SPAN 2019: Brooklyn

Google’s day-long interactive conference — uniting design, technology, and art

October 10, 2019 Brooklyn, NY

Google’s interactive conference—uniting design, technology, and art.

This year, SPAN returns to New York City to explore the ways in which people use design to create systems and upend them. Join us for an opportunity to connect and learn from our diverse community of thinkers, makers, and advocates.


09:00 AM Doors Open

10:00 AM Welcome

10:10 AM Morning Talks

Ari Melenciano Creative Technologist

Charles Broskoski Co-Founder,

Taeyoon Choi Co-Founder, School for Poetic Computation

11:35 AM Workshop Session I

Wearables: Seeing Is Believing Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski

Towards Resilient Systems Google AI Strategy & Research

Sound Design: Crash! Bang! Wallop! Conor O’Sullivan, Google

Conversation: Can AI Make You Cry? Janet Wong with Maya Man

12:30 PM Lunch

01:05 PM Workshop Session II

Teachable Machines: Designing with AI Irene Alvarado and Barron Webster, Google Creative LabDesigning Human-Centered AI Products Rebecca Salois and Di Dang, People + AI ResearchSound Design: Crash! Bang! Wallop! Conor O’Sullivan, Google

01:25 PM Material Design Awards

02:35 PM Workshop Session III

Hue & Glue: Hands-On Color Theory Cortney Cassidy and Javier Lopez, Material Design

Inflatables CW&T

Alt-Text PoetryShannon Finnegan

Conversation: Roles & ToolsPaul Ford with Amber Bravo

04:05 PM Afternoon Talks

Murray Moss CEO, Moss Bureau

Jerome Harris Design Director, Housing Works

Jennifer Daniel Creative Director, Google Emoji

05:20 PM Beer Break

05:50 PM Evening Talks

Christine Sun Kim Artist

Tavi Gevinson Actor and writer

07:00 PM After Party


Join us in beautiful Bushwick, Brooklyn

99 Scott Ave,Brooklyn, NY



What is Google Design? Google Design is a cooperative effort led by a group of designers, developers, writers, and UX advocates at Google. Our mission is to support design excellence from inside and outside Google, engage in creative partnerships and educational advocacy, and champion innovators reshaping technology. To learn more, visit, follow Google Design on Twitter.

How can I learn about past SPAN events? FORM, our first-ever design conference, took place in San Francisco in 2014. We renamed the conference in 2015 and launched a two-city series: SPAN New York and London. In 2016, SPAN took place in Los Angeles and Tokyo. In 2017, we featured the work of makers and thinkers in Pittsburgh, Newcastle-Gateshead, and Mexico City. Last year, SPAN travelled to Helsinki. To learn more, visit our collection on Google Design for related articles, guides, and video.


Who attends SPAN? We invite designers, technologists, artists, and thought leaders working in design and technology. This year, we’re extending tickets to local partners that support community-based initiatives at the intersection of design, art, and tech. Due to limited capacity, this year’s event is invite-only and tailored to region.

Can I edit my registration after I’ve submitted it? Yes. You are able to edit your registration form after you’ve submitted it using the link in your confirmation email.

I already registered but am unable to attend. Can I cancel my registration? Yes. If you can’t attend the conference, you’re able to cancel your registration using the form linked in your confirmation email.

I received an invitation. Can I request a plus-one, or suggest someone to attend on my behalf? You can nominate someone via the “recommend a friend” link in your invitation email. Please note that because space is limited, a recommendation doesn’t guarantee admission. If space is still available, we’ll extend an invitation to your friend directly.


What workshops are offered at SPAN Brooklyn?

Wearables: Seeing Is Believing Refashion mundane, everyday objects into newly purposeful tools and works of wearable art. Anything and everything can be a medium for expression in this workshop led by designers Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski.

Towards Resilient Systems Shape new methods for problem-solving inspired by the qualities of natural systems. Design strategists from Google AI will lead a hands-on work session alongside scientists from the fields of computational biology, swarm robotics, and forest ecology. Special Guests: Dr. Elizabeth Hénaff, Dr. Heiko Hamann, and Dr. Camille Defrenne

Sound Design: Crash! Bang! Wallop! Record custom ringtones and mix your own digital product sounds in this session led by Google Sound Design Lead Conor O’Sullivan.

Teachable Machines: Start Designing with AI Learn how to use DIY machine learning models to design and prototype with AI. Using a new version of Teachable Machine, you’ll create your own new interactions (with sounds, poses, sights, etc.) and explore how machine learning really works. Hosted by Google Creative Lab.Designing Human-Centered AI Products What role do designers play in building artificial intelligence-driven products that are human-centered, ethical, and inclusive? Join Google’s People + AI Research team for hands-on exercises and insights from the newly published People + AI Guidebook. Participants will leave with a stronger understanding of how to approach design for AI.

Hue & Glue: Hands-On Color Theory A Josef Albers-inspired color theory workshop using paper and collage techniques. Led by members of the Material Design team.

Inflatables Build inflatable structures using low-tech methods in this engineering exercise led by Che-Wei Wang and Taylor Levy of the Brooklyn-based studio CW&T.

Alt-Text Poetry Sharpen your descriptive powers and experiment with writing alt-text. Led by artist Shannon Finnegan, this workshop provides an introduction to the medium and uses a series of writing exercises to explore alt-text’s creative potential.

How many workshops can I attend? SPAN attendees are invited to take part in up to two creative workshops led by designers and subject matter experts. Spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

How can I sign up for a workshop? You should have received an email asking to confirm your attendance at SPAN and workshop preferences. If you did not receive that email, let us know at Please note that we cannot guarantee that everyone will get into their preferred workshop.

Material Design Studio

What talks will be offered in the Material Design Studio? In Material Design’s dedicated studio space, hear short talks from Google on a range of topics including: Introduction to Start With One by Hana Tanimura, Google Creative Lab; Designing Dark Theme Interfaces byJavier Lopez, Material Design; Art Direction for Digital Products by Emily Blank, Material Design; The Value of Design Systems by Michael Gilbert & Clara Kliman-Silver, Material Design; Material Design x ML Kit by Philippe Cao & Kunal Patel, Material Design; Expanding Human-Centered Design: An Ecological Approach  by Kenric McDowell & Izzie Zahorian, Google AI Strategy & Research; Building Beautiful Products with Material Design by David Demaree, Material Design; A Practical Introduction to Variable Fonts by Liam Spradlin, Material Design; Looking Ahead with Material Design by Bethany Fong, Material Design

What demos will be offered in the Material Design Studio? Through guided demos, attendees can learn how to Build a Material Theme and get to know Gallery’s collaborative features.


How do I get to the venue? SPAN 2019 will be held at 99 Scott, in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn. The venue is accessible by subway (it’s roughly an 8-minute walk from the Jefferson stop on the L train) and by car. Street parking near the venue is limited, so we encourage attendees to use public transportation or ride sharing services.

Photographs and Video

Will there be photography at SPAN? Yes. Photographs and video taken at SPAN by Google, or others on behalf of Google, may include your image or likeness. By attending SPAN, you agree that Google may use such photographs and/or video for any purpose without compensation to you.


Is the SPAN venue accessible? Google strives to make events open and accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or need. Participants with disabilities and/or special needs should provide details in the registration form and/or by emailing us at This information will remain private, shared only as needed to complete your request.

99 Scott is wheelchair accessible and has ADA accessible bathrooms on both floors. There are two entrances to the space. The entrance on Scott Avenue has four (4) stairs near the entry while the entrance on Randolph Street has one (1) stair, which will be equipped with a ramp for the duration of SPAN. Attendees in need of assistance are always welcome to move to the front of the line.

The entire event will be hosted on the ground floor of the building with the coffee, lunch, and after-party taking place on the paved outdoor space adjacent to the venue. Wayfinding will be used to highlight accessible routes throughout the venue.

If you have questions about accessibility before the event, please contact our accessibility point person at

If you need assistance or have questions about accessibility during the event, please approach a SPAN staff member.

What accommodations do you make for those with hearing impairments? All main-stage talks will be accompanied by an ASL interpreter with reserved seating for attendees who are deaf or hard of hearing.


Will food be served at SPAN? Food will be served, including morning pastries, coffee and tea, lunch, snacks, and alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Vegetarian and gluten-free options will be available.

Child Care

Does SPAN offer on-site childcare? SPAN is unfortunately not able to offer childcare. We will make space available for nursing mothers—just inform a member of the SPAN team.

Legal Notices

Registration Terms and Conditions Photographs and/or videos taken at SPAN by Google, or others on behalf of Google, may include your image or likeness. You agree that Google may use such photographs and/or video for any purpose without compensation to you.

By registering for a ticket, you acknowledge that your information will be used in accordance with Google’s Privacy Policy & Terms of Service. By registering and accepting any discounts, gifts, or items of value related to SPAN, you certify that you are able to do so in compliance with applicable laws and the internal rules of your organization. Tickets may not be sold, bartered, auctioned, or transferred in any way, and doing so may result in Google rendering the ticket null and void without any responsibility to Google.

All registered attendees agree to allow Google to contact them regarding their registration and attendance at the event. By registering for a ticket, you agree to allow Google to communicate with you via email with information regarding the event.

You agree to be solely responsible for your own safety, belongings, and well-being while participating in SPAN. Google LLC and its affiliates won't be liable for your participation in SPAN.

Unless otherwise permitted in writing by Google, no solicitation or selling of items or services is allowed at SPAN. Any attendee conducting these activities without permission may be removed from the event.

Applicants and attendees can request the deletion of their registration data after the event ends by emailing

Code of Conduct

Google is dedicated to providing a harassment-free and inclusive event experience for everyone regardless of gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disabilities, neurodiversity, physical appearance, body size, ethnicity, nationality, race, age, religion, or other protected category. We don’t tolerate harassment of event participants in any form. All attendees must abide by our anti-harassment policy.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. Our zero-tolerance policy means that we’ll look into and review every alleged violation of our Event Community Guidelines and Anti-Harassment Policy and respond appropriately. We empower and encourage you to report any behavior that makes you or others feel uncomfortable by finding a SPAN staff member or by emailing

Event staff will be happy to help participants contact hotel/venue security or local law enforcement, provide escorts, or otherwise assist those experiencing discomfort or harassment to feel safe for the duration of the event. We value your attendance.

This policy extends to workshops, demos, social media, afterparties, hallway conversations, all attendees, partners, sponsors, volunteers, event staff, etc. You catch our drift. Google reserves the right to refuse admittance to, or remove any person from, any Google-hosted event (including future Google events) at any time in its sole discretion. This includes, but is not limited to, attendees behaving in a disorderly manner or failing to comply with this policy, and the terms and conditions herein.

If a participant engages in harassing or uncomfortable behavior, SPAN staff may take any action they deem appropriate, including a warning or expelling the offender from the conference.


Download press materials and images for SPAN 2019

Google’s SPAN 2019 is invite-only. Explore our related articles, videos, and guides from past SPAN events, and we’ll share more once the event has wrapped. To learn about future happenings, follow us on Twitter, and sign up to receive our newsletters.

Questions? For more information on SPAN 2019, including our code of conduct, please visit our FAQ.