Tobias van Schneider speaking at our April 2016 event.

10 Design Practices in Action

Dynamo is a digital agency in Montréal that also produces events. Our DynamicMTL series has been going for almost two years and we’ve learned a few lessons along the way from our distinguished speakers — here are our top 10. This post was adapted from a Pecha Kucha-style talk that I gave with Alex Nemeroff as part of the International Council of Design’s World Design Day (the lessons were edited and in some cases condensed for this context).

Eddie Opara of Pentagram NYC speaking at our October 2014 event.

Eddie Opara discussed his thoughts on “ideation”, specifically as it relates to sprints and client kick-offs:

“Get all the stakeholders in one room and wait for the first argument to occur. With constructive conversation between key stakeholders, what occurs is polarity of concept. We develop factors of the project out of this process.”
ann friedman spoke at our April 2016 event.

Ann Friedman gave the audience some simple yet powerful advice on creating your personal brand:

“Do what you love, people can tell when you don’t care. Sounds like a cliche, but it’s true. The caveat to this statement is that passion and popularity don’t always translate to money.”
Armin Vit spoke at our January 2015 event.

Armin Vit discussed the power of personal projects for designers:

“Find a way to make all of your work personal and enjoyable. No matter what work brings, you have to find a way to make it happen and enjoy whatever the challenge is. Find a way to make your work personal in order to make work work.”
Jessica Backus spoke at our July 2015 event.

Artsy’s Jessica Backus revealed the true meaning of the term “curation” with her engrossing talk:

“Allow people to have an epiphany through serendipity. How do we create an experience worthy of art? Put the user in the driver’s seat and allow unlimited pathways of discovery.”
Ji Lee spoke at our January 2015 event.

Ji Lee’s numerous viral personal projects give a lot of weight to his statement:

“Personal projects have a purity and depth that commercial work lacks. People connect to personal projects in a different way than branded content. A viewer knows that the end goal of a commercial project is to sell you something you probably don’t need, whereas a personal project comes from a passion and necessity that goes deeper than any commercial project.”
Nicole Jacek spoke at our January 2016 event.

Nicole Jacek taught us that being on the offensive is key:

“You cannot sit there and wait for great work to happen, because nothing will happen. Being proactive is important. Reaching out to your ideal clients.”
Tobias van Schneider spoke at our April 2016 event.

Tobias van Schneider proves that design by committee often kills originality:

“Only if you let yourself be stupid and ignore everybody can you create something truly unexpected and original. The more people you have in the room or at the table, the more likely a good idea will get killed.”
Mira Burt-Wintonick spoke at our July 2015 event.

Mira Burt-Wintonick proves the power of audio-only storytelling:

“Added visuals doesn’t always mean added quality. The act of listening to a story draws the audience in and creates a more engaging and intimate experience.”
Ethan Song spoke at our October 2014 event.

Frank & Oak CEO Ethan Song revealed his vision-driven business strategy:

“Your goal is not to deliver on a plan, but to deliver on an overall vision for your product. You can pivot and still reach your end-goal, which is harder to do with a long-term plan.”
Keira Alexandra spoke at our January 2016 event

Keira Alexandra, founder of Work-Order, inspired us to try something new:

“Do the thing you don’t know how to do. You might not want to hear this from your surgeon, but this methodology opens you up. It makes things unexpected and better. Plus, you can always apply the things you do know to the things you don’t know.”