Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Fast Company Destination Design 2.0 event

While most of the posts on this blog are about great writing come across (the title after all is words written down), there's also been a few about events related to writing, with past posts being on the 2013 Cinequest Film Festival Writers Celebration and on a 2011 Inc. Magazine speaker event. In this event category, I recently attended Fast Company Destination Design 2.0, moderated by FC Executive Editor for Digital, Noah Robischon and with a two-person panel of Robert BrunnerMatt Rolandson, partners at the leading design firm Ammunition.

Brunner founded Ammunition after serving as Director of Industrial Design at Apple and then as a partner at Pentagram. Ammunition as a design company works with a number of clients, but is best known for work done with Beats Electronics, that makes Beats by Dr. Dre high-end headphones. In the Fast Company event, Brunner and Rolandson talked about how design has become strategic within many companies and industries and towards that end, Ammunition both become equity partners with some firms they do design work for and spun off product companies from work done at Ammunition.

Discussed at the event were some examples of these spin off companies with Fuego in the outdoor BBQ category, the short-lived Regen that made solar charging electronics and now Octovo that makes luggage and travel accessories like leather billfolds and tablet or phone cases. Octovo was interesting from the perspective that its product based in and marketed around old-style fashion and tactile craftsmanship, sort of a counterpoint to the idea of ubiquitous electronics. In this regard, Octovo as a brand and the products from it made me think of fashion designer Brunello Cucinelli and an excellent GQ Magazine piece "Un Uomo Nuovo: How I Learned to Look, Act, Eat, and Think Like an Italian Gentleman in Just Three Days" on him by Michael Paterniti.

Back to Octovo itself, "A Lush Line Of Travel Goods, Designed For The Attention Economy" was written for the Fast Company Digital site by the aforementioned event moderator / Digital Executive Editor Robischon and in a chat after the event he talked of writing as a field... and knowing someone that wanted to work at the New Yorker and towards that end would transcribe New Yorker pieces to become adept at the magazine's style.

All in all, it was a very cool event put on by Fast Company and just reinforced to me how there's so many interesting careers out there that people have created for themselves... and for that matter, interesting stories that could be done about them.