May 14th, 2013 HUGE Design Event - Evolving Design Communities

OLC attended Huge Brooklyn’s Huge Design event: Evolving Design Communities featuring Dan Cederholm and Rich Thronett, co-founders of Dribbble; Ignacio Oreamuno, Executive Director of the Art Directors Club; and Matias Corea, co-founder and Chief of Design at Behance. The four panelists discussed the evolution of design and its community, as well as maintaining and nurturing it for growth.

The moderator asked the panelists why they wanted to develop a design community—what made them do it. “For me, it was a selfish reason,” Dan Cederholm started. “A lot of the communication between designers four to five years ago was slow and that got a little frustrating for me. I wanted to know what other designers were doing right now.

So, for Dribbble, we invited our friends because I wanted to see what these guys were working on. It’s grown into a large company, which I’m surprised about,” he said.

“For us, it was about bringing together people for various reasons—business, technology, design...all these tracks help further the community,” Matias Corea said. “It helps people find what they were not thinking of.”

“Mine is a little different. It wasn’t more of a portfolio site, but a conversation site. What if you combine knowledge and the internet? Communities make so much sense. You share knowledge and get some back,” Ignacio Oreamuno said.

The moderator asked what the challenges that people are facing today are. “Being able to show your work on the web is taking the challenge away from it,” Corea said.

“The adoption of a creative community is becoming widespread. People haven’t still understood the idea of putting their work online, though.”

“People are concerned about other people stealing their work. On Dribbble, it’s tough to steal. The community comes together and self-polices thievery,” Cederholm said.

“I think what’s going on in design is similar to what’s going on with open-source. The thing that is scary is criticism. That to me was very new. It was hard for me to take at times. For designers, your work is so visual that everyone has an opinion on it. It takes some time to get used to,” Rich Thronett said.

“How do you see yourselves adapting to designers becoming coders?” the moderator asked.

“Developers are part designers and part creatives. I think when you engage a develop in the process, you end up with a better developer and a better output,” Corea said.

“Design websites were so complex, but now we’re back to simple blogs. It’s just showing the work now. Every website is becoming simpler and simpler and simpler,” Oreamuno said.

“Porfolios are always hard to keep up-to-date. If it was, I probably wouldn’t have anything too interesting,” Cederholm joked.

“So what’s next for you guys? What are you plans for the next five years?” the moderator asked.

“At Behance, we spent seven years building. We’ve built new iterations to continue to improve our technology, our interfaces. We were acquired by Adobe, but we wanted to make sure the creative process wasn’t interrupted. Making it easier for people to share their work is the ultimate goal. We focused on maintaining workflow and the finished work,” Corea said.

“I would say that we want to encourage teams to work on Dribbble. We want to emphasize it to organizations. We want to make it easy for companies and individuals to share their work,” Thronett said.

“What’s next for design communities?” the moderator asked.

“Nobody knows each other in New York City. The agencies don’t work with and don’t know each other. I decided to connect people with other people like themselves to meet in person, and it’s going really well,” Oreamuno said.

“The idea of the creative graph—who is where, who is doing what—you have to engage companies, teams and empower the creative designers. Our goal is to harvest and utilize the information that we’ve gathers for the new,” Corea said.