2013 DIA Forum: Design for the Real World

HG and I were stage-hands at the DIA forum today; we were pretty busy working, but I thought I'd make a few notes at the end of a busy day.
Speaker Panel: Cale Mason, Valentina Audrito, Sarah Scaife, Beth George, Nic Brunsdon, Martin Mileham, Bernard Seeber. Photo: HG

Range of speakers
The DIA seems a diverse organisation; today we heard from politicians, public servants, architects, furniture designers and fashion bloggers - many would qualify for more than one of these labels, and others besides.

Beth George and Nic Brunsdon
Great drawings, keen observers, careful eloquent discussion, support of students' work, support of colleagues' work, talking about their heroes (James Turrell, Raimund Abraham), crowdsourcing - and gave a good talk on their own work.

Bernard Seeber
He thinks he's a dying breed; the avowed functionalist. He does criticism really well - biting, starightforward but always gentle and understanding - no snark. Considering that everyone is always looking to get more from less, Bernard's thoughts on the design and making of buildings to me seem to offer a way forward in a world which often no longer wants luxury.

Politicians and Public Servants
Well done DIA, Scott Ludlum (Greens Senator), Colin Walker (Dept Culture + Arts) and Martin Mileham (City of Perth). I felt that this is what public dialogue and democracy is made of; people in government doing a good job, talk about their intent, not afraid to discuss their failings critically, and celebrate successes. Government is not always that interesting; it's complicated, slow-moving and covers the basics - but these were some good talks, and Martin gave robust contributions to the Speaker Panel group discussion at the end.

Also thanks to RC + MR, CB and SL for lending loads of equipment for the job.


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