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Highlight this February was surely IDN’s Fresh Conference 2001, the Hong Kong-based international design magazine. This was the most highly anticipated creative event that was held here in WanChai’s Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. A two-day verbal and visual feast aimed at gathering webby enthusiasts and other curious creatives together merging likeminded population from the Asia region under one big roof. The scheduled speakers were:

Day One Fri Feb 09, 2001
Tom Hale + Greg Rewis + Eric Wittman -although only two were present from Tomato
David Yu + Eddie Pak + Thai Nguyen of The OFP
Aaron Hoffman + Alex Ogle of Tubatomic Studio
Joshua Davis’ Praystation

Day Two Sat Feb10, 2001
Matt Owens + Warren Corbitt of One9ine and Volumeone
Fred Flade + Alex Griffin of Deepend
Amy Franceschini + Josh On of Future Farmers
Ian Kovalik from Hillmancurtis
Yugo Nakamura’s Yugop

It was very interesting seeing the people behind these sites. Overall, the seminars focused on topics ranging from their inspirations, visions and living out our dreams. We were constantly reminded that achieving this much is no easy task. Most of the people I know who attended left the two-day seminar with a great vibe just like me. The overall message was to strive for personal expression through design, whether it is by technological problem-solving or creative adventuring. The perseverance in developing one’s own style through life experiences and using the site to bring people together is what the web is all about. The Conference was a totally inspiring gift, attaining a realistic focus on the how the web scene is breeding today. Not forgetting that Asia is only a neighbour away from communicating to the rest of the world.

Apart from the Conference, IDN and Macromedia also held a web “What the World Can Be” Competition. The winners were given prizes ranging from iMacs (congrats to DHKY for Eric So Art, yeah!) to branded scooters (why?) and the latest bundle of software from Macromedia. With my own experience with the competition and seminar, I have found that awards mean really nothing. Competitions mean only facing away from the path a designer really should be shriving for, whether it is the web, print or your own design of a vacuum cleaner. It is not about yourself, not about kissing that Oscar graphic award but how you influence others. I have learnt, thanks to one of my colleagues at work, how you diffuse and express your ideas to the world, and the way you bring different cultures and people together through ones’ design work or creation, which is really what the web should be. Thank you for all the people that attended the seminar, not only the speakers but those that have supported me through my site right from the start, and hopefully we can all work closer together and come up with something really cool in the outcome.

I met many people visiting Hong Kong and local designers at the conference. For the people who approached me I did not know, and guys that I wanted to meet who did not know who the heck I was, this sort of interaction is the fuel for the web. I met The OFP boys, Ryuko’s Design Plex, Kenji and Nobuyuki of Mediaheadz, The PowerGraphixx Collective (sorry we should have chatted more), Kentaro (Mario) Nendo, Josh Davis of PrayStation, and Amy of the FutureFarmers (you are great). They were all mind-candy and they have all guided me like a compass and a wonderful vision of inspirational fireworks.

Finally, the IDN conference was organised quite well considering it was their first one, so congratulations to them and we wait in anticipation for the next big one, promised to be in 2002. 2DVD’s will be available soon form the conference, and as well as IDN with Praystation’s Hard Drive CDROM…yum.

Text: Calvin Ho from Atomic Attack!

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