Last night MB’s Camilla and Ellen managed to sneak out of the studio and head down the road to Wieden + Kennedy for their ‘The Future of Design’ talk. The panel was directed by newly appointed W+K director of design Ben Terrett, and featured Marina Willer from Wolff Olins, Stuart Watson of Venture 3, experimental designer and director Carl Burgess, Mark Holt of 8vo and Mills from ustwo™. The eclectic mix of speakers covered classic design and typography, branding, filmmaking and apps, with work from 20 years ago proving as fresh as work created 2 months ago.
The main idea throughout seemed to be that, no matter the present or future of design or how technology develops, creativity and craft are the core principals which remain unmovable. This was proved when sounds of awe came from the audience upon seeing the effort and work which went into 8vo album covers and as we saw Us Two present a quickly conceived app which was received no where near as well as their crafted and detailed ‘Storytime’ app.
It was interesting that the debate at the end quickly turned into a discussion about the future of brands. The recent D&AD Branding 2.0 event was mentioned, as this topic is obviously fresh in peoples’ minds. As technology has been changing, people are become more design aware, and this is causing brands to step up to the plate. Marina Willer’s creative work for Wolff Olins is a fantastic and insightful example of how a flexible identity can give a company pride in themselves and an added incentive to perform better as a whole. When Mark Holt argued that you can’t effectively rebrand a company if they are flawed themselves, Marina insisted that since their re-brand, AOL have strived harder to embody the values and opportunities held within their brand.