Strategy goes Off Grid
OFFGRID17 found a fitting final destination in the coolest little capital in the world. After stopovers in Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, and Christchurch, Wellington turned on two packed days of experiential brilliance.
Strategy Creative were thrilled to be a key sponsor and contributor to OFFGRID17. Strategy partnered with The Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD), contributing funding, creative content and provided studio space to plan and organise the event. SEGD has over 1800 members in 35 countries, and exists to educate, connect and inspire professionals who design experiences that connect people to places and brands, so for us it was a natural partnership.
Strategy Wellington’s strategic partner Matt Innes, delivered a speech in the stairwell of the Wellington Maritime Museum where an audience, spread over three floors, were walked through a current project – the development of signage strategy for the Wellington City Council. Presented on a 5 metre high screen, Matt talked about the strategy of the powerful intersection in combining graphics and experience, before introducing keynote speaker Morag Myerscough flown over courtesy of Strategy Creative.
Morag Myerscough dressed as colourfully as her work, reminisced on her early years in England and the rich experience of growing up with parents from a French circus. A house filled with music and textile design, she could not avoid being involved in a creative industry. Morag explained her fascination with scaffolding and her bright, multi layered poetic approach to experiential design.
Promised as ‘a different kind of conference’, OFFGRID17, showcased the work of international experiential designers exploring and presenting in the offbeat locations of alleyways, stairwells, coffee houses, breweries as well as museums and in full 720 degree vision at the SpacePlace observatory. The venues, hand picked to be geographically close were to be experienced by Wellington's favourite form of transport – walking.
Of particular note on day two were inspiring talks by Nils Wiberg and Uwe Brückner. Nils, an Interactive Artist and Interaction Designer from Sweden, appears in a pith helmet as any experiential designer should, and walked the audience through the realities of a ‘helpful algorithm’ and the dangers of a narrowing perspective that this convenience produces.
Prof Uwe R. Brückner is an architect, stage designer, scenographer and curator, founder and creative director of the internationally active Atelier Brückner was only too pleased to show his work much as it was intended, projected on the inside of the carter observatory dome surrounding the audience while narrating the at times, sensitive subject matter to powerfully demonstrate his philosophy that form follows content.
OFFGRID17 offered and succeeded in being an open format, creating its own agenda, bringing influencers of experiential design and to provoke and stimulate discussion and connections beyond the life of the ‘unconference’.