Design Week – everything is a highlight!

After an exceptional opening on Monday, Design Week (sponsored by Crown Paints) continues to entertain, inform and illuminate. Opening duties fell to Wayne Hemingway – co-founder of Red or Dead. Humorous, creative, modest, imaginative are some of the words that spring to mind – Inspirational is another. It was the perfect opening.

Tuesday night saw a rip-roaring, hell-for-leather series of 12 presentations – in the form of Pecha Kucha … on speed. (PechaKucha is a format where the presenter shows and talks about 20 images, each for 20 seconds giving a running time of 7 minutes per presentation). The organisers of Defuse (Interaction Designers Association Dublin – IxDA) set a very fast pace – 20 x slides / 15 x seconds / 12 “explosive” talks = five minutes ‘per head’. Topics included the psychology of decision making, stories about German army tactics, insect behaviour and more. The evening also included a ‘Back of a Beer mat’ (literally) design competition with great prizes including a hugely desirable, as yet unavailable, Xbox Kinect. All this took place in The Sugar Club. Well done to organiser (and excellent presenter) Séamus Byrne, Creative Director, Graphic Mint.

Tonight is the turn of The Institute of Creative Advertising & Design (ICAD) Awards and Upstarts Exhibition opening (the exhibition runs from 5th to 12th November at One Grand Parade, Dublin. This is an exhibition of 176 examples of Irish advertising and design work representing the high level of creative excellence in this country. It is also known as the ‘Best of’ exhibition – because that’s exactly what it is. Many of the pieces in exhibition were nominated for – and went on to win – a highly sought-after, prestigious, career enhancing ICAD award. This year, the exhibition will also incorporate the work of ICAD’s recent Upstarts.

Tomorrow it is the turn of IDI – The Institute of Designers in Ireland and their William H Walsh Lecture on Brand Abuse by Tom Blackett in Chartered Accountants House, 47-49 Pearse Street, Dublin 2 at 7.30am. After 25 years in brand consultancy as Deputy Chairman of Interbrand, the global branding agency, Tom Blackett is now chairman of Siegel+Gale London, part of the Omnicom Group.

Tom’s views are provocative – “Brand” is among the most abused words in our language. As a concept brand has become degraded and undermined – to the detriment of true brands and of those who own them. Lots of people are to blame for this – lazy journalists, ignorant marketing people, politicians… People are not brands. Sure, they can evince distinctive qualities—style, behaviour, mannerisms—that followers seek to emulate, but this doesn’t make them brands. “It makes my blood boil when the word is used, mistakenly, for celebrity” says Tom Blackett.

Full information on events around the country (many of which are running beyond the official ‘ending’ of Design Week) is available on … there’s plenty more to see.

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