After the morning rush-hour traffic jam (seriously), Aspen opened up to all its glory as the Aspen Design Summit welcomed attendees, leaders and volunteers to the valley. A couple vanloads took the trek up to Maroon Bells, a beyond-spectacular setting where we hiked strolled and listened to Niles Eldredge riff on Darwin. A box lunch by the waterfall and some friendly chat with two park rangers later, it was back to the Aspen Meadows Resort for registration and orientation.
After opening remarks by David Gibson, Dorothy Dunn and Ric Grefe ("We believe in demonstrating value by doing valuable things"--awesome), it was on to moderator John Thackara to get this moving. The presenters were inspiring, but too many of them went typically over time (what part of 10 minutes didn't you understand)--and one totaled up a whopping 35 minutes! No matter. Once Thackara took to the stage with his quick whit, healthy cynicism and frankly intoxicating voice, we knew we were in capable hands for the week.
The hard content and Action Studios begin tomorrow. Fingers crossed that we can all get past agreeing that education is good.
Allan Chochinov is a partner of Core77, a New York-based design network serving a global community of designers and design enthusiasts, and Chair of the new MFA in Products of Design graduate program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. Allan lectures around the world and at professional conferences including IDSA, AIGA and IxDA, has been a guest critic at various design schools in including Yale University, IIT, Carnegie Mellon, Ravensbourne, RMIT, University of Minnesota, Emily Carr, and RISD. He has moderated and led workshops and symposia at the Aspen Design Conference, the Rockefeller Center at Bellagio, Compost Modern, and Winterhouse, and is a frequent design competition juror. Prior to Core77, his work in product design focused on the medical, surgical, and diagnostic fields, as well as on consumer products and workplace systems. He has been named on numerous design and utility patents and has received awards from The Art Directors Club, I.D. Magazine, Communication Arts, and The One Club.