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Field Study

An Unedited view of design and thought process:

work, experimental and otherwise by Keenan Cummings

Born of Beta

Fri. 10am : the idea for a design debate is hatched, domain name is purchased.

Fri. 10am - 5pm : 1 Moderator, 5 Debaters, and 2 Sponsors committed (still no venue).

Fri. 8pm - Sat. 2am : Logo and website designed. Most of the copy written. Run out of steam. Go to bed.

Sat. 2pm : Jon starts coding the site. I finish writing the bios for the debaters.

Sun. 10pm : Venue secured, site almost done being coded (responsive too!). Twitter account set up (@designdebaters). Lil’ poster designed for this blog.

Mon. 10am - 2pm : Launched. Tickets gone in 2 hours. Waitlist growing. Swiss Miss blogs it (thanks Tina!). Final “mystery” speaker confirmed (@fictivecameron). Sponsor comes thru on the booze. Spelling error on the site corrected. 

In ~48 hours we pulled together Designer’s Debate Club. There was no stroke of genius. No moment of Zen. The plan unfolded with a combination of familiar moves (a quick logo and site) and absolute dumb, clumsy, undeserved luck. The point is, there isn’t much magic in a logo or an idea. It is the way people came together to support, participate, show up, and engage. We just got to design the flier.

The truth of the process is that the thing happens in layers, and each layer in itself is clever at best but more often just plain mundane. Set up the hosting, email debaters about arriving early, secure the sponsors, get the twitter handle, fix the copy, etc. etc. etc. After the debate last night, we know this has the potential to be something really good. But as a friend told me the other day, people rarely know as they are working on something whether it is going to be any good or not. 

We’ve decided to make Designer’s Debate Club an ongoing thing. In the spirit of Brooklyn Beta, the conference and community for which this was originally hatched, we have decided to “make something we love”, get it out and just see how it goes. 

Designer’s Debate Club is the panel without politeness. It is pomp and circumstance (tweed, bow ties, and pipes). It is competition. It is fun and absurdity with a bunch of really great people. And hopefully, a few good insights and pearls of wisdom will find their way into the conversation.

Our immediate plans for the club are to make it a regular event. From there, we’re looking at getting more people involved, finding more interesting topics to debate, maybe getting this thing rolling in another city or two (give us a shout if you wanna help lead that effort). We’ll keep y’all up to date. You can follow us at @DesignDebaters.

To my fellow debaters, our judicious moderator, the amazing audience (we had 7 people get up and make 1 minute speeches on their position!), our gracious sponsors, and my teammates at Wander that did a lot of the grunt work — we owe a huge thanks! 

Follow @DesignDebaters

  1. fieldstudyfolio reblogged this from keenancummings and added:
    Designer’s Debate Club is a regularly held event series where practitioners and pros in the design industry get together...
  2. conbdebolio reblogged this from keenancummings
  3. flankedbymagpies reblogged this from keenancummings and added:
    simple, step by step...well practiced beating...project from...
  4. konrrrad reblogged this from keenancummings
  5. tidatep said: Awesome!
  6. keenancummings posted this
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