Event Review

5 things that happened at our Craft Connection Event

It was a lively evening on January 25th when we hosted our first Design House event called Craft Connection at the Atmosphere Coworking space in East Austin. My partners and I got the food, drinks and tacos ready as we prepared to welcome 20+ fellow creative Austinites into the space to connect and have group conversation around projects and design. As part of the prep, we drew up a large chalk board with statements like “Something I’d love to design in 2017.” We used the board to get ideas down and later turn stickies into conversation during the night.  

Our objective was simple – foster good vibes, share design projects and connect knowledge to help people learn. As the main organizer, I couldn’t have been more impressed by the great responses we received and advice people had. We even went as far as giving Danielle Barnes, co-organizer of Austin Design Week, our key speaker of the evening, additional insights into how we can continually grow Austin Design Week in 2017. Danielle’s presentation was awesome and offered behind the scenes metrics of the event. Very Forrestor style!

In our latest post, we wanted to sum highlights from our Craft Connection event. I also wanted to personally thank our facilitators, Almost Real Things, White Lion and most importantly our awesome guests for putting together a great night. It’s impossible to run events like this without a fantastic supportive group. Ok, so here’s what went down.

1. People got speedy talking shop

We stacked designers together to meet and greet. We chimed our Tibetan singing bowl every five minutes to the tune of a new design conversation. Designers met designers in a warmup, speed dating style rotation. We also learned five minutes was the perfect time to start and stop conversation as people rotated around the table.

2. We came, we stickied and we talked out our 2017 plans 
Everyone had a chance to put an aspirational 2017 project on the board and talk through goals and skills they needed to get things done. It was fantastic to hear people offering help on creating music videos, startups, functional truck interiors, e-commerce sites, new apparel and even new creative spaces. In open conversation, we brought attention to new problems and steered the dialog to new ideas across the group. Design conversation expanded from technical things like learning Sketch to strategic thinking for women’s rights.

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3. Austin Design Week Download and Upload
Danielle Barnes, key speaker and co-organizer of Austin Design Week, gave us a full summary of last year’s event. Some stats included a total of 61 total submissions to Design Week. Among the 38 events that were part of the program, approximately 850 people attended. The evening events appeared to have the strongest turnout as well as most of the workshops. We also chatted with Danielle as she broke us up into workshop teams to get more in-depth feedback on what opportunities could be in the future. Different suggestions resulted such as wanting a broader understanding of what happens at each ADW event, friendlier scheduling and an even further mix of design representation like that of architecture. I know that I was also routing for more workshops, but I’m a little biased. 🙂

4. We ate some good tacos, wine and beer
We filled our bellies with beer, wine and taco goodness which by the way were brought to us by our friends down at Las Trancas. Good eats after a long day’s work. Thanks so much Flo for pulling all the stops on food, wine and the night’s coordination.

5. People got to see our awesome space
One of the best things about planning and running the event was help from Trent Sultemeier (Atmosphere) who gave us flexibility in stacking tables, interacting in the space and supporting the night with facility recommendations. It was very fluid.

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Ok, So What’s next?
A bunch of people asked about how frequent we’ll be doing things. We’ll be launching our next event March 30th at Atmosphere featuring two special design talks followed again by interactive workshops. Save the date! The theme of the night will be “Designing your future self” with a focus on evolving skills and a more futuristic tone. We’ll announce our speakers soon on the website.

Also, don’t forget to sign up on our homepage if you haven’t already to get notified of tickets. (FREE)

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Your organizer,
Jason