OFFSET 2019 - Friday
Offset Celebrates Ten Years
As Offset heads into its tenth year there was a buzz in the air about how they could make this significant anniversary special. If you’re unaware of what Offset is all about it is a three day creative festival which features the crème de la crème of creatives in the art and design industry. Presentations of work are shown on two stages over the weekend where each creative gets the opportunity to talk about their work and processes. There are also panels which speak about such topics as creative business, gender balance and networking.
Offset is an event I eagerly look forward to each year, it’s like designer Christmas. I’ve been going faithfully each year since I attended my first Offset in Limerick City. Offset is usually held in Bord Gáis Theatre in Dublin, this year there was a change of venue to Point Square just across from the 3Arena.
Heating was Off-set
Before I get into various highlights, there was one serious lowlight and that was the venue. If you have read any of my previous blogs about Offset it’s obvious I have had nothing to be critical about in the past. The weekend has always been fantastic but unfortunately, I can’t say the same for Offset 2019 and the venue.
Point Square was Offsets new home for 2019. Point Square is an empty shopping centre with many vacant shops on the premises organisers of Offset attempted to convert these shops into spaces to facilitate talks throughout the weekend through ambient lighting, colourful panels on the windows, large screens and creating a stage with all the Offset branding.
Comfort throughout these types of conferences is essential since the attendees are sitting for hours soaking up all the inspiration from each speaker throughout the three day weekend. Unfortunately, with comfort, Offset missed the mark this year. The venue was bitterly cold and many people did not remove their coats, hats and scarves throughout the day. I wasn’t alone in this opinion as people I spoke to were also battling with the cold. Many Twitter users were also of the same mindset.
Seats. Venue. Stage.
Goodie Bag - What’s in it?
Now to some positives since it was not all doom, gloom and frost bite.
As usual, Offset provide every attendee with a generous goodie bag filled with bits and pieces. The exciting part of the goodie bag was the ‘Designer in Residence’ envelope which contained three artworks by designers at Facebook. Each pack had various different artworks so it was a pleasant surprise opening your own. Of the three artworks included in my tote bag, the print by Kaye Blegvard of the sun and stars was my favourite.
Now to the Highlights
Offset 2019 intro titles developed by Arice, an Italian motion design based in Dublin. The titles each year for Offset are always impressive and this year was no different. They were spooky and atmospheric. They captured the whole curiosity of the event.
Yuri Suzuki is a sound designer and artist. Many of his works have been featured in popular museums such as the TATE and he has collaborated with people like WILL.I.AM on projects throughout his career. His projects involve engaging with people through sound and music. Suzuki spoke about various pieces of work throughout his segment but one really caught my attention, ‘Ototo‘. Ototo is a device that can make any object into a musical instrument. The device connects to objects and when the user taps the object it makes a sound. It changes the whole function of each object creating interest and playfulness. For more on Ototo view the video above.
Ginsberg’s talk was my favourite on Friday. It was personal, heartfelt and edgy. Her projects stem around her life and social issues she has witnessed. Her project ‘What is Beauty?’ focuses on the pressures women are under to conform to modern standards of beauty. The piece brings the audience on a journey through eras of changing ideals showing how beauty is fluid and transforms over time. Ginsberg said she created this piece in response to her sisters battle with body image and anorexia. This made the message of the video more poignant and significant.
Droga5 are an agency based in New York. Their executive directors Alexander Nowak and Felix Richter delivered a presentation about their process and how they develop concepts. They argued for designers not to dumb down their concepts and oversimplify messages they want to say. They believe by having some complexity in the message it draws in the audience and creates conversation. The standout piece they spoke about was an advert for ‘Under Armour’ sports products they wanted to showcase the power of the mind and body through projecting inspirational typography behind model Gisele working out and achieving her goals.
Deciding to leave was a difficult decision. There was one speaker left on Friday and I really wanted to get the value out of my ticket. Unfortunately, the cold was too much as it got darker. If I had brought a heavy coat and wore suitable clothing I would have been able to stick it out. As Eddie Rockets was the nearest warm place I sat and thawed myself out before getting the Luas to my car at the Red Cow where I blasted hot air on my legs.
If you have read my previous blogs about Offset there is a huge focus on design and what I learned rather than delving deep into other things like this but Offset is an experience as a whole, much of the enjoyment comes from being able to peacefully sit and take in the inspiring words of each speaker. This time much of my thoughts were consumed by ‘I am glad I only have a Friday ticket’.
I sincerely hope this is a once-off occurrence and they find a more suitable venue in 2020. Once again, I absolutely love Offset. It just lost that magic this year.