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TEDx Sheffield

Posted by Monica Tailor, 17 June 2012

TEDx Sheffield

Last week we (that's Matt and I) went along to TEDx Sheffield. This was unusual in as much as Matt and I are never seen out together - at least 4 people commented on this as soon as we walked through the door. 

I like TEDx events, they help to uncover some great local speakers and TEDx Sheffield did this brilliantly. It didn't have a theme so it offered an eclectic mix of speakers on different subjects. I thought it did a great job of pushing the TED brand; diverse thought provoking talks delivered by excellent speakers.

I managed to do some doodling during the day too.

First up were the BBC Radio 4 Listening Project team. We all ventured into the Crucible Studio a little apprehensively as we'd been given eye masks to wear during the talk. If you've not heard of the listening project check it out here. They're looking for people to have conversations.

James Jeffries and Leila Johnston - both Technologist in Residence at Site Gallery as part of the Happenstance project. I'd never heard the term 'Technologist in Residence' but it sounds fun and I could see why Leila and James were so enthusiatic about their project.

Giuseppe Ballaglia - Beppe is the Chair of Synthetic Biology at Sheffield Hallam. His talk was about nano technology in the delivery of drugs - at least that's what I've decided it was. It was much more complicated and much more fascinating.

Erica Packington posed an interesting thought 'Roller Derby saved my soul'. I know an enthusiatic Roller Derbier (is that what they're called) but I hadn't realised how much this tribe engendered enthusiam and community in its followers.

David Cotterall was the last speaker in this session and talked about his work as a war artist in Afganhistan. The audience sat enthralled and his conclusion managed to tie the whole talk up brilliant. I would really like to experience David's work so I'm going to seek it out.

The speakers after the break Steve Coulson and Chella Quint both presented on some life experiences in a funny way. Unfortunately Matt and I had to get back to Leeds and we left before the end.

For more information about the speakers or TEDxSheffield visit www.tedxsheffield.com.


Made North 2011

Posted by Monica Tailor, 23 February 2012

Yesterday I went along to the first Made North conference. Billed as "exploring the roles of design, art and technology in the future of the North." I love design in all forms so there was no need to convince me.

The day was interesting but didn't quite live up to what I'd been expecting, probably because I'd set my expectations too high no doubt. Don't get me wrong it was a great event, fantastic venue and very professionally delivered but there wasn't enough probing content for me. I would have liked some more of the 'exploring'. And also more variety of design, apart from Alex Deschamps-Sonsino from DesignSwarm, the definition of design seemed to be product design.

All that said I know as well as anyone that putting on an event is a huge undertaking so getting all the components right on the very first attempt is virtually impossible. So much of the event was right though, some great speakers, my favourites were Herb Kim, Alex Deschamps-Sonsino and Luke Pearson. There was a geographically diverse audience, the sign, checkin, venue and staff were excellent and all in all it was a really good day.

There's a full run down of speakers on the Made North website.

And here are the notes I took, which are also up on Flickr.