Written by Marine Bucher
The first edition of Off Grid happened in February 2017 and I seriously wanted more. Great news they’re coming back in 2018!
Let’s go back to that February. Let’s say that Wellington had a poor summer this year but on that weekend the weather was perfect! Perfect in Wellington meaning no wind. We’re not here to talk about the weather but Off Grid is not your typical conference and that matter was important.
Being designers we mostly spend our time in front of a computer. A conference means meeting really cool people, getting away from the computer, getting inspired and maybe finding a solution for that project you’ve been working on. At Off Grid, you could make your own active conference depending on your preferences. What Nick Kapica did by launching Off Grid was taking a design conference to the next level.
First, the community aspect of it. Off Grid happened in Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington. I met people from all over, people who had migrated to New Zealand, like myself, or others that made the trip from the UK, America and Australia to “tour” Off Grid. The diversity in jobs and age was incredible. Being a small group also made the conversations easier and the moments privileged.
Second, the talents and hands-on part of it. We started the conference by a short reel of the behind the scene of Te Papa and Weta collaborations: Gallipolli and Bug Lab followed by a visit at Te papa. I then ventured to the Te Papa User Centered Design thinking workshop. I was amazed by the energy and creativity of those three ladies: Celeste Skatchill, Chloe Johnston and Sasja Mazurkiewicz who actively prepped us to interview, brainstorm and come up with solutions to a problem. We had the chance to hear Tessa Baty talk about the brand story of Wellington Museums at the Wellington Musuem! And hearing the colourful story of Morag Myerscough was a wonderful experience.
Last not least the happiness feeling. I was seated on the Wellington Museum stairs by end of day and I shared a meal with people I had never met. I learned so much from the organisers, speakers and individuals and it was an amazing feeling. That whole conference was participative, we all moved, interacted with each other and discovered the process of amazing designers.
Can’t wait for the Off Grid 18 edition.
You can read more about this year’s Off Grid event by clicking here.