Talk Amongst Ourselves

Traditional Design & New TechnologyFor some weeks, I’ve been working hard to make a spectacular contribution to what I’m sure will be a spectacular discussion panel at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive Festival. It’s called “Traditional Design & New Technology” and it examines the questions of whether and how the aesthetic and functional principles that guided graphic design throughout its pre-Internet existence make sense on the World Wide Web. How do the vastly differing criteria between offline and online media determine what makes for ‘good design’? How has the shifting role of designers affected the expectations that audiences set for design quality? How do changing tools and techniques influence the relevancy of traditional design values?

As far as design topics go, these are some of the thornier ones, at least in my estimation. For this, I have the formidable Mark Boulton to thank — or to blame, as it’s turned out, for all the extracurricular hours we’ve spent preparing for this session. The original brainstorm was his; then he and I did the initial planning together. But the whole affair has come much further than we could have ever hoped thanks to the work of our co-panelists: Jason Santa Maria and Toni Greaves, and our moderator, Liz Danzico.

These people are all very, very impressive, and if I weren’t on this panel, I’d be in the audience just to watch them. For real! I’d even be there at the very early time and date of 10:00a on Saturday morning, 11 March, which just happens to be when “Traditional Design & New Technology” will take place. Yes, that’s the first day and the first time slot in the festival — we’re even on before the opening remarks, if you can believe it. The way I like to look at it: I once went to see Spiritualized open up for The Jesus & Mary Chain in the early nineties: I don’t regret seeing the Mary Chain, but I’m really glad I saw Spiritualized. You’ll be glad too, if you show up for this panel. Hope to see you there.

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  1. I’m there. Curt Cloninger’s panel “Surfing the Creative Process (Drive it like you stole it)” was (I think) one of the first panels last year and it was easily one of the best ones I saw.

    http://www.lab404.com/surfing/

    Hope we can break out some BBQ and beverages this year…

  2. This is an absolutely great subject to discuss. I’m very disappointed that I won’t be able to hear this. My hope is that you’ll post an article on the notes from the panel discussion.

  3. I too am hoping you post info. on the subject. I am thinking of doing a research project on this subject for school- if I can get enough information.

  4. Ah, they put you up against my panel about blogging. I’m not even sure what we’re going to talk about, as the moderator has yet to email us and start a discussion. Probably end up figuring it all out 30 minutes before the panel starts. How bad would it look if I ditched my own panel to attend yours? (Just kidding Hugh!)