Quick Guide to Vision 2016


Vision Bristol 2016, a conference of creative thought leaders, inspired, challenged and gave us a fresh perspective on how we can develop as a business and as individuals. Highlighting and predicting the future of design, Vision addressed how we can keep up with the rapidly changing face of technology and consumer needs.

To give you a flavour, here are 4 of the hot topics from the event;

The third era of digital

Technology is evolving at an exponential rate and people are expecting more from it every day. If our phones can automatically pay for our Uber taxi without us even thinking about it, then why aren’t other brands achieving this? This era brings a generation of people who expect their lives to be made easier, quicker and more efficient by tech and if brands can’t keep up, they risk being relegated.

Everything is becoming digitized now. There is real economic value in changing lives by simplifying, disrupting, learning and automating decisions and actions in real time. Is the answer to this sophisticated algorithms based on personalized data collected from your every move? The potential for this technology stretches across many sectors including the home, transport, retail and our own bodies. We can see the market experimenting under these categories as we see a rise in products like Google’s Nest for the home, self driving cars and developments in wearable tech. Perhaps the most advantageous area would be in the medical sector. We can already see progress within health tracking which has become huge in the last few years and this is starting to be translated into areas like diabetes care. Vision left us questioning, is this an invaluable resource or an invasion of privacy?

Fearless/Fear Less

Glen Tuttsel’s talk on fearless/fear less encouraged everyone to take a step back from the technology that surrounds our working environment to appreciate the value of a sketch. Technology can become a barrier to real creativity. A lesson that could resonate through all aspects of our lives (we’re all guilty of mindless phone browsing!) We should challenge the systems by which we conventionally work as ideas in their rawest form can be the most creatively valuable.

Furthermore, whilst, getting the brief right is paramount to great work, we should always look to push the boundaries and question the parameters of a project as:

Fortune favours the brave, and the bravest designers are the most successful

‘Being brave’ resonated as a mantra of Vision. And is if to emphasize this further the conference concluded with Jason Romeyko’s own examples of being brave through the vehicle of compelling ideas.

Take for instance the Vangardist publication, printed with the blood of HIV + people, draws attention to the disease as well as exposing the still prolific misconceptions surrounding HIV and AIDS. The plastic wrapping calls upon the reader to breach an imaginary boundary, confront their preconceptions and become active in the discussion. Similarly Saatchi& Saatchi’s campaign with GSK nasal spray similarly tells of the power of an idea. By spraying giant mist canons over marathon runners, to temporarily alleviate the effects of pollution, they transformed Amity Gurgaon Half Marathon into a theoretical nasal passage!  

Romeyko provoked us to think about how we approach being brave.  Often this, as we see with the examples given, is through realising the power of an idea rather than something literal. This is how we capture the imagination and, very much in the spirt of the conference, pursue a Vision. 

VR - technology of the future?

 Henry Stuart took us on a whistle stop tour through the world of Virtual Reality. Believe it or not, Virtual reality isn’t an invention of the future, in fact, VR can be traced back to the late 1800’s with the development of the Stereoscope. Similarly to the VR headsets we have today, the stereoscope provided viewers with the illusion of 3D depth. A much more rudimentary version of course! However, today we are seeing more and more incredible capabilities in the world of VR with the potential to take over many sectors such as music and entertainment, retail, sports, film and gaming. Thanks to the mobile phone, technology such as sensors and accelerometers have been getting cheaper as they are produced in their billions so this has enabled VR headsets to come to life.

VR is totally immersive and can transport you into any situation. Whilst the resolution of the screen is more pixelated than in real life, and there are still a few teething problems when it comes to people experiencing motion sickness, we can only expect the technology to improve over the next few years. The future holds higher resolutions, more intuitive haptics and smaller headsets. Eventually, experts predict that we will be experiencing retinal projection VR as the technology develops.

‘Mind the Gap’ Collaboration vs Disconnection

The difference between how we are perceived and how we want to be perceived was another key theme of the conference. Anouk Pappers & Maarten Schafer discussed this through the cipher of our personal online brands marrying with the reality.

A convincing answer to the communication dilemma was given by True Digital’s James Caig and Sawday’s Nada Matti-Leighton, who shared a joint platform as client and agency. They affirmed the values and approach pivotal to Kinneir Dufort’s relationships: championing collaboration and ‘opening up to the wider culture of each other’s businesses.’ This chimes with our belief in investing the time to get to know each other, the creative process a coming together with a client to find the best solution. 

The lessons to be learnt from their openness come full circle back to internal relationships within a company. Melanie Cook opened day two with the troubling assertion that ‘only one in five rate their leaders highly in the creative industry’. We feel the solution to this could be a non-hierarchical approach. By paying attention to the critical nonessentials, building relationships, we can understand each other’s motivations and channel collaboration effectively.

Margaret Heffernan demonstrated the importance of having a mixed team of collaborators. It’s not the team with the highest IQ or the oldest and most experienced contributors that comes up top, but instead the members who can show the most empathy and an equal contribution from all, will achieve the most success,

Real creativity is what happens between people

 The creatives are everywhere; we just have to give them the opportunity to show it.

Kelly O’Connor and Alex Thompson