Simon Sankarya (Sanky) AllofUs UK
Some moments last way longer than you'd imagine, it's one of life's great gifts. Memories can resonate so deeply that they conjour up crystal clear images, as real a real photo (if anyone remembers them!), for you to relive experiences that, frankly, make life worth living. We need to thank the hippocampus beavering away to enrich us with these things we would otherwise forget. We should always be mindful that these memories and experiences are vital to us humans in keeping us sane and more specifically in forming our vital individuality.
When I talk about design and creativity amongst friends and industry types I always seem to go back to the fact that inspiration and subsequent individual thinking comes from being brave, adventurous and putting yourself in new and wonderous places. It's then down to trying to get to understand that situation as deeply as possible. agIdeas was my first time in Melbourne and was somewhere I'd always wanted to go, but what I didn't expect, it became a place that has stayed with me and changed me since I set foot there, as Bruce Mao would say it folded itself into my mind.
My journey began the first evening I was there. Anyone that's travelled round the world knows its very hard to resist venturing out as soon as you land...so armed with some friendly tweet tips of night-time hangouts from a local (thanks @teresa_v) I stepped out into the unknown to familiarise myself with the local drinking establishments. After a few beers and some random chatting to strangers I felt totally relaxed and at home (irrespective of being the oddball drinking on his own), indeed some places you feel a strangely natural homecoming for and I felt it keenly for Melbourne....so thanks Teresa..;}.
After a very relaxing day spent wandering around marvelling at the skills of the local graffiti artists of Fitzroy we (the speakers) walked over to engage in our first agIdeas task. This was to help 500 primary school kids learn about design and creativity, possibly one of the most enlightening mornings of my life. What were the outcomes of this you may ask..?..well the answer is ideas that boggled the mind (in a good way)...glow in the dark money, hot dogs with legs (to stop people eating junk food as the hotdog ran away when you tried to eat it) and apps that could find the things that you lost at a flick of a (virtual) switch. 'Children are definitely the future' people say and agIdeas is firmly in the middle of making that happen. This is when I realised that the intent of agIdeas goes way further than many 'normal' conferences.
The next few days were a completely enlightening rollercoaster ride, such a refreshingly rich variety of speakers, eager attendees and an unflinching series of events extending out into the city, executed to such a high standard, I was nothing short of amazed. Running these events is a very hard act to pull off and I, along with all the other speakers after seeing the efforts of all the staff, I think felt committed to giving all that we could (and a little bit more) all week. Indeed it goes to say that friendships that will last a lifetime were born that week and that's something that is a real testament to the magic of agIdeas...it's truly a place that creativity flows freely and the energy created through these interconnections become the lifeblood of keeping us all discovering and 'making', speakers and attendees alike...
The weird jetlagged conversations about nothing and everything.
The meeting of cultures.
The joy of meeting someone you've been dying to meet.
The joy of meeting someone you never would have met otherwise.
Being at peace and over excited in the same second.
Being annoyed at Chris Doyle for being able to write (and be funny too)
For fresh perspectives
For colour transforming letters into images.
For dirty jokes (Mr Mollerup)
For Iain McCaig.
So thank you Ken for the invite in 2011, it was a true blessing...and if my plan works I'll be sat with you again this year in the audience clutching my beautiful book, this book you hold in your hands, eager like a kid on Christmas eve as to what the next day will reveal...and I think (unlike most Christmas's) we won't have any disappointment at all.
Thank you Melbourne for a life changing experience.
* Co-Founder / Creative Partner @AllofUs
* Dandad president 2011
* Big time fan of AGideas
From the Audience
I have now been to three agIdeas (2006, 2008, 2012). It has evolved into an exceptionally well-organised, professional event nurtured by the all-encompassing positive energy of its creators, speakers, volunteers and audience; it should be the highlight of every designer's calendar.
agIdeas now genuinely represents design from its purest form to its most complex form; revealing the umbilical chord between all design, regardless of the discipline. We are a privileged audience to hear from such renowned speakers.
agIdeas is so much better than the internet.
After a day at agIdeas you just want to go and make something! Full of inspiration.
I hadn't been to agIdeas since I was a student and to come back as a professional was just as inspiring! Thank you again for the opportunity to learn from global creatives in the comfort of our own country.