Two days of design, technology & cool shit @ FITCAmsterdamX

This year FITC celebrated its tenth birthday in Amsterdam: ten years of design, technology and cool shit. Although two days filled with inspirational talks might tire you a bit, I always leave charged and inspired. This year I was excited to be the eyes and ears for Burst at the event, and in this article I’ll share some of my learnings and insights.

Before I start with the good stuff I need to share some tegeltjeswijsheid with you, or in English ‘tiles of wisdom’. Many of the talks deal with being a creative, and some creative mantras return in more than one talk. So for those of you who love to spend their nights browsing inspirational quotes on Pinterest (just to be clear: I’m soooo not talking about myself here!): motivational quotes as heard on FITC Amsterdam X.

Next to the inspiration for a motivational Pinterest board there are actual trends that stand out when it comes to digital design and creativity. This year I heard several people talk about how prototypes are the new wireframes, how getting comfortable is your enemy and the absolute need for creative side-projects. There are three talks that stood out for me, I’ll share some insights below.

Experience design thinking
We’re all familiar with design thinking, a craft that has been seeping into agencies for the last decade. David Vogel, UX director at AKQA Amsterdam, talked about the next step of design thinking: experience design thinking.

One of his tips, and one I find very important in projects with clients, is to always take a look at the bigger picture and reframe the client’s question if needed. For instance, when a client approaches you to design an app: zoom out and look at the bigger picture. What is the question? What does the client and the client’s customers need to accomplish? Reframe your question to answer those questions, and then look if an app is the right answer to solve those questions.

Short projects = awesome
To follow up the motivational quotes I shared earlier I always try to listen to at least one or two talks out of my comfort zone. Maybe something on VR or animation, or a talk by a coder. This year I picked the talk of creative coder Dan Hett to enjoy, and it turned out to be a very good choice. Dan shared his love for live coding and created music and accompanying visuals live on stage. I’d love to attend a live-coded party, the fact that you’re enjoying electronic music and visuals created on the spot is so cool.

A small example of live-coded visuals by Dan Hett

Last but not least: there’s always raisins…
Are you a spiritual person? Do you start your day with meditation? I’m one of those people that would love to be one of those people that do, but am not. Ekatarina Solomeina, founder of Future London and design director at Mind Gym, has a tip for people like me: there’s always a raisin.

A raisin? Yes!

Ekatarina found that studying a raisin (or a photo of one if you’re currently ran out of real raisins) can be quite meditative. Study the shape, the lines and wrinkles and the colors. Think about the raisin’s wonderful life a grape, and the country is from. See: you’re meditating!

So, hope that inspired you! FITC Amsterdam X turned out to be another two days filled with inspiration, design talk and other cool things.

See you next year!

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