Knowledge means nothing if it’s not shared with others. It’s one of the reasons we became a friend of the Dutch Digital Day, the event the DDA (Dutch Digital Agencies) hosts annually to put a bright spotlight on the digital industry. On this day, upcoming talent and established names come together to get inspired by each other's different stories, experiences and point of views. That difference is what makes this event quite unique, as opposing opinions are being presented equally, giving the audience the chance to stay up to date and form their own vision. As friends of the event, we came, we saw and we wrote down which speakers we think you should check out yourself to stay up to date about the in’s and out’s of the digital atmosphere.
Mieko was with Sonos from the beginning (15+ years) and can almost be called the mother of the Sonos sound system design. She emphasizes the importance of designing and developing products with the notion that the product should last a lifetime. By which she means that quality is important, but also the extended use of the product. In the analog age, products could do one thing, the thing they were made for. But in the current digital world, it’s wise to not look at it as a stand-alone product, but as a vessel with the ability to carry several functions. The software on the Sonos speakers, for instance, is constantly being updated. Giving the product new functionality with every update and making people connect to it much better. Also, she’s very keen on diversity in your team. The more people are looking at the product from different angles, the more stable, lasting and flexible it will be. The final lesson from Mieko: design from the inside out. That's where it all starts. The product needs to work perfectly before it looks perfect.
Yeah, you’re reading it right: tech magician. Tom London uses technology and hacking to create (or mimic, according to some of us) magic. He once made Alexa (yes, Amazon’s voice-controlled system) read people’s minds. Google it (or ask Alexa about it!;)). Which is all pretty cool but the real learning he brought on the stage is that you just need to go for it, long before you are actually ready. In his case that meant that when he said "I can hack the whole audience of America’s Got Talent", he actually did not have a clue on whether he could pull it off. But, he tried, tested, failed, tried again, thought creative and succeeded in the end. He shows technology is fun and can not only be used in a practical way but also to express your creativity.
If you are looking for a happy, bubbly personality, you can skip this guy. Mike Monteiro, design director of Mule Design Studio brought a lot to the stage, but happiness wasn’t a part of it. As a design ethicus, he speaks about how designers should claim responsibility in what they create, as the world we live in today is the one we designed ourselves. The way Facebook was able to influence the US elections, was designed by someone. The way some apps share personal data with the big bad advertising platforms, was designed by someone. And those someones should own up to their mistakes and step up against the people asking them to design such platforms. According to Mike Monteiro, at least. Whether you like this guy and his opinion or not, he does have a point that products and profit should not come at a human cost. Within the digital and design space it’s quite common to say how much better technology and design are making the world, so being showed that that’s not always the case is refreshing at the least. We guess you either love or hate this guy, find out for yourself and pick a side.
This lady does it all, being presented as a tech evangelist, sound hacker, synesthete, NASA datanaut, and BBC host. At the Dutch Digital Day her focus was on sound modeling and only for that part alone you should check her out. It’s inspiring how she shows you how sound modeling can invoke not only moods, memories, but also a sense of space, much like another dimension. Moreover, sound is something universally understood by us humans and is a very powerful tool for communication.
Victoria has turned herself in a piece of art, literally. Instead of hiding her disability she puts it in the spotlight by making art with her bionic leg. Impressive, inspiring and very, very cool. Some people just don’t need a lot of words to describe them. Go follow her!
Which one of these talented and inspiring people was already on your radar? We’d love to know what you think!