Is there really anything more lovely than Southern California in the spring? The mudslides are just ending, yet you’re still safely outside the height of the wildfire season. What better time to attend two design conferences in our neck of the woods? Coincidentally, we received updates for both these upcoming events one after another in our inbox today, as if our travel itinerary was being sent from above.
First up, Seeds of Change, the lucky 13th year of the Y Conference, held by AIGA San Diego. This year has a greenish tint to it, and a twist by adding a moderator, Susan Szenasy. Paul Hawken headlines, other highlights are Derek Fagerstrom and Julia Cosgrove from ReadyMade, Janet Kübler from the Biomimicry Guild, Speak Up’s Jason Tselensis and AIGA sustainability chair Marc Alt. We’ve attended for the last two years, and our verdict remains the same: it’s very affordable for a big-time conference, but still small enough that you’ll find yourself drinking Champagne by the Hotel Solamar’s pool with the same person you’re supposed to get up and see speak at 9am. March 27-29.
Just about a month later (why not stay at the Hotel Solamar pool until then?), the Art Center’s biennial conference has fun with Serious Play. John “Hocks” Hockenberry moderates Elizabeth Diller, David Macaulay, John Maeda, Paula Scher and more, organized by Chee Pearlman. This was the typical speaker/moderator conference but this year they’re adding hands-on studios, three-hour creative workshops. Although we found ourselves gasping at the price–$1350 before March 11–we have to say that two years ago, we were also gasping at the long and illustrious list of luminaries we encountered in the superfancy refreshment tent between sessions. May 7-9.