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Insights from DesignThinkers 2022 in Toronto

Mina Lima

All the ephemera of life, that we tend to ignore, is what graphic designers in film have to bring to life in order to help tell the story. Our job is to support the narrative with strong visuals so that you, as an audience, can 100% believe what you are seeing at any moment in the film.

- Miraphora Lima Co-Founder of Studio MinaLima

Below we share some takeaways from presentations and discussions over the two days of the RGD’s DesignThinkers Conference, held in Toronto on October 27–28, 2022.

Check out more on social media using the hashtag #rgdDT.

“Don’t be afraid to show up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to listen and celebrate that unique voice of yours. To speak with authority based on your own lived experiences and your own stories. But more than that, don’t be afraid to draw boundaries, slow down and recharge, because some of us are too busy speaking up for others that we forget to speak up for ourselves.”  — Mel Sutjiadi RGD, Founder of ARToverMATTER

“There was this expectation that if you’re a young designer, you should challenge conventions but for me it was much more nuanced than just following a rule or breaking a rule. I had classmates that operated on each end of that spectrum and I felt like I operated in the middle and you could call that an inflection point — the moment in which you changed the direction.” — Eric Hu, Independent Creative Director & Typographer

“Whether it’s a song that becomes your anthem or power posing or breathing exercises — whatever it is, it’s great to find tools that work for you and help you out in situations that may otherwise make you feel like you’re out of control.” — Elana Rudick RGD, Founder & Creative Director of Design Is Yummy

“As designers, everything we produce, even the most sustainable products, have a negative impact on the planet, so the best thing to do is to reuse stuff especially in the world of food and beverage — reuse packaging and create strategies to encourage customers to do so.”  — Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer & Senior VP at PepsiCo.

“Personal projects are a way for me to connect with myself. To understand how I tackle the creative process and all that happens in my mind when I’m doing or navigating all those ups and downs of a project” — Paloma Rincón Rodriguez, Visual Artist

“Social media profits are an alternative form of capitalism called surveillance capitalism. They have found a loophole where you don’t have to pay to use an app but you pay with your attention, time and data. And within the existing economic system, companies cannot do the right thing because they would lose enormous amounts of money. This is a change that will take years to take effect. But until we have policies and regulations that help technology work for us, we, as creators and people building the technology, can have an effect. We have to fix this at the root of the problem.” — Bethany Sonefeld, Design Manager, Duo Security

“Often when you’re working across different teams, the languages that folks use are different but everyone is saying the same thing. And so you can have brand designers in a room with developers and they’re saying the same thing but not understanding each other. I call this “Talking in Time Horizons”. A designer would talk to an engineer and the engineer would talk to a product manager. And they’re all right. It’s just a different Time Horizons. A designer might have an idea but that idea is a six-month down the road idea — a big idea. The engineers are talking about an idea for tomorrow. And they’re both right. It’s just the Time Horizon that is different.” — Gene Lee, Vice President at Autodesk

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