The second half of BlogTour was filled with late nights followed by early mornings. The combination made my ambitious morning writing schedule tough to keep up. Rather than try and write up every second of the tour, I wanted to share with you a little discussion that I had with Martha (Mr. Steam) and Raina (A Stylist's Life). At the group farewell party, Martha asked us what really made an impact on us more than anything, not counting the people we've met on the trip. It was a good question.
After a moment, my wine-attled brain came up with something that, even now, in the light of morning holds up to scrutiny. In the end, my biggest take away from this trip might be the simplest. Watching London hold a citywide festival dedicated to design filled with art installations and walking tours and trade shows and book signings and everything I'm forgetting as I type this is a true departure from anything we have in the states. Even in New York, the heart of art, culture and design in the US doesn't have an equivalent festival. You may have a comparable trade shows, but nothing with the scope and breadth of London Design Festival. It's that very context that reinforces just how important design is to Londoners, and having traveled a little, to Europeans in general. Even as I type this I'm in brilliantly designed lobby at the Citizen M hotel full of style great sight lines and amazing furniture.
So what was my biggest take away? It's probably this...
As North American designers we have a responsibility to raise the profile of design writ large and small in our native lands. Design matters in Europe because there's a culture that embraces it. It's elevated to a higher level. As designers we must do everything we can to make sure our profession is seen as valuable beyond the context of reality TV fix-it shows and celebrity designers with product lines. I think BlogTour is an example of that outreach and effort.
This trip was a wonderful experience. I got to learn and see so much all in the company of brilliant people with a wide variety of perspectives. As I get back into my writing routine tomorrow there will surely be more BlogTour related content, but until then I wanted to make sure I said thank you to Modenus for hosting me on this terrific tour. Veronika, Tim and Erin did a heroic job managing 15 creatives and making sure we were looked after on the myriad events we traveled to each day. It was a pleasure to be a part of the trip. I'll remember it always.