HOW Design Conference Disappoints

I spent the last four days at the HOW Design Conference in Chicago.

I came away utterly disappointed.

I hoped to spend four days with designers and soaking up some of the sensibilities of those creative types. I wanted to become a better client. I wanted to get an idea of how to integrate design better into product and service offerings.

This is what I got instead. There was an illustrator who showed a bunch of work and talked about how he could read auras (his grandmother was a psychic). There was this Austrian designer who clicked through slides of his portfolio. Great stuff, but I don’t know any more than I did when I walked in. The whole conference seemed to be like that for me. Lots of pictures and not much to learn.

I would love to see a gathering of businesspeople where we could talk with designers about how to improve what we offer by using better design. Is there anything like that now?

P.S. There was some upside. I was able to catch dinner with Ben and Jackie, lunch with Andrea and Joy, and spend a few hours in Millennium Park.

4 thoughts on “HOW Design Conference Disappoints

  1. Todd, as Kevin says, DMI is an excellent resource.

    I’ll keep an eye open for design instruction info, though I must admit Fast Company has been providing some very nice articles on this topic of late.

  2. I can understand your frustrations. In addition to the DMI, I’d also suggest taking an active interest in the AIGA. The American Institute of Graphic Arts ” is committed to furthering excellence in design as a broadly-defined discipline, strategic tool for business and cultural force”. You may even want to start by perusing their business section and if becoming a better client is what you are most interested in then I would highly suggest the Client’s Guide to Design. It will provide you with a great overview of the project process by which so many design studio’s follow throughout the US.

    If conferences and sharing ideas is your bag then there is the AIGA Conference in September, the Business Perspectives Conference in July, or I’d suggest joining your local AIGA chapter meeting to see what’s a brewing!

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