A couple of days ago I attended the annual Design Futures Forum (agIdeas), hosted by Ideas On Design at the Melbourne Convention Centre. It was a great event, and the calibre of the speakers was amazing.

Nicolas Hogios - Toyota Motor Corp (automotive designer)
Nick spoke about his career in automotive design, including some cutting edge futures work. He finished with a 5 minute live demonstration of creating a new car design, which was really interesting to watch.

Raphael Pimentel - Luma Pictures (animation designer)
Raphael's studio has worked on some very well known films, including several movies from the Marvel cinematic universe. He stressed the importance of basic maths and science education in design, and also of networking and building connections throughout the creative industry.

Bambi Damty - Deloitte Digital (experience designer)
I enjoyed Bambi's introduction to experience design, as it had a strong linkage with the growing interest in design thinking in libraries that I was already familiar with (mostly thanks to Zaana Howard). It's always good to find those connections between two worlds! Bambi talked about the qualities needed to work in experience design - curiosity, empathy, and a focus on creative solutions.

Megan Hess - Megan Hess Illustration (fashion illustrator)
Megan was on the verge of giving up her dream of working full-time as an illustrator when her big break came through in the form of a book cover design for Candace Bushnell. She now creates beautiful illustrations for some seriously big names in the fashion and related industries all around the world (Dior, Tiffany, Yves Saint Laurent, Vanity Fair, Prada, and more).

Lisa Oaten - Studio Periscope (industrial designer)
Lisa's studio creates innovative products to promote and engage with brands. They have a focus on sustainable design and materials. As well as client based work, Lisa also creates collaboratively designed products under the FromWoopWoop label.

Roland Snooks - Studio Roland Snooks / Kokkugia (architect)
Roland talked about his research practice Kokkugia's work on swarm behaviour, patterns and formation. Rather than design end products, they create building blocks that can organically create their own designs (generative design). A really interesting insight into experimental architecture, and innovative building materials and techniques.

James de Colling - Zero Latency VR (game designer)
Virtual reality and augmented reality are becoming ever more accessible thanks to new mobile phone technology, and this is an area with lots of opportunities for new designers.

Dr Ken Cato - Cato Brand Partners (graphic designer)
Ken is a graphic designer who has been creating advertising designs for product and print material since the 1970s. He showed us an awe inspiring back catalogue of work, chock full of instantly recognisable brands that he has helped create over the years. These included the Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, Channel 7, the Melbourne Arts Centre, Cascade Brewery, The Ghan, the Melbourne Tennis Open, Tarax soft drinks, and many more. He was awarded the Order of Australia in 2013.

Attending the Design Futures Forum at the Melbourne Convention Centre tonight

The speakers provided much food for thought about different types of design career. Personally I hope to pursue a less commercial, more independent path, but I imagine it would be so exciting to work with these kinds of professionals. Although the event was targeted primarily at design students, I got a lot out of it and am grateful to my art school for organising tickets for me and my classmates :)