Pause Fest 2018.

Article — Australia’s premier innovation event Pause Fest has been and gone for another year. Our designer Ryan went along to check out the action.

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Taking place across various venues within Federation Square, Pause Fest is a three day gathering of leaders in the cross-section of creative, technology and business. Offering workshops, panels, networking and keynote presentations, the festival has a mission to cultivate innovative thinking among creatives and business types alike.

This year’s theme of ‘Journey = Discovery’ proved a rich source of inspiration, with speakers from Netflix, Pixar, IBM, Amazon, NASA and TechCrunch and more, all drawing from their careers pathways and creative processes to offer insight into what it takes to be at the forefront of innovative thinking.

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Here are some highlights from the event;

Tim McDougall from startup Billy took a zoomed-in look at how they are using $20 sensors to keep seniors out of hospital and in their homes. The session provided fantastic inspiration to how to design for a difference.

Next up, we joined Wayne Thompson to hear his experiences in designing the organisational typeface for the ABC. Designing a typeface from the ground up is a tedious task. Add the fact that the brief requires it to embody the ‘Australian spirit’. And that it required upwards of 15 weights or styles. And that it will be deployed for use across all ABC platforms, from television graphics to printed materials. This was an incredible — and, yes, very nerdy — look into the detail required to pull of such a large scale and meaningful project.

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After a rambling presentation by Pixar Technical Director Brian Green on the main stage, we stumbled into the intimate ACMI theatre for a talk by Paula Bray, who runs the DX Lab out of the State Library of NSW. The first of its kind, the DX Lab is responsible only for developing innovative ways to use and display the library’s vast collection. With some mind-bending case studies in tow, Paula offered a glimpse at how organisational dedication to innovative thinking and research can lead to incredible business results — with patience.

Next up, we heard from Netflix’s Kelsey Whelan with a great presentation on the importance of developing communication skills in order to achieve results. In her role as Product Manager, she is responsible for bridging the gap between their upper management and technical development team in order to meet business goals.

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Finally, we joined a crowded session to hear from Jonathan and Andy from Melbourne branding studio SouthSouthWest. Since their beginnings ten years ago, they have built a design business from the ground up that now sees them working with the likes of Nike and Google on international branding projects.

We place a heavy emphasis on professional development at Spicy Web. From dedicated personal research time, to conferences and networking events, we understand the importance of stepping away from the desk and disconnecting from our everyday tasks to learn something new, meet new people, and to be exposed to innovative, thought provoking ideas. Pause Fest hit all of these buttons — a fantastic bolt of inspiration for the year ahead.