Posted 01.04.2018 by Josh Krakauer

27 Lessons on Design, Work, and Life from AIGA Design Conference (Illustrated)

It's about to get real.

The AIGA Design Conference is a gathering of design and creative professionals from around the country, held this past year in Minneapolis. After returning from events, we ask our team to share what they learned. Inspired, designer Talya Miller challenged herself to try something new. She sketched 27 of her favorite talk takeaways on an iPad. No revisions. No polish. Just what you see below.

In case you missed AIGA Design Conf, here’s what she learned and who said it.

“Millenials are always told that you should just ‘do what you love,’ and that it shouldn’t feel like work if you love it, and it’s just not true. It should be liberating to know that sometimes work just feels like work, and that’s okay.” – Eric Hu, AIGA Eye On Design

“In design school it starts out as mostly individuals of color and women. Then there is a huge drop off, we end up with mostly men and even more so, mostly white men. Where have all of the women gone? Where have all the people of color gone?” – Eric Hu, AIGA Eye On Design

“For me, being in school made me constantly have to reconcile a history that doesn’t acknowledge me.” – Hassan Rahim, AIGA Eye On Design

Representation matters. Design has a vibrant history that includes women and people of color, but often times minimalist, Swiss design is what is taught in class.

These can be people, places, or things BUT they should amplify peace, stability, calm, and support. (How Identity Impacted My Business, Jewel Burks)

But remain steadfast in who you are. (How Identity Impacted My Business, Jewel Burks)

“Instead of fighting the limitations we have, we must learn to use them as strengths.” – Max Gunawan, Building from Intuition

Give that some credit. (Max Gunawan, Building from Intuition)

Tina Roth Eisenberg: “The Best Way to Complain Is To Make Things”

And NOT optional. (Tina Roth Eisenberg, The Best Way to Complain Is To Make Things)

Share your highs and lows as a team, it builds trust and friendship. It empowers them to talk about big and small wins, and opens up a platform for when they are struggling. (Tina Roth Eisenberg, The Best Way to Complain Is To Make Things)

You need a break, let your brain rest.(Tina Roth Eisenberg, The Best Way to Complain Is To Make Things)

Because empathy and kindness matter. (Tina Roth Eisenberg, The Best Way to Complain Is To Make Things)

Do one every single day. Take five minutes to be kind to a fellow human, and ask if you can help with anything. It will not only make their day better, but it’ll make yours better too.

“Because doing good and being generous is a way of life.” – Tina Roth Eisenberg, The Best Way to Complain Is To Make Things

You are in this together. It’s a 50/50 – team/client. Work/play. Hustle/heart. (Sarah Doody)

Just something to keep in mind. (Sarah Doody)

Yes, it’s a thing and yes, it matters.

“The job creates an environment for flow.” – Sarah Doody

Sometimes the risk you need to take is the one you avoid and are most scared of. But if you love something, if you love putting something into the world, you just have to do that.” – Ashley Ford, What It Means To Take A Risk

Now get to it. (Shani Sandy)

We cannot forget to be accountable, because we are better together. (Jenny Lam, Amazon)

There has to be balance. (Jenny Lam, Amazon)

No, like really. (Jenny Lam, Amazon)

Period. (Tim Murray, Branding Without Walls)

Between design, business and technology. (Kevin Bethune)

“You must create a sustainable culture of design and design thinking.” – Joni Saylor, IBM

It’s a podcast. It’s a way of life. Give it a listen. (Jocelyn Glei)

“It acts like a magnet, and you notice your lack of time but also are hyper aware of everything added to your schedule.” –  Jocelyn Glei

Yes, it’s real. Overwhelmed. -> Over stimulated. -> Over scheduled.

How to fix it?

1. Get better as saying NO.
2. Make a Stop-Doing List.
3. Delete yo-self, and go off the grid.

(Jocelyn Glei)

Wow, right? “Remember what you are capable of when your attention is deployed in beautiful and intentional ways.” – Jocelyn Glei

Feeling inspired? Us too. See you next year, AIGA!

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Talya Miller

Talya likes to design and write a variety of things. She’s occasionally awkward and always interneting. She has a soft spot for nerdy nonprofits and well designed books.

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