Getting to know the ropes: First virtual design conference at HMKW

Digital workshop talks: On Monday, 8 June, a design conference was held for the first time at the HMKW via Zoom. Four exceptional international designers from Paris, Barcelona and San Francisco talked about their work, presented current projects and gave the students helpful advice on how to enter the design industry.

The Paris-based creative agency Ahonen & Lamberg (Instagram: ahonen_and_lamberg) focuses on art direction, creative consulting and graphic design, covering a wide range of fields and an equally extensive client list ranging from multinational companies, magazines or luxury brands to emerging artists and fashion designers. Designers Anna Ahonen and Katariina Lamberg talked about particularly challenging projects and revealed details of their working methods, which include handcrafted work with paper, pencil, scissors and paint.

Afterwards, the award-winning designer and artist David Torrents (Instagram: david_torrents) provided insights into his work. Although Torrents could easily be called a style agnostic, his work is consistent in the sense that it always conveys a touch of playfulness and joy. He translates his bold ideas mainly into printed matter, branding and room installations, and showed through a presentation how he develops his designs step by step and even in some cases picks up individual designs later in a new design form.

Louis Mikolay from sunny San Francisco was the last speaker to join the conference. Mikolay (Instagram: louismikolay) currently works for the renowned agency We are Collins, which has already developed concepts and designs for large companies such as Spotify, IBM, Airbnb, Nike, and the Guggenheim Museum. He also spoke extensively about his time at North Design, London, where he was involved in the development of a more meaningful corporate identity for the non-profit organisation Liberty, among other things. Students were also able to get a glimpse of current, as yet unpublished works and ask questions about starting a career.

All in all, it was an exciting, entertaining and very successful conference, at which the students were certainly able to take away a lot of inspiration for their own projects as well as their future professional life. The Department of Design is currently working on a continuation of this stimulating online format.