Flash conference "FITC 2005" was held on April 9th through 11th in Toronto, Canada. There were over 60 guest speakers from all over the world. The familiar faces like Yoji Nakamura, Collin Moock, and Joshua Davis, and big faces in design industry, like David Carson and Robert L Peters gathered for the fourth time this year.
FITC's excellence is its size. Over 80 talk sessions, workshops and panel discussions took place in six different halls. It was divided into three categories by "business", "creative", and "technical". The topic on the World Wide Web was apparent in every category. I'd like to feature some of the more impressive sessions on what's hot in today's industry.
This year's FITC was held at the high-class Westin Harbour Castle hotel, which faces Lake Ontario. We had good weather with clear skis throughout the conference, and everybody enjoyed looking over the beautiful lake from the hotel's deck. The audiences as well as guests were in a relaxed atmosphere enjoying cups of Starbucks coffee, which was given out in the lounge.
After the keynote speech called "FLASH the FUTURE", Marcos Weskamp who was on a cover of SHIFT Vol.99 started off his session called "Expression Through Information Visualization". Expression of social networking relation, "Fickr Graph" (the winner of FITC award for experimental grand prix) and visualized google news called "Newsmap" were presented with a working model. He ended by stating strongly that he'd like to be able to simply visualize the devastating amount of information.
Geoff Lillemon's session called "Oculart", which is a made up word combining ocular and art, started with a projection of a warped Eiffel Tower and eccentric music. His recent work, "Oculart Orchestra" which he explains as art performance with visual elements uses a web cam to capture the movement of hands, in order to make his strange characters make noises on the computer screen. The audiences were enchanted by his distinctive world.
The next entry was a cool guy, Evan Roth at "NI9E.COM" from New York City. His session's title was "Greek Graffiti". The audience loved many of his post office themes. He also introduced "ASCII Graph" which combined ASCII art and graffiti, and "Graph Analysis" which analyzes graffiti handwriting. He explained that he wanted to communicate in a new way with things that really exist in today's world. After seeing him on the stage, I just had to say he was the coolest guy on that day and I'd like you to check out his web site for the full details!
The second day of FITC was also a brilliant day with great creators on stage. The graphic designer, Tom Muller, who made web site for The Designers Republic and Warp Records, at Kleber kicked off the morning. His presentation focused on sophisticated web site usability; easy construction for site managers, how to worm up a forum on the site functionally. The picture below is Tom from the left, after his session, and Michael Cina from the right at weworkforthem.
As soon as Robert L Peters, the president of ICOGRADA (International Council of Graphic Design Associations), showed up on stage, the audience became quiet. The session's title was "The Future-By Design" He used simple and effective quotes, and created a strong and reflective picture and videos in the session that was impressive to all the designers. He lectured about the responsibility of designers in society. Design delivers culture. Culture formulates a sense of value. And the sense of value determines the future. All the designers have responsibility to the children of the future because of what we do. Michael Cina who I mentioned before agreed and said that designers should work more outside. Seeing people's reaction from the session reminded me that the definition of a designer is to be a social creator as well.
A Japanese creator who now lives in Canada, and the author of the famous animation "Catman", Ryusuke Aoike made an appearance on the stage the first morning on the last day of FITC. In the world that focuses more on the technical side on Flash, people respect his enthusiasm for making only animation. In the presentation he revealed a lot of valuable FLA files, and introduced various little techniques for animation. Many people in the audience were eagerly taking notes.
Joshua Davis showed up on stage with crazy tattoo all over his body in the afternoon. His use of irony while talking about his project with the hardcore band called "TOOL" got the audience excited. The application that automatically generates 2D and 3D spaces back and forth, inspired from Super Mario's new series called " Paper Mario", was one of the greatest innovations I'd seen in this event.
The last of this year's FITC presenters was Yugo Nakamura known as YUGOP, who changed Flash into today's direction. He was so popular that some people couldn't even get inside of the room. "AMAZTYPE", described as Typography that produces money, is a great draw from all over the world. The audiences gave him a standing ovation for his distinguished words; the mistakes you make by accident for the logics that you use without caution everyday could be a starting point for typography. Then you cultivate them so that your typography gets some kind of power to itself.
The subject for this event was very pluralistic, ranging from graphic design to business model to multimedia youth. The reason for that is the creative tools "Flash" is now the platform that has attracted many of talent to these fields. Those powerful three days were a great help for everybody who is somewhat related to web creativity, and of course to the future web site development.
Date: 9th - 11th April, 2005
Place: Westin Harbour Castle, Toronto, Canada