Birmingham Design Festival 2023 – The importance of ‘Finding Fun’ in all we do image

Day One

Day one saw venues including BCU Parkside and STEAMHOUSE hosting a variety of workshops delivered by experts from a variety of backgrounds in the creative industry.

Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS delivered an insightful, Brand Masterclass. Brian reminded attendees of the importance of ‘finding fun’ in what we do. ‘If you lose the desire to be silly, the power to laugh, and the ability to poke fun at yourself, you will lose the power to think.’ Its important to look at what is intentional and what is unintentional, the unintentional creativity will always shine through.

Day Two

The Rep played host to the first ever BDF Design Conference. The Conference itself was an eye opener, both from an innovation and resilience perspective. The belief and determination of all of the speakers was inspirational, from 10-years of dreaming to finding fun in play.

International speakers included Sonal Jhuj, Global Brand Director at the LEGO Group. Abbie Heppe, Director of Live Service at Media Molecule, Lex Feffegha Director at COMUZI, Author and Illustrator Oliver Jeffers and Gemma O’Brien, Australian artist with commissions from world renowned brands.

Sonal spearheaded Lego’s global mission to inspire the world to play. She spoke about the importance of fun in what we do, and how for Lego, their products needed to exist on children’s terms. She engaged with the audience through play, with the rationale that we all end up with a play is agency mentality. But play should be frivolous, that same applies to our work and our passion as individuals.

Lex is renowned for inventing, designing and prototyping emerging tech products through AI technology, despite several failed attempts to bring AI tech through to music production and other ventures, COMUZI secured several Health and Medical Device contracts throughout the pandemic. Not the route that they intending to go down, however his belief that you can achieve anything with the right mindset and determination, shown through. The company now creates tech services for tech companies, fashion brands, cultural institutions, governments & charities.

Abbie, spoke about Dreams, game development software product created in conjunction with Sony. She spoke about developing a deeper understanding of player communities. With the use of the Dream software online gamers were able to create their own community developed apps games, by using the templated system.

Since its inception several of the community-based game developers have gone on to jobs with the larger game developers across the world.

Gemma found herself running on an empty creative tank during the pandemic, however a love of running manifested itself in her coining a new phrase. When faced with an ultra-run which she realised she didn’t want to do, she re-imagined herself as an Ultra Artist rather than an Ultra Athlete and in doing so, rediscovered the fun and passion in what she does.

"It was fantastic to see the Brum creative scene out in force. BDF23 was also a huge hit for the region.

The two-day event was a must for anyone in the creative industry or anyone who has an interest in new technology and a passion for innovation.

So, have fun, find your passion and don’t forget to play on the grass."

Leila & Andrea

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