The final day of OFFSET 2014 honoured the creative conference's legacy through another rich schedule of debate, discussion and design across its three stages in Dublin's iconic Bord Gais Energy Theatre.
In the five years since its launch, OFFSET has evolved into one of Europe's most exciting creative events, pulling in forward-thinking designers and artists from across the globe, while simultaneously proving that Irish creatives are on par with the world's best.
The hand that feeds you
Several themes have emerged during OFFSET 2014. One idea that recurred in numerous different guises on Sunday revolved around curiosity: questioning convention and causing others to question.
Bloomberg Business Week creative director Richard Turley referred to the phrase 'bite the hand that feeds you' more than once during an insightful afternoon session on the main stage.
He decribed the process of taking a topic, idea or design element and questioning its function to create something interesting – whether that involves printing a greatly exaggerated list of credits unconventionally across a page ("Why does every single person who was involved in the project have to be mentioned here?") or through the use of a surprising graphic treatment.
Good design, he said during an earlier panel session, makes people engage with it: "If I laugh at something, that feels like it could be a good idea," he said. "For me, it's important there's some kind of conspiracy behind the idea – like you're not meant to doing what you're doing."
For illustrators Geneviève Gauckler [her Big Active postcard is pictured above] and Marian Bantjes, the idea of curiosity manifested itself through observation and the need to question your surroundings.
"These things are around us and all we have to do is look and be inspired to make new things" said Bantjes, while Gauckler talked about 'pareidolia'.
"I have the ability to see a face or human figure in everything," Gauckler explained, showing a series of photographs of daily objects – walls, door handles and so on – that, from certain angles, displayed facial characteristics. "As a character designer, the work is done," she laughed.
Johnny Winslade and Ollie Munden from British design studio ilovedust also touched on the topic of observation: "Look outside of design for your reference points," advised Munden.
"We want nosiness in the studio," added Winslade. "It's a conscious decision for all of us to sit round one huge table. We want people to look at what each other are doing and get involved."
Curiosity isn't just an important characteristic for creatives to push their own practices, it's also about inciting curiosity in others. Bantjes is no stranger to playing with expectations.
"I want people to go: 'Why the fuck is that there?'" she said, showing some "senseless" graphics she made for a teacup and saucer for AGI.
As Neville Brody said on the second day of OFFSET 2014, it's about: "taking risks, leaving it to chance and empowering others to do the same."
We'll be bringing you a full event report in issue 227 of Computer Arts magazine on sale 1 May. In the meantime, here are some more highlights from the final day of OFFSET 2014.
Words: Julia Sagar