May 01, 2019

In/Visible Talks’ Vision for 2020: Go Beyond

Shortly after wrapping up the second In/Visible Talks conference in January 2019, Co-Founders Arianna Orland and Dava Guthmiller got to work planning for year three. From the beginning, their mission has been “to build community through a conversation about the process, inspiration, and challenges behind the creative practice.” To achieve this, the team hosts Salons and other small events throughout the year, followed by another day-long conference in San Francisco on Thursday, January 16, 2020.

Both women are long-time practicing designers, so it’s only natural they would dive deeply into the creative process to come up with a theme for the 2020 event. Here they share some insights into how they hope to inspire us all to “Go Beyond”.

What are you hoping to address at each In/Visible Talks event?

Arianna: “The boundaries of design are constantly evolving, whether they be what we call ourselves, who’s at the table, the tools we use…”

Dava: “…or the problems we’re being asked to solve.”

Arianna: “In 2020, we’re asking our speakers—and attendees—to GO BEYOND the expected perspectives, guardrails, materials, and thinking.”

What inspired you in this process of coming up with a new theme?

Dava: “We couldn’t help but be inspired by the year: 2020. It’s hard to say ‘twenty-twenty’ and not think about vision. When speaking about a design conference, ‘vision’ comes into play in many different ways.”

Arianna: “It also happens to be closely associated with our conference name, which comes from the idea that design is making the invisible visible.”

Take us inside your brainstorming process.

Dava: “One of the phrases that was written down during our brainstorm on the concept of vision was ‘Seeing beyond the surface’. Everyone really liked this notion, but it felt too limiting. While the idea is certainly a goal for the conference, it’s just one of the angles we explore.”

Arianna: “In/Visible Talks goes beyond the obvious design conference topics and circuit speakers, beyond the case studies and portfolio pieces, beyond what’s been designed to explore the actual process behind it. Those are the kinds of conversations we crave, and the ones we learn the most from, which is what we feel our community needs too as the boundaries of ‘design’ continue to expand.”

How’d you land on “Go Beyond”?

Arianna: “We asked ourselves, what if we remove ‘seeing’ and ‘the surface’ from that original sentence and just have it read ‘beyond’? By constraining our theme simply to ‘Beyond’, we opened it up to encapsulate everything that makes In/Visible Talks special.”

Dava: “The word ‘go’ was added because it gives us a sense of forward momentum, and it can mean so many things in different contexts: push, drive, move, work, reach, see.”

How does the theme tie into the visuals created?

Dava: “We were interested in exploring something with depth and multiple surfaces. We wanted something that gives us the ability to present typography in a nonlinear and dimensional way. After some experimentation, we landed on a collection of folded paper sculptures that would allow the viewer to see different shapes, from various perspectives. We used the sculptures as the base of a full system we hope to expand on as we continue to prepare for the conference throughout the year.”

Arianna: “We hope you’ll join us in January to GO BEYOND.”

In/Visible Talks is a conference for creative professionals that celebrates the art of design. Register now to join us for the one-day conference on January 16, 2020. Follow the In/Visible Talks blog to learn about Salons and other events held throughout the year.