Design Assembly & CreativeMornings AKL


As part of (re)acquainting myself with the Auckland design scene I was glad to catch both the Design Assembly’s Spring 2011 Conversations and the launch of Auckland’s CreativeMornings series last week.

The Design Assembly event (organised by Louise Kellerman) was an evening event hosted at AUT and included three quite different speakers (deets on all three here).  The highlight for me was @LewisBostock’s talk on Cosmic Panda – we owed the talk to the fact that YouTube changed Lewis’s life. They promoted his video on the home page resulting in 35,000+ views.  I was quite taken with Lewis’s description of Youtube as “the most visceral form of social media” this is probably true – video does have something to offer us in terms of expression, experience and accessibility that can’t be gained through word or image alone. In addition to this are the very upfront aspects of the community that you see through the comments, ratings and related videos that also give an very clear impression of the larger YouTube experience – and more importantly – all the other people who use it along side us.

Essentially Lewis’s talk was overview of what’s coming for the channels in Cosmic Panda. This included how content creators might make the most of YouTube channels as well as how Youtube’s business model is evolving – the channels and ads can support the more “amateur” or kooky aspects of YouTube that we all know and love. Key points that Lewis mentioned included:

> a shift to more professional and serialised content

> (which in turn creates) more opportunity for both content creators and YouTube to generate revenue from ads

> the introduction of playlists as part of encouraging longer viewing times

> a shift away from viral one offs to subscriber models and longer term relationships with viewers

Cosmic Panda is currently in beta and (according to Lewis) YouTube are doing a good job of bringing the community along with them as they make these changes. They experiment with different things and encourage and ask for feedback, they respect their community (recognising it as the basis of their success) and get YouTube stars involved in promoting and trying out new aspects. As Lewis pointed out, quite a contrast to the Facebook approach.

The event was well attended and well run – looking forward to the next one on the 30th of November. Tweeted using the hashtag #designassembly

[Edited] I meant to say – Louise is looking for someone to work with her on Design Assembly next year – get in contact if this might be you! @DsgnAssemblyNZ or louise at designassembly dot org dot nz

CreativeMornings required a bit more up and go starting at 8am on Friday morning. It is a monthly discussion event for Creative types, the AKL chapter is organised by Jade Tange (@jadetang123) and Elise Sterback (@elisesterback) and was hosted at the Box Cafe in the Aotea Centre.  This month Clem, Sam and Zoe walked us through their experiences of (bravely) setting up the new quartely publication “Studio Magazine“. Inspired by the gap left by the closure of Prodesign the three decided to forge out and create their own – ending up with an engaging publication (particularly given the shoestring budget) that gives us an insight into the work spaces and practices of some of the worlds best designers. Each studio answered a series of questions (e.g., what is the music policy in your studio – simple but controversial) and provided photographs of their studio spaces. The presentation was an amusing account of their journey into being magazine moguls – (like I said, brave!) and a taster of things to come for the mag. While the focus for the first issue was really on photos of the studios – the next issue promises more stories about what goes on inside them. As suggested by one of the audience members there is an opportunity to go much deeper into how people actually practice design in different spaces – so will keep an eye on how the mag evolves over the next few issues. I’d be interested to see how they might handle in-house design studios/spaces.

Other highlights for me included hearing more about how @bizdojo works from founder Nick Shewring – an excellent and inspiring evolution of co-working spaces – where members get business support, networking and collaboration opportunities well beyond the average hotdesk.  And thanks of course to Altezano and Box Cafe for the free coffee – essential to a Friday morning event! Follow @Auckland_CM to find out when to register for the next event. Tweeted under #creativemornings and #cm_akl.



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