It's a brisk 40 degrees here in Amsterdam as I opt to take a cab instead of walk to the Westergasfabriek, where Interaction14 is being held. The cab pulls up and I am amazed at the beautiful complex chosen for hosting the conference this year. Locals are out for their morning jog with their dog and children along the canal front. As I continued to walk towards the main building for the conference, I took in the scenery of local restaurants, galleries and studios.
The Interaction14 planning committee did an amazing job curating every last detail from the venue space, stage setup and food to make sure attendees experienced the essence of Amsterdam. When I arrived at the venue, local student volunteers eager to provide assistance and kick off the conference greeted me. I continued on to explore the space which had a welcoming vibe filled with couches, picnic tables, DIY nespresso coffee and local goodies from the Netherlands. The stage setups consisted of faux building facades and bicycles, which was a wonderful touch to the presentations.
The program was spread out between three buildings which all had a different vibe filled with installations, activity booths and even a skateboard ramp... yes, a skateboard ramp! There was something for everyone to check out, learn about and participate in. I didn't have a chance to look at everything out so I am looking forward to the rest of the conference to explore and see what they all have to offer.
Overall, day one was filled with great energy, inspiration, and a lovely ambiance to enjoy the discussion and company of others! I have already noticed some trends this year within the program content and look forward to finding out if they continue to resonate throughout the remainder of the conference. If you aren't able to attend Interaction14 this year, stay tuned for more details highlighting the speakers as well as their insights over the next couple of days!
Ciara studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and received a BFA with an emphasis in Designed Objects. She is a conceptual designer whose interests include user interaction and social behavior in online gaming, and how they can inform the physical world and the design of tangible objects. Her work focuses on identity, human interaction, and virtual environments, exploring the relationship that people develop with the real world and the virtual.