Conf-watching, a selection of our favorite design talks of 2018

As 2018 comes to a close, we take a moment to look back at the inspiring talks we have seen in 2018. Here a just a few, 12 in total, that we enjoyed the most this year.

The past year we spend quite some time listening to creatives who tell their stories. At design conferences, while cycling our during a long coffee break. The talks go from in-depth research lectures to portfolio presentations, to talks about possible futures. Over the year we have shared many great talks in our newsletter Neon Monday. Over the year we kept a spreadsheet with all the talks we have seen — in real life, via a live stream or recorded — with a little personal note, to remember the thing that tricked us.

You can watch the twelve talks in one take, on our special Dropmark page, so you can watch them all in Netflix style. Here list is ordered on date that we have seen the presentation. Enjoy watching.

Claire L. Evans at beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf

Claire L. Evans, singer and coauthor of the pop group YACHT, founding editor of Terraform and the author of Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet. In her talk she shares the stories of the women who challenged convention to make key contributions to the history of our century’s most transformative cultural technology, the Internet. For the second time Claire is in our annual overview, watch her talk 'The Sound of Post- Human Music' from last year.
Watch all talks from beyond tellerrand Düsseldorf 2018
↳ Buy her book Broad Band: The Untold History of the Women who Made the Internet

Jenny Odell at KIKK Festival

In her talk writer, visual artist, and involuntary birdwatcher Jenny Odell will draw on a set of disparate elements – her Filipino-American background, an interest in biological phenomena such as hybridization and symbiosis, and Eastern spiritual conceptions of the self – to highlight injustices and misunderstandings wrought by artificial and often colonial sets of boundaries. Addressing subjects from the evolution of mitochondria to the Philippine archipelago to 1990s net art, Odell lays out several prompts for designers and technologists. In a time of filter bubbles and personal brands, what does anti-essentialist design look like?
Watch all talks from KIKK Festival 2018.

Paola Antonelli at KIKK Festival

Paola Antonelli is Senior Curator of Architecture & Design at The Museum of Modern Art, as well as MoMA’s founding Director of Research & Development. Her goal is to promote design’s understanding, until its positive influence on the world is universally acknowledged. Her work investigates design’s impact on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science and technology. In her talk Antonelli shares a new creative approach, "restorative design", highlights architecture and design projects, objects, and concepts at all scales that reconsider humans' relationship with their environment, and celebrates design’s ability to offer powerful insight into the key issues of our age.
Watch all talks from KIKK Festival 2018.

Tina Roth Eisenberg at 99U

Tina Roth Eisenberg aka Swiss Miss creator of Creative Mornings, Tattly, and the recently launched Creative Guild, oversees some highly creative teams. In this talk Eisenberg share how she build these companies by following a simple rule. Which is: When she find herself complaining about something, she has two options. Either do something about it or let it go!
Watch all talks from 99U

Tracy Ma at An Interesting Day

Tracy Ma is a graphic designer and the visual editor at the New York Times Styles desk. Before her current position, she was the creative director of Matter Studios and the deputy creative director of Bloomberg Businessweek. In her talk she shares her engaging, explorative and exceedingly playful work. Watch all talks from An Interesting Day 2018

Jina Anne at Design Systems London

Jina Anne is a design sytem advocate and creator of the annual Clarity conference. She was the opening speaker of Design Sytems London 2018. Her talk is about Design Systems and Creativity. Watch all talks from Design Systems London

Zach Lieberman at An Interesting Day

Artist, researcher and educator Zach Lieberman creates artwork through writing software. Is a co-creator of openFrameworks, an open source C++ toolkit for creative coding. Helped co-found the School for Poetic Computation, a school examining the lyrical possibilities of code. In his talk during An Interesting Day he shares how he takes human gesture as input and amplify them in different ways, making drawings come to life, imagining what the voice might look like if we could see it, transforming people’s silhouettes into music.
Watch all talks from An Interesting Day 2018

Cade Diehm at Radical Networks

In this talk, Cade Diehm, defines weaponised design, which occurs when an interface or system harms its users whilst performing entirely within its expected behaviour, and examines its common causes and influences. Read Diehm's essay on weaponised design.
Watch all talks from Redical Networks 2018

Galit Ariel at Slush Tokyo 2018

Galit Ariel (Creative Director of Wondarlands) discussing the topic “How to Create Terrible AR Experiences (In 12 Easy Steps)” at Slush Tokyo 2018.
Watch all talks from Slush Tokyo 2018
Listen to episode 18 with Galit Ariel on Augmented Reality
↳ Buy her book Augmenting Alice: The Future of Identity, Experience and Reality

Jennifer 8. Lee at XOXO Festival

Jennifer 8. Lee is the founder of Emojination, a grassroots group aiming to make emoji more inclusive and representative. A New York Times-bestselling author and film producer, Jenny is co-founder and CEO of Plympton, a San Francisco-based literary studio that innovates in digital publishing. In her talk Jennifer 8. Lee tells about her journey to get the Dumpling emojj accepted through the Unicode comity. 
Watch all talks from XOXO Festival 2018
↳ Buy her book The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food

MariNaomi at XOXO Festival

On the XOXO stage MariNaomi, cartoonist, creator of the Cartoonists of Color Database and Queer Cartoonists Database shares her story to spotlight marginalized comics creators, a labor of love that’s changing the landscape of comics.
Watch all talks from XOXO Festival 2018
↳ Buy her book Turning Japanese
↳ Buy her book Kiss & Tell

Manoush Zomorodi at Eyeo 2018

Manoush Zomorodi is a podcast host, author, and relentless examiner of the modern human condition. In this talk she explains how she's used podcasts as a lab to change people's lives and her own.
Watch all talks from Eyeo Festival 2018
↳ Buy her book Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self"

Thank you – dear readers, and our global community of event organizers, artists and designers – for a great year of discovery with and for you. Happy New Year!

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