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Reasons to be Creative – Part One

A few of us attended the recent Reasons to be Creative, an annual conference in Brighton formerly known as Flash on the Beach, which gathers designers, developers and overall geeks from all around for three days of inspirational shenanigans. These were the highlights for me:

Paul Trani, Senior Creative Cloud Evangelist at Adobe, opened the conference by talking about thinking outside the box,with the illustration of Diamond Shreddies. For Trani, the most exciting ideas are born when being surrounded by interesting people, but equally great ideas can come from reacting to a bad experience, emotion or even an ‘enemy’. He spoke about the latest Adobe Creative Cloud developments including: Flash Professional CC which will allow content to be imported straight for HTML5 Canvas and WebGL documents; a new application called Adobe Edge Reflow CC which allows people to design responsive websites in a graphic way, generating all the CSS needed for it; Photoshop CC’s ability to automate assets importing straight from the library by just renaming the layers; and finally Adobe Kuler a tool to capture colour themes from photos, which will be uploaded to the cloud and shared amongst the other applications.

Gon

Surrounded by loads of “biopic” talks by designers and artists, Grant Skinner decided it was a good idea to have one featuring a developer. Growing up with Compute! magazine and printed code manually entered to compile games (yes, we all did that back then!) Skinner spoke about how he started building hacking websites for free until he realised there was a business behind it. He moved to Flash and created a whole operating system called FlashOS in his spare time. This led to the creation of EaselJS and CreateJS JavaScript libraries and one of his favourite projects, which allowed him to recreate some old school games, the Atari Arcade.

Gon 2

Carlos Ulloa, co-founder of HelloEnjoy, showed some of their past projects and demonstrated a full game of HelloRun (only for Chrome, be aware) – the new HTML5 game, inspired by Star Wars Trench Run which looks and sounds amazing. The game is a mixture of Unity and JavaScript and uses WebGL to render its impressive 3D graphics.

Dominic Wilcox entertained us with his Variations on Normal inventions, including the cost effective fence, the escalator ladder and the GPS shoes. He said that within every object that surrounds us, there are hundreds of ideas around it. He also showed us a video of him challenging a 3D printer to build a model the quickest.

Andrew Spooner‘s talk was all about sounds and reactions. We all know that annoying beep which emits from most household machines, well Andrew questioned why we’re not allowed to change it. Our human psyche has an emotional response to sounds and we have done for thousands of years. Andrew created an experiment to prove that “sound actually travels faster than light”, at least in order to trigger people reactions.

Finally “Death to Bullshit” was Brad Frost‘s talk. Frost didn’t waste any time to show how data has been exponentially increasing over the years: 90% of all data ever created was done in the last two years.  But for Frost, most of it is useless, so we should strive to create meaningful content and not add to the noise out there. He categorised some of this ‘bullshit’, saying that paper is bullshit, jargon is as well, opportunism (like us and we’ll donate x and y), journalism (never going to the point), QR codes, disruptions (think pop-ups), spam, anti-patterns etc. etc. (more on the slides!).

And I just realised there was so much good stuff, this will have…

To be continued…

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