November 21, 2013

SEEK and you shall find

Last Saturday, Dekalb, Illinois was the center of the design universe.

Some snickered at the claim, but most attendees of the SEEK Design Conference were noticeably enamored by the high caliber presenters who dazzled them with stories, lessons, and hopes for the future of design.

The presenters included an array of design legends, ranging from the crew behind Firebelly and 3st to Aaron Draplin and the world-renowned artist and designer Stefan Sagmeister.

Other amazing designers included Victoria Pater and Carli Dottore of Quite Strong, NIU Professor of Visual Communication, Aleksandra Giza, and Kim Knoll and Kyle Eertmoed of Knoed.

Experience Institute was handed the mic on account of being designers of a new kind of school, allowing Victor to kick off the day by sharing the Leap Year Project story and how it inspired an idea to rethink higher education.

During our first meetup in September, our entire class made its way way to the Chicago Cultural Center to see Sagmeister’s Happy Show. SEEK now allowed us an opportunity to thank Sagmeister and swap stories about it in person. So, we nervously approached him.

He was gracious and kind and began asking a slew of questions about this new school and what we’ve been learning at Ei.

Finally, after a great conversation and some banter, Victor invited him to join us as an Ei Connector, and he agreed, becoming a friend and advocate of the idea and the Ei students.

It may have been hyperbolic to claim Dekalb as the center of the design universe, but it did witness a big bang of beautiful minds and aspirations, where fans sang along with rockstar designers and students became friends with the masters.

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