Five Questions with Element Talks

Neon Moiré sets out to interview festival organizers and tries to find out what motivates them to organize their events and what they are most excited about. We talked to Paula Kacprzak and Olga Rafalska, founders of Element Talks in Poland. Element Talks is a student project that got out of hand and turned into an international conference on practical and entrepreneurial aspects of designer's work. The third edition takes place April 23-24, 2016 in Warsaw.
Paula Kacprzak (left) and Olga Rafalska
Paula Kacprzak (left) and Olga Rafalska, founders of Element Talks.

Why are you organizing Element Talks?

We started the conference two years ago for our bachelor diploma. We’ve had some internship experience but we still had many questions about the designer’s profession. We decided to invite a couple of designers whom we admired, to share their knowledge. The topic turned out to be so interesting that it drew hundreds of designers from all over the country who participated in the first edition of the event. What was intended to be a small event for students of our university turned out to be a two-days long full-blown conference with 500-participants. As we discovered the great interest of designers in this area we decided to continue organizing the event and make it even bigger. We also wanted to make it affordable and accessible for everyone. Right now we want Element to be a space where our participants not only learn from our speakers, but also from one another by means of networking. And it is a great, once a year, opportunity for the graphic design community to integrate. This year we’ll be also providing interpreting of English lectures into Polish and the other way around so that foreign and Polish participants can benefit equally from the conference.


What is the biggest challenge for Element Talks?

Our biggest struggle is to maintain a well-organised substantive event which is still affordable even for students. In order to make it accessible for many people we create a big event and it generates high costs. So what poses the biggest challenge for us is finding financial resources other than our participants' budgets.

What do you want your audience to take home after a Element Talks visit?

Here we’re introducing two levels: elementary and professional. Each of the participants will be able to choose lectures and workshops tailored to their needs. Both beginners and more experienced attendees can also take part in Element Interview which is a job interview simulation led by our greatest experts from various design studios, companies, publishing houses and marketing agencies. Apart from providing them with a fair share of knowledge we also want them to feel motivated and encouraged to face challenges.

attendees element-talks

What are you most proud of or excited about if you look at the Element Talks program?

We are very glad that such acclaimed designers from all over the world have accepted our invitation to give a lecture but also we are very proud to introduce great Polish specialists to an international audience.

What is the most memorable moment or unexpected surprise that can be linked to your event?

Thanks to the conference we have met so many interesting people and have collaborated with some of them. One of the most important collaborations is the one with Studio Bękarty. We met when they were our speakers at the first edition of the conference. They’ve supported us ever since and one time they told us about the idea that they wanted to realize with us, which was a typographic card game. We joined forces and together with 12 talented designers created a game called “Bękart”. At this year’s conference we will launch the second edition of the game we created with a different group of Polish illustrators. You can check it and buy it in our shop.

Element Talks

April 23 - 24
Warsaw, Poland
Get your ticket here


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