Full of agIdeas

Will I go next year? Probably. Is it too much like TED? Yes. Do some speakers need training in public speaking? Definitely. But overall, what did I think of the event? Worth the trip.

Some of the things that were mentioned over the 3 days:

  • sensitivity – use it with food, music, sound…
  • stop blaming arabs for everything
  • shoot in the rain
  • shoot square
  • “never trust your first ideas. they are too obvious to be inventive” – Heribert Birnbach
  • watch out for rolling projects
  • in digital design never ends
  • “motion graphics move when a designer can’t decide where to put them” – Ian Anderson
  • “don’t be a cunt all your life” – Ian Anderson
  • something about 666 and technology is the devil
  • taking risks with people builds intense loyalty
  • “you cannot discover a new world with an old map” – Andy Stalman
  • hug strangers
  • write all over your body and walk around the streets. and look up
  • big balls or big ears. take it as you like
  • “trend and genuine creativity exclude each other” – Heribert Birnbach

Also, took some photos. With my phone.

Cities embracing design

Melbourne has always been considered a more cultural, arty place (by most anyway). A designer-friendly city, with it’s relaxed café-like environment. As opposed to Sydney, a fast-paced labyrinth, more geared towards the commercial, business oriented persona.

Melbourne has the agIdeas and just recently the state of Victoria launched Design Matters. What do we have in NSW? I recently received an email from the Sydney based design event, Sydney Indesign. The only issue with that email was that the organisers (PowerHouse museum as it seems) decided to launch the event by doing something that designers (their main target market) despise and look down upon the most — crowdsourcing design contest.


An instant backlash through social media, blogs and forums, wasn’t that expected? The best would be the actual entries that they have received, which were mainly posters of protest against this whole idea of exploitation. I won’t be going into details why designers shouldn’t get themselves into design contests, there is enough on that written already. $1,000 prize, even that number itself is a joke.

The good news, and I would say this is mainly due to the negative publicity they have received — the contest was pulled off the website within about 1-2 days. Good job guys, let’s just all imagine that this never happened 🙂

A couple of examples of the entries, too bad I didn’t save them all.


Catching up

I’ve always been a bit of a “late bloomer”. Recent example — ended up crowd-surfing at the Gogol Bordello concert (for the first time). Even made a video while being thrown around. I’ve never been backpacking until 2 years ago. I’ve never lived with housemates until about 1 year ago.

I first heard of the term “couch-surfing” a couple of weeks ago, when we were desperate to book a place in Dubbo (for the TripleJ ONS) and the whole place was literally booked out, with nearest campsite being a 35km drive. In fact, I’ve never been to a festival or a big party with multiple performers, until 2 weeks ago.

While researching backyards online where we can throw a tent, I came across a girl, who knew a guy, that let me and my friend crash at his place for the night. It was free. Met him for the first time when we got to his house. We had a bedroom each with a comfortable bed. The dude made us coffee in the morning, we spoke about random stuff and he even came with us to the party. In return — we got him a case of beer. We also met his friends (and that girl who got me his details) for lunch the next day. “You are staying with the biggest hippie in Dubbo!”, he exclaimed at some point. Cool guy.


That being said, I did approximately 10 years of security at all kinds of events: concerts, raves, performances, balls and races, you name it. I just never went there as a spectator.

Now — I am catching up. In about 1 week I’m off to Melbourne, by myself, for the agIdeas.  Actually I’ve never travelled alone either, so this will be interesting. All those things I’ve never done before I actually always wanted to do, it’s just that, well, it’s never too late, so why not now.

In Melbourne I’m staying at backpackers (again, experiencing this further). I’ll also be going to a bunch of seminars, talks, lunches and dinners, all with people I’ve never met before.

What’s interesting is that I’ve had numerous people crashing at my place over the years. Many I only met that day. Quite a few stayed on the couch, although I never knew the term “couch-surfing” even existed. I stayed in caravan parks with friends and woke up bitten by bed bugs. I’ve shared a 2-men tent with 4, I’ve woken up due to being rained on or because the owner of the place I was securing overnight was knocking on my car window.

But, I like new experiences. Without them, your ideas go stale, your brain has nothing new to explore. My brain needs to be fed, whether it’s a talk on trace elements and neuroscience, which I’ve recently attended (and understood almost nothing), or a conversation about fox tail lotto, which is, well, a little disturbing.