TYPO Berlin

The second two days of TYPO Berlin were packed with a lot of great speakers. Each hour a selection of up to three speakers presented at one time so decisions had to be made on who to see. In between sessions we were all able to journey over to the Bauhaus in Berlin which hosted an exhibit on its history and another exhibition on some pretty great chairs. The weekend was filled with some great perspectives and inspiration.

The Highlights

:: Oliver Reichenstein filled in last minute and gave an inspiring talk about the aftermath of the March 11 earthquake in Japan where he had been living at the time. He designed a logo for a friend which turned into the inspiration for a typeface. He talked us through the designing experience and said it was “brilliant therapy for leaving the country and family he loved.

:: Bea Beste discussed her experiences of traveling the world to learn about innovative ways to educate children. She is on the path to redesigning education which involves “Playducation” or learning by playing.

:: Andy Altmann, one of the hits of this weekend, walked us through a project he collaborated on with artist Gordon Young. The Comedy Carpet Blackpool is a 200 square meter walkway of jokes and quotes designed with comedy inspired type. 160,000 letters were cut out of granite and set in cement. This is a must see: www.comedycarpet.com

:: Matthew Butterick believes investing our humanity is the highest form of design. He wants us to reverse the tide of declining expectations, create better things, vote with your wallet, teach, and complain (nicely). His talk went into needing better type for ebooks and and the web. We need to make change happen not just watch things stay the same.

:: Lupi Asensio and Martin Lorenz had inspiring words and showed innovative projects and the process behind them all. Their process involves pulling professionals from different fields to view the problem from various angles and a lot of experimenting. The same ingredients can be used in making completely different things. It’s about the process.

:: John Hudson wants to evolve design education and has thought up, Responsible Designer, a mind mapping system for students to use when designing a project. It helps them figure out sustainable options from the beginning.

:: Stefan Kiefer from Der Spiegel showed inspirational covers of the magazine over the last fifty years. He shared insights on the decision making behind some of them and the reactions to them!

:: The last speaker of the conference was Jessica Hische who had the crowd laughing with her in no time. She shared stories on some of her 13 personal projects: jessicahische.is/aprocrastiworker and her successful professional work including lettering and typeface design for a Wes Anderson movie! She strongly believes in these two things: work on personal projects, making things you wish existed and if you put time into it, you can be good at whatever you want to do.

Tomorrow we are off to the Bauhaus in Weimar!

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