Randall Snare


Defuse ‘14: It's not what you do, it's how you do it

This year at Defuse, is it possible to design a company after a meatball sandwitch? And why dancing is (sometimes) better than post-its.

The crowd poured into the Sugar Club last Thursday evening, as they do every November for Defuse, the annual lightning talk extravaganza organised by IxDA Dublin. We're big fans of Defuse and participate every year. This year was no exception, with our own Filip Szymczak at the controls, Lar Veale exercising his MC skillz, and Brian Herron closing the night with his talk about designing a company. More on that later. Here are the highlights.

But first, some stats: I am happy to report that the entire night (12 speakers) yielded only 2 Uber mentions, 3 Airbnb mentions and a just a mere mention for Hailo and Nest. In a world of the mega tech companies, at least our references are moving on.

Hilary O'Shaughnessy

Hilary O'Shaughnessy, from the Project Arts Centre, gave a great talk calling us designers out for our over dependence on the mighty post it. As a performer herself, she espoused the importance of using our physical space and our bodies in the design process (And Hilary isn't the first to suggest we should get our bodies moving). Good advice indeed, if design is moving beyond the screen.

Christopher Donnelly

Christopher Donnelly, from Frontend, told a horror story about finding an apartment in London (is there any other kind?). His point was that there is opportunity in bad experiences.

Karen Reilly

Karen Reilly, from Iterate told us all how to get a job by remaking the humble CV. It’s not about fancy graphics, it’s about telling a story.

Orla Fagan

The biggest highlight was without a doubt Orla Fagan, from Tapadoo. She didn’t merely give a talk about what makes a great app, she rapped it. To the tune of Kanye West’s Goldigger.

Brian Herron

Our own Brian Herron spoke about the birth of Each & Other. He used a Titanic metaphor (we had a rocky start), and explained how we used design thinking and the energy of a project to design a company. The dream behind Each & Other is to make it employee owned and employee led and he gave a revealing glimpse of our methods (and challenges) to make that a reality. It may or may not have involved a meatball sandwich.

In summary, brevity does not always equal clarity, but it's usually fun. Until next year…

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