15 March, 2011
A Critique of,
Pale Blue Eyes Conference:
Is there a balance between the business side and creative side in design industries, and how do we create this balance before business “crushes the soul of design”? Fat presented a group of pragmatic guest speakers at the Pale Blue Eyes conference held at the Toff, who were able to discuss between one other, both the design and business side in national creative industries.
The conference was broken into four ideas, Design, Creative, Media and space. Vanishing Elephant and Carly Hunter introduced the challenges of balancing the creative and business ends when working with a fashion label. Huw Bennett comes from an accounting background so therefore his strengths with his fashion label were mainly with market research. Hunter on the other hand stated that she was in charge of the entire production line of her label.
Tin&ed followed with Barrie Barton establishing the fine line between art and design. Tin&ed, (Tin Nguyen and Edward Cutting) captivated everyone’s attention with their creative design process. Quoting Tom Waits and working with clients such as the Australian Bellet, Nike, MTV and many more, I was infatuated. They talked about the lighter, more creative side of designing and encouraged young designers to collaborate together in all different disciplines. They had a quirky, fun charisma with their ideas about marketing and juggling a business along with their design. For example, their story about getting drunk and handing out business cards on the dance floor was random, even though it somehow generated positive business outcomes. They had a humorous spin on the business side of things, yet were able to deliver the goods to clients and seem to have made a good name for themselves with the help of specialists.
Penny Modra, editor of the subcultural guide to Melbourne, ThreeThousand.com.au, is obsessed with the scoop and her readers. She writes a weekly visual arts column for The Age and the Sunday Age. She references the growth of new media in the design industry. As her work with ThreeThousand is based online she has strong ideas about online forums and discusses her antagonism with Twitter and Facebook. She believes they can be useful resources in advertising information however they also can be quite critical and insulting as the forums are open to anyone. She mentions how people can be opinionated with their feedback and quite hurtful in their critiques over the internet. She encourages young designers to get out there and use new media as it can promote upcoming designers.
The conference launched a great range of opinions, advice and topical conversations around design, which would have been valuable to a lot of young designers. I gained insight to what is waiting for me when I enter the industry, and also awareness of decisions one should make when they graduate from university. The speakers definitely depicted an interesting perspective on the Australian design industry.