L.A. Design scene: A West Coast design tour with Jaime Derringer
From Ligne Roset to the great Adobe MAX conference: Lisa Gralnek, Managing Director of iF Design USA, and Jaime Derringer, founder of Design Milk, took on the scene in Los Angeles and visited some major hotspots - here are their findings on trends and conversations, brought to paper by Jaime.
As the sun rises amidst the palm trees, we make our way into the furniture design studio and 12-time iF DESIGN AWARD winner showroom in Beverly Hills to get caffeinated and gather with an incredibly talented group of designers, architects, educators, and business leaders.
There is no simple answer. But as each attendee explores the question, we begin to notice common themes—themes that not only define U.S. culture, but threads that tie North America with the global design community.
Designers are problem solvers by their nature—but also so much more. Everything around us has been designed; design impacts the way we feel, act, interact, travel, and come together.
The conversation is full of optimism, as Amanda Barnes, Director of Communications for Helms Bakery District, explained, “We designed our way into this, and we can design our way out of it.” And yet, the group also acknowledges the socio-political and economic challenges that designers face in implementing change.
David Zaboski, Co-Founder of Laetro and former Disney animator, emphasized the importance of purpose-driven design: “When people are purpose driven, meaning that they want their work and life to be a positive influence on the world, then they demand purpose from the companies they work for and purchase from. Because of this pressure, companies have to respond by also being purpose driven. This changes how they tell their stories, sell their wares and design their products.“
After such an inspiring conversation at Ligne Roset, we’re excited to continue learning. Thanks to Design Director, Bill Bouchey, we take a field trip to the Gensler LA office, where we experience a peek inside their “Office of the Future.” Infused with warm wood, soothing tones, and soft lighting like a gorgeous home—wish we could work from this space every day!
Adobe MAX Conference
Our next stop is the enormous Adobe MAX conference, which takes over the LA Convention Center and multiple other theater and event venues in Downtown LA. The Adobe team does a fantastic job of bringing together a creative community of over 10,000 graphic, motion, UX, communication and other designers to learn, play, and inspire.
The excellent keynote speakers - from popular creator Karen X Cheng to artist Aaron Draplin to music producer Oak Felder - touch on the importance of giving back, taking care of those closest to us, and taking a break from social media and screens.
Aside from generative AI, other themes we note include the importance of community, transparency, an ethical use of technology, and… of course, magic!
Our inaugural West Coast trip was a great success and we can’t wait to come back again soon! Thank you, Los Angeles!