Last night we went to Design Stuff Cardiff, a monthly meet up for designers working in the city and people interested in design. It was set up a year and a half ago by local designer, Dan Spain, who has built a community of people who come along to watch designers share their work and their stories and to have a drink and a chat. He says he was fed up of going to 'boring conferences' and wanted to create a social opportunity for designers to meet.
10 things we learnt at Design Stuff Cardiff:
1. It's popular. The free tickets get snapped up quickly. On a busy night you can find around 90 people sharing their passion for design. There was a good mix - a lot of students from USW and Cardiff Met as well as staff from companies such as Golley Slater, Box UK, Sequence and Yoke Creative.
2. Brazilian student in Graphic Communication, Ricardo Martins, talked about travelling the world using his design skills. He taught us that "A language is what you learn; design is who you are".
3. He explained that cultural barriers can be hard to overcome but that working in another culture can also help you question your assumptions and your approach.
4. Ricardo urged us all to travel more - take photos, look at billboards, pick up flyers. Learn from design in other cultures and countries.
5. At half-time there was a drawing competition to win Chapter cinema tickets. The theme was 'Brazilian' which produced some er, intersting sketches.
6. Claire Paterson from Taxi Studio in Bristol taught us that design must always be 'robust, relevant and remarkable'. She spoke about fear as a driver for creativity, the need to ban the mundane or the over-used and the importance of being proud of the work that you do.
7. Claire shared a video about the troll bridge installation which Taxi Studio helped to create under the Clifton suspension bridge on Halloween. One of the studio's directors said "We didn't strictly have permission to do this". But, importantly, they did it anyway and brought a lot of attention to Bristol.
8. What is branding? We liked Claire's definition: "A brand is a promise made and kept".
9. Design Stuff Cardiff is currently looking for volunteers to help them programme and organise future events. If you're interested then get in touch.
10. Design Stuff Cardiff is having a well deserved break in February but will be back in March. You don't have to work in design to go along - they're a friendly bunch who would welcome anyone who's interested. We'd recommend it!