to embrace: the act of accepting or supporting something willingly or enthusiastically.
to innovate: making changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.
We live in a world that doesn't like to accept change quickly. It's hard. People are quick to dislike that in which they aren't familiar with. But what if we could change that? What if we found ways to push the envelope in our generation and encourage people to think differently? Not just about technology, but about everything.
TEDxStripDistrict's inaugural event will focus on people who are different and who are changing lives by challenging the status quo. We want you to be a part of it.
During Fall 2017, I was fortunate to be asked to join the Board of Directors of TEDxStripDistrict as Lead Experiences Designer, taking lead of web and spatial/exhibit design for the inaugural event in February 2018, as well as contributing to branding and event voice.
Focusing on people who are different and changing lives by challenging the status quo.
Bringing theme and Mission Into the Brand
TED has grown to a global brand, embracing ideas worth sharing from people around the world. Their TEDx sub-brand empowers people around the globe to organize independent events. These events inspire anyone to form themes, relevant to their context. Our event is called "Embracing Innovation", focusing on the 'why' of status quo's and showcasing ideas that are changing lives around thriving community in the City of Pittsburgh.
Being an independently organized TEDx event, we wanted to inject some of our theme into our brand. Currently, there are a lot of 'cookie-cutter' TEDx events, precedents for how to craft a TED talk and how the stage should be setup. We want to be experimental and provocative with the branding, both in the physical and digital space.
As a team, we wanted to take some liberties and break the typical norms of a clean-cut event page, and deciding to take a more playful approach, almost a bit experimental in layout and feel. We're trying to invoke the feeling of the theme: "Embracing Innovation" in both touch-points between the event space and the event page. The website can be viewed here: TEDxStripDistrict
The Event space is called "Our Clubhouse" a hub for any person whose lives are touched by cancer. It's a safe place for support, relaxation, fun, and peace. "Our Clubhouse" is making a major difference in the Pittsburgh community in a tangible manner, that really resonated with our theme. Along with their mission, their space is located within an old steel foundry, extremely evocative of Pittsburgh's deep history as a steel production powerhouse. This was the perfect confluence between mission, history, and innovation.
The space itself was chosen because along with the web branding, we wanted to do something a bit different with the event space as well. Rather than just a auditorium with a stage, "Our Clubhouse" provides a overlooking balcony and lounge space below. It's quite a challenge to figure out how to hold an event in here, but opens up the creative liberty we may be able to take with what a TEDx Talk experience has to be like. It's not traditional, but that's perfect for our inaugural event.