Alt Summit Keynote - Stefan Sagmeister

stefan sagmeister Alt Summit Keynote

Photo credit - Justin Hackworth

One of the many things that I love about Alt Summit is that they take the attendees seriously. There are no halfway measures. Every.little.detail is attended to from the first email after you sign up to the gifts that you receive every month or so until the event itself to the prompt response to ANY query that you may have. 

That serious-taking, that RESPECT is shown to the attendees in another way - the quality of the keynote speakers. We aren't just attendees. We aren't just bloggers. We're creatives and artists and designers and photographers and and and.

For us - for the crowd of >600 makers - this year it was world renowned designer Stefan Sagmeister. His firm, Sagmeister & Walsh is a creative powerhouse.

You can have an art experience in front of a Rembrandt...or in front of a piece of graphic design.

Stefan Sagmeister
Stefan Sagmeister

He doesn't just make "pretty" - Sagmeister achieved notoriety in the 1990s as the designer who self-harmed in the name of craft: he created a poster advertising a speaking engagement by carving the salient details onto his torso.

And his talk wasn't just "pretty" either. There were a few moments of discomfort, of quiet, of stunned silence as he stirred the pot and challenged us. In other words, it was far from completely PG in content.

It is very important to embrace failure and to do a lot of stuff — as much stuff as possible — with as little fear as possible. It’s much, much better to wind up with a lot of crap having tried it than to overthink in the beginning and not do it.

Debbie Millman interviews Stefan on her brilliant podcast Design Matters:

Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

He's making a documentary and has a travelling exhibit about his quest for happiness. In Toronto? You can see The Happy Show until March 3, 2013 at the Design Exchange.

Is it a little clearer why we are so committed to Alt Summit?