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The attendees learned something new about themselves at the workshops, took inspiration from the stories of the speakers and indulged in some retail therapy at the designer marketplace — there was something for everyone on May 30–31 at the 24th annual DesignThinkers Conference in Vancouver. See conference highlights below.

The conference featured talks by Eleni BeveratouTheresa FitzgeraldDebbie MillmanPum LefebureLiza EnebeisCey AdamsAlex CenterThas Naseemuddeen and workshops by Laurie RosenwaldDominic Ayre RGDDominic PrevostTom FroeseDiana Varma RGD and Mustaali Raj.

Over the two days, attendees participated in roundtable discussions, a campus tour, book signings, sampled offerings from industry suppliers and artisans. Everyone also had an opportunity to engage with each other at a delegate party.

Below we share some takeaways from the presentations: 

“If you get an opportunity to work with someone you love and to do things you love, appreciate it in that moment. I say this because we’re all creatives — we’re difficult to deal with sometimes, we deal with people who are difficult to deal with sometimes — so to all the young ones, be in the moment. Because there is no such thing as the future. Now is the future. Enjoy it.” — Cey Adams, Visual Artist

“We are always looking to be perfect. But for me, the word ‘perfect’ is killing because it means it is almost the end of a project. What I love the most is doubt and I work with doubt all the time. It means that you’re not settled and you want to discover more. Opening up that door is very important for design. Not perfection.” Liza Enebeis, Creative Director & Partner, Studio Dumbar/DEPT®

“We live in uncertain times and it is hard to know what matters. We do have questions about tomorrow. To me, character matters. Every day we can make choices that allow us to shift and grow our awareness, to take better care of ourselves so that we can take better care of each other, growing resilience to adapt to whatever the changes bring is really important. Character matters and it is something you do even if no one is there.” — Theresa Fitzgerald, Ex-Vice President Brand Creative, Sesame Workshop

“When we talk about accessibility [in typography] there are three things to consider. First is legibility, which how fast we recognize a ‘c’ to an ‘o’ or an ‘e’ to an ‘a’. The second is readability — the typesetting, how lengthy the paragraph is, what are the colour combinations between text and background, etc. And lastly likeability, this cannot be measured but as humans we like different things and what we like does define accessibility.” — Eleni Beveratou, Creative Director, Dalton Maag

“Strict regulations can be a designer’s best friend. As designers, we thrive when we are given boundaries and limitations, otherwise we’d be artists. I have always thought of designers as artists who solve problems.” — Matt Webb, Senior Brand Manager (Craft), BZAM Cannabis

“I always tech my team to be a keen observer of emotions. Noticing emotions makes you a better designer. Seeing is one thing, but feeling gives you much deeper connection with the audience.” — Pum Lefebure, Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Design Army

“Bringing form to feeling is about creating something tangible from a set of emotions or abstract ideas. In some instances, that tangible form and visual expression has the ability to transcend conventional language to form a deeper sense of connection with the viewer.” — Tom Hingston, Creative Director & Founder, Hingston Studio

Registration for DesignThinkers Toronto on November 2–3 (in-person and streaming) is now open. 

Register now!

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