Being the chronically on-time pariah that I am, on Friday, June 22nd, I showed up 15 minutes early for the AIGA Seattle 25th Anniversary Party. It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that most of the attendees arrived “late” in typical designer fashion. I didn’t mind too much, I was able to slip in before the crowd and grab a glass of champagne.
The theme of the party was 25/25, “Celebrating our first 25 years. And our next 25 years.” AIGA had a huge timeline set up chronicling the last 25 years of Seattle’s design history. I was able to pick out a couple of my professors at school from the list of AIGA Fellows and highlighted designers.
Along with the timeline, there was a small exhibit reminding all of us what hard drives and portable computer storage used to be like. It was strange to see floppy disks and massive hard drives in neat little display boxes. I think I even have some floppy disks hanging around in the office at home, even though I was a kid when I remember my Dad telling my sister and me to “come see this awesome thing called ‘Netscape’, which we could use kind of like Encarta, but had even more stuff on it.”
One of the display boxes had a “Fried Hard Drive” in it. When I saw that, I felt like habitually backing up my work, and made a quick mental note to check on that when I got home. We’ve all had our computers die on us as we were just completing some stroke of brilliance; I could only imagine what it would be like for that same brilliance to go up in smoke. It might make the typical day at the office just that much more exciting.
In a different room, the second half of the party theme was addressed. AIGA held a poster competition asking participants to portray what the future (aka, next 25 years) of design and technology meant to them. There was an interesting array of perspectives. Some posters talked about how design could solve future problems such as immunizations in third world countries, while others had simple quotes or statements like “The future is depressing”. It’s always fun to see how one simple prompt can return such vastly different entries.
The party was held at the new 415 Westlake Event Center. The location is gorgeous with high open ceilings with exposed supports. There were dueling food trucks, live music, lots of swag and plenty to drink. The branding of the event was (I’m guessing) inspired by the German magazine Novum’s revolutionary tessellated cover from November of 2011. (If you don’t know what I’m referring to, check it out here.) I wasn’t surprised that the colors were gorgeous, and the location was beautiful. All in all, it was an extremely fun and informative evening.
Seeing the now obsolete technology in the timeline exhibit made me really appreciate how good we have it with fast processing speeds, tiny thumb drives, and high screen resolutions. It certainly makes me pause for a moment when I encounter a glitch or software failure , and send out a quick thank you to the computer gods before I go back to cursing myself for failing to save my work.