FITC San Francisco

This past week I was lucky enough to get into the FITC San Francisco conference. I applied for a volunteer position and it turns out I ended up being the stage manager for the main stage. Fantastic. Not only do I pretty much get to watch all of the talks for free, but I get to introduce myself as a recent design graduate that just moved to San Francisco while awkwardly shoving a microphone down the back of the speakers’ pants.

I have never been to a conference before, but after attending this one, I know I will go to others. Although some of the talks weren't specifically catered for designers, I learned a lot hearing from the developers point of view. Here are only some of the many excellent people I was able to meet and see talk:

Kevin Suttle had a great lecture on designing for context. I was able to view the workflow of authoring and deploying the same app across a variety of contexts, including web, movile and tv. He works for the company Litl. They are coming out with a home webbook that seems pretty sweet. You can check it out here. What I like about it is there is no hardware in the device. All data is stored online via cloud.

Scott Hansen: you might know him as iso50. He discussed his process and background. I was also able to catch his band, Tycho. I was lucky enough to catch a live set from his band. Very excellent stuff! It's almost a mix between Chris Clark and Boards of Canada.

Scott Dadich and Jeremy Clark // WIRED's Digital Rebirth: These guys are great. They are leading a new industry with how people experience and consume magazines. It was good to see how they approach content from print to digital.

Kyle Kooper: He has started two of the most influential movie title companies, Imaginary Forces and Prologue. We were able to peek inside his dark mind and see some of his famous opening sequences, including my favorite, SE7EN

Shaun Hamontree of mk12. I was glad to see someone I was familiar with and have already met. He discussed the importance of maintaining a balance between in house work and designing for others. They just finished their newest in house piece, TELEPHONEME.

Jared Ficklin: had more energy than a freight train. This could be because he had two or three rockstar drinks within thirty minutes. His lecture was on sound visualization from five perspectives: real time, without time, rendered, in society and in nature. His presentation was great because he spoke with enthusiasm and involved the crowd. 

Erik Natzke: created the graphics for the conference. After watching his presentation, I can see why. I cannot stress enough how much you need to check this guy out. His art is beyond 'dope as hell'.
Robert Hodgin was another one of my favorites. By programming magnetic repulsion effects, he is able to simulate the growth of trees, schooling fish and so much more. 

Theo Watson and Emily Gobeille created one of the coolest interactions for kids called funky forest. This is fantastic installation design that allows kids to interact with graphics by helping plant trees and shifting water to help keep those greens green. 

Brendan Dawes had some great points to make about designing for a digital medium. Why do we replicate page turns on devices without pages? 

last but not least, Yugo Nakamura, the flash superstar. He was as cool as a cucumber, friendly, funny and everything in between. His work is revolutionary and has probably some of the most innovative work I've seen in a long time.

Here are some more speakers to check out: Andre MichelleRalph HauwertMario Klingemann, Ben Fry, Grant SkinnerBoris Pique of odopod. Overall, it was a great way to be introduced to San Francisco. 

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