in 2018, and currently works as a Designer at q30 design. When not designing, she can be found exploring new cafes and bookstores, taking film photos, curating playlists, and as of recently, taking pottery classes.

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