Actually, maybe my favorite thing about the conference today was the way it exposed a lot of different kinds of people working in various quadrants of design-related fields to different kinds of work. Joshua Davis, whom I haven’t seen since we worked together at an old dot-com, gave a characteristically animated performance full of some of the beautiful and somewhat esoteric work he’s been doing at his studio, full of crazy shit that corporate design officers normally wouldn’t be exposed to. There’s limited practicality in that kind of cross-pollination, admittedly, but it takes a company like Adobe, which for all its faults commands respect in enterprises and studios in a fairly unique manner, to bring them together. It’s something to be encouraged.
Anyway, Davis is a design magnet, deservedly, but it was a bit of a shame to see him kind of steal the show a bit from Pentagram’s Lisa Strausfeld. She seemed under-prepared and a little bit off in her presentation, but the work she showed was gorgeous. I still have a deep and abiding respect for Pentagram and the people who work there, in spite of the current of design conservatism that runs through each of the design studio’s invididual practices. They make the most of at least some of their fantastic client opportunities, and much of their output remains formidable. The way I look at it, Behavior could do worse than to be like them when we grow up.