week 8 B

as we've moved forward in this process, i've begun to think maybe i'm jumping the gun in having you think about the visual identity of the conference. seems like more thought needs to happen in terms of creating effective interactions between people, and let the designed objects assist that. so friday our discussion on the design of the timeline/concept map will be brief. we will focus mostly on the issues outlined below so be pondering those hard.

to my mind, this is the core issue, but is tempered by the kinds of participants, their interests/skill levels, etc. it is also tempered by the settings people will be in. interactions will be occurring on every imaginable level -- between conference volunteers and attendees; students and professionals; old schoolers, no-schoolers, and new-schoolers; speakers and attendees; and on and on...
what kinds of interactions do you want people to have? what will be the most effective and gratifying interactions for your audience? how can you make that happen and what kinds of design artifacts should be made to support those interactions?
just like we encourage you to think "beyond the format" (poster, brochure, website, etc), think "beyond the lecture" here. maybe a lecture is perfect, but why? can it be improved upon? viewed critically, a lecture implies that only one person is worth listening to. is that okay?

how can you take full advantage of the setting as a way to orchestrate these interactions? do you need large open spaces? work rooms? virtual spaces? do interactions happen in a dark room with a projector or over a small table at the lunch room? are they outside on the lawn or over dinner at night?

this will come last, after you devise -- at a basic level -- a range of interactions you want to occur at your conference. it can be anything and everything, really, as long as it smartly facilitates communication between human beings with shared interests.

it's important to recognize the range of interests, abilities, backgrounds, and knowledge embodied in all of the people involved. this goes beyond their generic title of "volunteer" or "student".

all of this thinking should be done in light of your stated conference theme. is there a way the interactions, settings, and artifacts can embody the values implicit in your theme? for example, if your theme is about guerrilla typography, it seems silly to  stay cooped up in a room theorizing about it because guerrilla typography (or anything "guerrilla") is about getting out there in small groups and gettin' it done, grassroots style. it's about action and energy. so think about what values are part of your conference theme and if it's possible to reinforce those through your designerly designing.