Event: Interesting’08

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Thanks to Jonathan Hopkins I went along with him to Interesting’08 at Conway Hall in Red Lion Square.  Here is my notes from the event, I took some videos of the afternoon session that I am struggling to get on to the interweb; but when they’re up I will put the links here as well.

Russell Davies, Lloyd Davis and all the rest of the people involved in making Interesting’08 a successful event.

The talks covered a wide range of topics, here’s my notes (where I can read them) and links to videos that I made with a Flip portable video recorder and pictures from the event that I took with my phone are available on flickr here.

If you can’t listen or read any further you have to check out a video of three dozen of the attendees playing the recorder including Bobbie Johnson of The Guardian and Ben Matthews of Hotwire (I don’t think a career in show business beckons for either of them yet).

  • Roo Reynolds, you can see his presentation on his blog here
  • Gemma Teed – who provided some insight into evolution and how it hardwires us for responses to everyday life
  • Jenny Owen – talked about a move away from authenticity to the fantastical to escape nostalgia and plundering the past for fashion ideas. It would also impact things like fly on the wall documentaries, UGC and solving some of the big problems out there by coming up with ideas from a place which is not grounded in reality
  • Steve Hardy highlighted the benefits of the creative generalist rather than an agency full of specialists. Basically its about ideas being open to them, being open to people and making connections happen and having a broader more rounded view of things
  • Daniel Raven-Ellison spoke about his concept of urban geography which mixes geographic understanding about places and spaces to highlight issues of importance such as poverty, inequality, the environment and the war on terror
  • Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks talked about the complex relationship between graphic design and popular music with the iPod being pointed to as the current black sheep for cover artists
  • James Wallis talked about a geophysical survey of the World of Warcraft, showing how the MMORG doesn’t conform to the rules of Newtonian physics
  • Matt Dent highlighted the work and process that his designs went through to appear on the back of UK coins including a long process that went from paper designs -> computer -> plaster mould that was scanned with a laser -> computer -> CNC machine to create a metal version -> craftsmen with hand tools -> dies for stamping out the coins -> coinage
  • Andrew Webb – highlighted the work he has been doing with Channel 4 as a roving reporter ferreting out culinary stories throughout the UK
  • Andrew Walkingshaw presented on the importance of names from genericisation of brands to being the backbone of the web from web 1.0 to the semantic web
  • Andrew Dick provided an insight into his sleeping habits and the secret of using bad audio books to help him get to sleep: not too boring, it needs a simple good versus evil plot, having an abridged version is best.
  • Jenny Owen talked about her facination with Winston Churchill
  • Lloyd Davis treated us to Noel Coward-like numbers on his ukele and a post-lunch meditation to get the neurons firing again
  • Younghee Jung provided an interesting presentation on culture and toilet habits around the world
  • James Bridle explained how humans were hardwired for alcohol because we needed an indicator to know when fruit was ripe enough to eat
  • Kim Plowright shared how the vacuum cleaner had progressed from a service to a luxury item and into being a commodity item seen in just about every household and how its design had modified to keep up with societial change. It reminded me of those ‘Secret Life of…’ programmes that channel 4 a number of years ago showing you how a particular domestic appliance worked and had changed over time
  • Jim LeFerve demonstrated zeotrope animation using a turntable and a video camera. Here’s my video with the explanation but Russell Davies has a better copy to the animations here
  • Someone else presented on how sounds are used to convey data about astrophysics to complement existing techniques in modeling and data visualisation, the video is here
  • Joel Gethin-Lewis shared with us a welsh zen story around the concept of hiraeth – a welsh word for being in the moment and his work at United Visual Artists, there is a video here
  • George Oates of flickr, with a talk that would have been complementary to Henry Jenkins work on media convergence media, the video here
  • Leah Becker provided some insight into what makes a video here
  • Leisa Reichelt gave an interesting talk on childhood development, there is a video here
  • Max Gadney shared his facination with world war two (yes I know that sounds a bit Max Mosley) and funnily enough there is a video too. You can watch the video of Max here.Check out Annie Mole’s write-up here