eventsInterviewsThird annual design days: full immersion in digital design

Leo Mauriello6 years ago13 min


Design is once again at the heart of a project, and forms the foundation, functionality, usability and ease of use. Filippo Spiezia

Spring is finally on its way and right now Milan is bustling with events and unmissable opportunities for networking or just enjoying innovation. From Friday March 16th to Sunday the 18th, Digital Design Days are back in Milan. It’s a full immersion experience – the third annual international event dedicated to digital design, innovative technology and creativity. And this year, it’s part of the first annual Milan Digital Week. Dotmug readers can claim a 15% discount by signing up to our newsletter. We interviewed Filippo Spiezia, Co-Founder and Creative Director of DDD, who told us about all the events you won’t want to miss this year.

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How and when did you get the idea for this design event?

Digital Design Days started 2 years ago to make up for a lack of a high level, specialized events in this sector in Italy. Starting from my own profession and experience, I tried to put on the best event possible for professional designers in the digital world–the kind of event I would have wanted to go to myself.

Routine question… What’s changed or improved about the third annual event compared to the first two?

Things have both changed and improved in the details of the organization. The quality and level of participants is higher, and there’s more content on offer for the guests.

Can you recommend a workshop or speech for each of your target groups? So one for Startups, one for entrepreneurs, one for students… one for everyone.

A speech not to miss for everyone is definitely David Carson, the legend of graphic design. Carson hasn’t been to Italy since 1996. Then I’d recommend, for everyone again, Chris Do’s workshop “Business of Design” which will give lots of useful advice on how to monetize your work. For startups I’d suggest Tobias Wuestefeld’s workshop “Hacking 3dtools trailer making of”. For entrepreneurs, the speech by the Team for Digital Transformation which will cover all the new developments for from last year’s DDD to now, with further discussion in the workshop “Service Design.” For students, all the speeches are useful, but as for workshops I’d definitely go for Sketch, Framer and the 2 sessions by the studio Wacom- “Character Design” and “ZBrush.”

Unlike before, today design is considered an “applied science.” It’s increasingly multidisciplinary and is revolutionizing sectors like the economy, IT, advertising and digital. So what could be a revised definition of the term “design” to account for the current context?

Design is once again at the heart of a project, and forms the foundation, functionality, usability and ease of use. It’s not just an added frill to make it look nice for the user interface, it’s at the base of the whole plan.

The value proposition of DDD is “extreme full immersion e in digital design”. But is there a conceptual difference between traditional and digital design?

In my opinion, there’s not a conceptual difference as such, because creativity and innovation work together. So we can define creativity as cross border, in the sense that it can be expressed both through traditional and digital design. There’s no particular difference in methodology. Or rather, the way of expressing yourself differs, but creativity and the concept of innovation apply to both.

Training looks like a central theme to your program. In the words of Chris Do, it almost overlaps with the concept of “exchange and sharing of experiences”…the feeling is that the debate tries to fill the skills gap left by traditional education. What do you think about this?

Of course, the theme of training is absolutely central at all levels, for students as well as professionals. And throughout the event, we’ll have a number of high level professionalism present- decidedly more so than students. I can confirm: with DDD, we’re aiming to help bridge the skills gap left by traditional education.

Out of your many workshops, I can’t wait for the intensive course in Cinematic VR. Virtual reality is clearly an emerging trend… how should the designers of the future prepare for it?

We’re talking about the present, not the future. Virtual reality is here now, and it’s already being developed through augmented reality, mixed reality… there are different branches of development, so it’s time to get stuck in.

Recently Chris Anderson said “We live in a remix culture: everything is inspired by something that came before, and creativity is shown as much in the reinterpretation of existing works as in original ones.” It might be the idea that best represents the difference between designers and artists. The former reinterprets and the latter creates. But can design be art?

Design can be art, and we see this in practice at DDD with installations that are properly digital works of art where people can interact, feel involved and have an emotional experience, each in their own way. They’re all paths of storytelling that use different technological methods, but what counts in the end is the user’s experience in their approach to the various installations.

What makes Digital Design Days a can’t miss event?

Only at DDD can you see and meet all these speakers on the same stage; and the experiential part is fundamental for visitors—that is, the networking moments throughout the day or evening. Because it’s important to learn, but it’s essential to meet each other, exchange business cards, create job opportunities, etc. DDD is the only 3-day event bringing together professionals at every level and from around the world, both on and off stage, and everyone from the speakers to the visitors to the brands.

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Leo Mauriello

I'm characterized by a great curiosity, that drives me to achieve important goals and new challenges. I'm a web and digital marketer mainly focused on digital strategy and social advertising with design, programming and digital analyst skills.

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