6 International Design Conferences You Can’t Afford to Miss

By Sarah Irgang , Feb 12 2014
International Design Conferences

Featured Image: Unplash/Joakim Honkasalo

A designer’s world of networking and learning isn’t limited to Facebook, Twitter, G+ Hangouts, or anywhere else online!  That’s why conferences exist: to get people out there and interacting.  Fortunately, there are quite a few design conferences taking place across the globe this year, so now’s not the time for social media and webniars!  Now’s the time to get it in gear and sign up!

99u 2014 Webpage

99u Conference
Location: New York City, New York, United States
Dates: 1-2 May 2014

One key theme drives the 99u Conference—executing ideas.  Ever since 2009, the event has pulled in creative visionaries and entrepreneurs to show people how to go beyond the “thinking” part of design and getting to the “doing.”  For designers and creative individuals who want to know how to move on from “bright ideas” to “how can I get this show on the road,” stop by New York City and considering signing up!

PICA 2014 Webpage

PICA 2014
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Dates: 7-10 May 2014

Presented by the Alberta North Chapter of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada, PICA 2014 is for both students and pros.  The schedule shows that the first two days are all about “education,” and the last two focus on the “industry.”  PICA 2014 includes presentations, panel discussions, speakers, and a Graphex Gala Reception on the 9th.  This is an ideal event for individuals of all levels of experience to attend!

How Design Live Webpage

HOW Design Live
Location: Boston, MA, United States
Dates: 12-16 May 2014

This is a gathering so large that it’s divided into five conferences: HOW Design Conference, The Dieline Conference, In-House Management Conference, Creative Freelance Business Conference, and the newest in the lineup, HOW Leadership Conference.  In addition to rare networking opportunities and valuable workshops, this event features some big-name speakers, like Diane Domeyer (Executive Director of The Creative Group) to Malcolm Gladwell (author of Tipping Point).  If you’re a designer in the Northeast corridor of the United States, then maybe you should be considering getting your tickets for this one ASAP!

TYPO Berlin Webpage

TYPO Berlin
Location: Berlin, Germany
Dates: 14-17 May 2014

TYPO Berlin gets deep with design.  The forum’s 2014 program, Roots, will ask many seemingly simple but actually very important questions, such as “what classic design elements still lead the way in our changing world?” or “does less still mean more?”  For designers who want to get introspective with their work, then this is the conference to attend.

xCoAx Conference Webpage

Location: Porto, Portugal
Dates: 26-27 June 2014

Actually, yes, there’s a good reason for why xCoAx’s name reads the way it does.  The “x” in the forum’s name refers to the “x” factor that brings together computers, communications, and the arts.  That right there describes the main objectives of xCoAx: to understand and explore the possibilities of the world of digital arts.  In addition to speakers and exhibitions, the event will host live performances on the evening of the second day.  Any designers who live nearby might want to reconsider skipping out on this lively conference.

Design and Emotion Webpage

Design & Emotion 2014
Location: Bogota, Columbia
Dates: 8-10 October 2014

The overall theme of Design & Emotion is the same as the forum’s name, and it has stayed the same for a long time.  In this case, repeating the theme isn’t a bad thing.  When the main focus of a conference is how designers can use their skills to communicate to different people and emotions, especially when it comes to current social issues, what good would changing the theme do?  None, because it’s a solid concept, and we hope they stick with it for many years to come.

We know there are many more events coming up, so if you want to spread the word about any conference we missed, leave a comment below, or tweet us @ZillionDesigns!

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Sarah Irgang is excited to be working for ZillionDesigns as a marketing coordinator. She enjoys discussing about design and the design industry, watching television, and sketching with her Wacom Bamboo tablet.


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