As we gear up for SPAN 2018 in Helsinki, we wanted to take a moment to look back on some memorable insights from SPAN 2017. Last year’s event in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania brought together a mix of multi-disciplinary creators asking nuanced questions about what it means to have a contemporary design practice. Topics were varied, but a throughline emerged—the fascinating, ever-evolving, alternatingly fraught-and-fantastical connections between humans, technology, and design.
We invited Longform co-host Aaron Lammer to help us delve a bit deeper and record interviews with a handful of our speakers for our Design Notes podcast. The following four excerpts represent a range of what we learned at SPAN PGH—like why gamifying language lessons is the surest bet for making them stick; the surprising (or not so surprising!) connection between architecture and the nascent field of AI; the importance of gathering a solid squad to attack weird and wild and wide-open creative briefs; and how to make an emotional bond with a one-ton industrial machine.