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Design Currency – Day One Afternoon Speakers

Design Currency – Day One Afternoon Speakers

Here are some of my notes and my thinking in italics…

Ashwini Deshpande – Elephant Strategy + Design

  • Started with the story of the blind men and the elephant.
  • Saw not just ‘graphic design’, but the whole picture; hence named firm after the fable.
  • India has 1B people with 16 official languages and scripts.
  • Growing young middle class (earn $4K to $20K; 50 million people).
  • Future rise of middle class (583M by 2025; more than 40% of population).
  • Their consumption will double in the next decade, then quadruple.
  • Discretionary spending is rising 70%.
  • Family structure is changing as is spending patterns (increased dependence on loans) (future credit crisis of sorts here?).
  • What hasn’t changed? Recycling (story of Buddha and disciple – robe -> bed sheet -> pillow case -> food mat -> mop -> wick to light lamp) (similar to this story).
  • Tata Nano ($2,500 car).
  • Nokia; 70% of market in India – many homes don’t have landlines.
  • Mobile ATM with biometric authentication; video conference to connect with remote bank officer.
  • Cell phone chargers that roll instead of crank.
  • Newspaper project; from news focus to audience focus (didn’t write about terrorists, wrote about unguarded beaches); no water, polluted water; doesn’t show what happened, shows what to do in the future; more educational impact and powerful medium for social change. (I wonder how many communications from and within organizations take this approach – so much opportunity.)

Martin MirukaAtom.tdf – Passion for the Brand

  • Africa (45 different countries with complex cultures); brand currently determined by the outsiders as a ‘charity case brand’.
  • A new brand lies in economics and self-image.
  • First must change how we feel about the branch as Africans (important for any brand/experience project – first the change must be felt on the ‘inside’).
  • Steve Jobs on design: fundamental soul of a man made creation (not veneer).
  • Africa can offer the world more than minerals.
  • Cheetah generation; clawing its way back – won’t see this on CNN (would have loved to heard more on how they are engaging this ‘cheetah generation’ from the inside to change how they feel about the African brand).

Debbie Millman – Why We Brand, Why We Buy (president of AIGA)

  • Wave 1 of branding: guarantee of consistency.
  • Wave 2: guarantors of quality.
  • Wave 3: brands as expressive statements.
  • Wave 4: brands as experience.
  • Wave 5: brands help us connect.
  • (loved that Debbie shared some neuroscience in her presentation; limbic brain etc.)
  • We have power to further humanity or to destroy it with what we mark and make, brand and sell.
  • That choice is entirely up to us / hope we choose wisely.

Brian Collins – Changing Design (Chief Creative Officer at COLLINS)

  • Design has been turned into an algorithm; find ourselves in the design democracy.
  • We’ve argued away all creative forces from ourselves.
  • Design driven innovation = don’t get close to your users; better way to creativity (Verganti’s book).
  • Archetypes (design mythinking).
  • And a new algorithm: collect, perceive, learn, narrate, build, align.

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