Half way through the trip, I have acquired knowledge that will expand my curriculum, reconsidered my career path and feel that I have an honest assessment of the current state of design. The conversations discussing all aspects of design have been equally strong from city to city. What has been most surprising is how different the focus has been between locations.
Please keep in mind that these are general statements that should be expanded before making an opinion. Kansas City is changing how printers approach sustainability. St Louis has had to redefine themselves after anheuser busch left town, showing how creative they really are. Indianapolis offered great insight to a new approach to design thinking. Cincinnati is simply the branding Capitol of the US. New York has been the largest gamut of conversations.
the first day was spent at the AIGA National Design Center. the most rememberable conversation was about how to communicate better with students on an international level. I feel that they were responsive and truly appreciated our input. then we cleaned and scanned, helping with catch up projects. the second day was a trio of knowledge. the morning started off with Pentagram. Then with Mossimo Vignelli. The Manhattan day was one of the most thought provoking days yet, till Brooklyn. Friday we went to Workshop and Swiss Miss in the morning, Etsy in the afternoon and met with Philip Cheaney, a local illustrator to discuss freelance.
The bottom line is this, all of the experiences are out there. you have to create them. This journey has most definitely changed my life for the better. The openness of the designers and the information shared, has proven the value of what we do. We are in no way expendable. Quite the contrary, the planet needs us, the human race needs us and our future depends on us.