On Saturday 31 May, a good percentage of the Aberdeen design community gathered together at the Meat Conference to hear from an impressive roster of designers.
The theme of the day was side projects and the role they can play in a designer's life. I’m a huge fan of side projects. They give you freedom to develop new ideas and techniques without having to convince anyone else that it’s a good idea.
The speakers on Saturday spoke of solo projects, and of projects where they collaborated with others. Work they did with colleagues, with friends, with strangers, with people they had admired for years, and with people they met five minutes ago. They produced art projects, posters, vinyl toys, logos for friends, even physical shops aiming to revolutionise the way indie makers sell their wares.
In conversation, between talks, the recurring theme was a frustration that folk hadn’t acted on their ideas in the past. The talks had given them new enthusiasm to start making things, and to start showing them to the world. They were inspired to act.
For me, a lot of that inspiration came from interacting with other attendees, not just listening to those on stage. Hearing about Mark from Tarves making a laser-cut mdf ligature coaster for his friends is just as inspiring as hearing Aaron from Portland talking about designing a new logo for the POTUS.
Okay, maybe not quite. Close though.
Hopefully, that inspiration will lead to action. I’m excited to see what projects leap from the pages of local designers field notes notebooks into the physical world over the coming months.
Don’t let me down, people!
The Meat Conference was held on 31 May 2013, at The Park Inn, Aberdeen.