There’s something about the shift to fall that wakes up the “back to school” spirit in me.
Summer’s over, the weather is crisp, and I’m overcome by an almost uncontrollable urge to start stockpiling fancy new stationery...
Handily, with vacation season over, this is also when the conference circuit grinds back into action. So, if you fancy indulging your inner student and topping your year off with a healthy dose of motivation and fresh learning, here are a few end-of-year design conferences to get you inspired.
1. Fronteers Conference
With nearly a decade of conference experience and one of the largest audiences in the industry, Fronteers has earned its place at the top of the European conference scene. This year offers a diverse line-up of speakers, covering a broad range of topics, from data visualisation to accessibility mechanics. In addition to all this, there’s the chance to join a free, two hour design-centric walking tour and typography safari of the beautiful old city of Amsterdam.
Dates: Oct. 6-7
Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Price: €830 (including full day workshop)
2. Affect Conf
Coming to Portland for its inaugural year, Affect Conf champions an interesting new format; after enjoying talks on multicultural design, public service design, and more, you’re given the chance to jump straight into action by volunteering with local charitable projects for the final afternoon. Their mission — “to inspire more sustainable and collaborative change in the world, particularly at the intersection of social good and design.”
Dates: Oct. 7-8
Location: Portland, Oregon
3. OFFSET Sheffield
Towards the end of the month and for the very first time, the OFFSET crew descend on Sheffield, with their trademark riot of energy, creativity, and passion. Expect a really broad range of award-winning folk speaking from all corners of the design world. If that’s not enough, the dates also coincide with Sheffield’s Design Week (22 – 30 Oct.). In short, more exhibitions, workshops, talks, design conferences, installations, product launches, open studios, and walking trails than you’ll ever know what to do with.
Dates: Oct. 21-22
Location: Sheffield, UK
Price: Ranges from £60-£200
4. Culture Clash
Culture Clash is brought to you by the folk at PopTech, aiming to challenge, reimagine, and build upon the culture barriers that still remain between communities. Hosted by actress Carly Chaikin, and professor of neuroscience and business at the Kellogg School of Management Moran Cerf, you can expect a broad range of talks, supported by a packed schedule of extracurricular fun, like early morning yoga to “randomised lunches” at various local restaurants.
Dates: Oct. 20-22
Location: Camden, Maine
5. Adobe Max
Billing itself as “the world’s premier creativity conference,” Max certainly looms large on the calendars of many international creatives. Bringing together 200 expert speakers, across five themed tracks (covering everything from graphic design and illustration, to photography and creative imaging), and offering a huge range of themed lounges, expo halls, and retail spaces, this isn’t the event for anyone looking for an intimate, boutique conference experience! However, if you’re looking for scale, scope, networking opportunities, and a hefty dose of information, then clear your diary for a few days and get those tickets booked.
Dates: Nov. 2-3
Location: San Diego, CA
Price: $1,595 (student & educator pricing available)
6. Generate Bangalore
A brand new venture from the folks who bring you Net Magazine, and part of a series of conferences that have graced New York City, London, and Sydney, so far. Coming the first time from Bangalore, India, Generate promises a single day, single track format already boasting some solid industry names; Harry Roberts, Stephanie Rieger, and more. If India’s a harder sell to your boss, all ticket holders will automatically become founding members, and get 50 per cent off tickets for all future Generates around the world — for life!
Dates: Dec. 2
Location: Bangalore, India
Price: INR 8800 (student pricing available)