After a poor night’s sleep (forget to bring the melatonin), I rolled into the main (massive) auditorium for the AIGA Boston conference.
John Hockenberry is MCing the event, and doing so with an engagingly loose vibe. It doesn’t always work (an attempt to have “funny phone calls” live on stage fails because we can’t hear the other conversant), but he never flags.
Rep. Barney Frank is clearly a smart, thoughtful guy, but I had no idea what he was doing at a design conference. All he talked about was Katrina and the role of government.
The last-minute Design For Disaster panel (that’s not what it was called) didn’t spur me to pay attention. Designers can be a remarkably self-congratulatory bunch — I vaguely remember the discussion involved how signage can help evacuees.
Ellen Lupton was singularly disappointing. She spent a remarkable amount of time making fun of signs that use “dumb quotes,” which is akin to shooting fish in a barrel. And she didn’t really have a point to it. “Rated R” was a fun little flash film with typefaces battling it out.
Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid gave a coherent talk on hip-hop, remixing, type, and graphic design. It was easily the best public speaking I (or the folks I’m here with) have seen him do. We had two theories. 1) He showed a lot of movies, so he spoke less, and his points were illustrated by others. 2) He just wrote a book, and, in doing so, figured out how to communicate his formerly esoteric theories more accessibly.