Reasons To Be Creative & dConstruct 2012

Two awesome conferences. One week. One tired speaker, y’all.

Brighton is one of my favourite places to be, so I relished in the opportunity to be able to speak at Reasons to be Creative and attend dContruct all in the same week. Both were wildly different conferences, but both were fantastic!

Reasons to be Creative

Sunday night was the speaker dinner, and was delighted to meet some of my all time favourite heroes: Meagan Fisher, Simon Collison and Mike Kus. I can’t believe that with those awesome names that no one I knew actually attended the conference…what’s wrong with you guys?? Anyways, the speaker dinner concluded (for me) with some digital fireworks, courtesy of the always lovely, Seb Lee-Delisle. You actually waved your hands in front of some orbs at the bottom of the screen to make the fireworks go off!

I missed most of Monday due to going to visit the Harry Potter studios, but I did see Kevin Warwick’s The Cyborg Experiment. One of the coolest (and grossest) talks of the week, Kevin spoke about using machines for both practical (medical) experiments and enhancement experiments. He actually implanted chips into himself that allowed him to control a robotic arm through the internet and speak telepathically with his wife! He showed off experiments that allowed humans to be able to sense objects as they moved closer via magnets in their fingers, or use infrared to see the temperature of objects! If you can find a transcript of Kevin’s talk, I really recommend you do.

Meagan Fisher’s talk was another fantastic one, and I managed to video record it for about 20 minutes until my iPhone ran out of space:

Meagan Fisher’s A Web Design Champion from Reasons To Be Creative 2012 from Amber Weinberg on Vimeo.

I also visited Laura Kalbag‘s lightning talk on grids. I recorded it on her phone, so you should track her down to find it. Her talk was worth it just to see the lovely “illustrations” of a designer and a developer. 😉

My talk went ok, I finished up a bit quickly, but I think that worked out because we didn’t get started until late anyways. I was up against Simon, so I’m surprised anyone came at all!


dConstruct was good, but it was quite different than what I was expecting. Granted, I was already wiped out from Reasons, but I tried to stay alert here. There were a ton of people I knew who came to this conference, so I felt a little less alone. Also, the swag was pretty awesome (admit it, that’s the only reason we go to these things!), I got a Font Deck and Five Simple Steps t-shirt!

There were several great talks, I really enjoyed Jenn Lukas, about how learning how to code has become popular and ways people are finding to learn both online and off.  She also spoke about how people learn and retain information.

Scott Jenson spoke about the future beyond mobile, and the death of apps in general. He thinks we’ve come to a point of app glut – or where we have an app for everything and we’re drowning in them. We don’t need an app for everything, he mused, we just need to  need to use it and forget about it. Smartphones should be able to “discover” what’s around us and serve up content based on that.

Ariel Waldman’s talk was out of this world…literally (sorry for the bad pun). She spoke about dark matter and black holes and identifying new stars. This one goes a bit above my head!

I think everyone’s favourite talk though, was from Jason Scott. The guy wore a white suit with a black bowler hat. He was too cool. His job is to try and archive the web, and he spoke about how the save button has ruined the internet – because people tend to end up throwing away their content and files.

You also can find the audio talks for everyone at dConstruct.