DesignThinkers Toronto 2018

Design Principal Jack Henry attended DesignThinkers in Toronto this week where he had the opportunity to connect with designers from the US and Canada but also from as far away as the UK. Jack heard keynotes and panels on Design Strategy and Trends, participated in workshops and networking events as well as talked to professionals from allied professions such as printing and stock photography sites.

By Jack Henry

Day 1

I started off my DesignThinkers by meeting with a connection of mine for coffee bright and early at 6:45AM then wandered down to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the main venue for the event. The morning started off with an interesting icebreaker that involved participants getting pieces of well known Canadian logos and having to find participants with the other pieces to make the logo first.

The highlight of Day 1 was the presentation by Ian Chalmers RGD, Creative Director at Pivot Design Group titled Transforming Design Research into Meaningful Design. In his talk he talked about Service Design which is the activity of planning and organizing people, infrastructure, communication and material components of a service in order to improve its quality and the interaction between the service provider and its customers.

The evening ended with a Delegate Party where I was able to reconnect with past connections and make brand new ones.

Day 2

The second day brought more speakers including Julian Brown RGD, Kemp Attwood, Jessica Bellamy, Clare Brown, Anthony Burrill and Erin Sarofski as well as Keynotes Jessica Hische and Partner at Pentagram, Michael Bierut.

The highlight for of the day for me was Unboxing the Museum: Better Experiences through Design by Clare Brown, Chief of Design at the National History Museum at the Smithsonian Institution. Clare shared what it was like to work in the setting of a history museum as well as some of the best practices that she has implemented when designing the guest experience. This includes implementing strategies that engage guests who engage best with idea based stories, people based stories, object based stories and physically based stories. These are known by the acronym, IHOP.

In Clares session I also ran into the designer of the Guildwood Flag, the design of which I was involved with at a strategic level, Marsha.