I wanted to attend the conference for a few years now, but for one thing or another, never did.
Early this year I was fortunate enough to win a ticket for FITC thanks to the HTML 5 Toronto meet up group on Twitter, so no excuses this time.
In case you don’t know, the FITC conference is focused on design and interactive technology.
The sessions cover topics as front end development, graphic design, interactive art, product and industrial design, etc.
The first thing I noticed was how diverse the crowd was. I think (as a developer) I am particularly sensitive to this due to the ongoing struggle in the development world to attract women and (more importantly) make sure they are treated with respect.
The gender diversity was great, not only there was a great number of women in attendance but also between the presenters.
Just one word, great.
Each session started with a professionally pre-recorded sound bite to present the speaker and remind the audience to fill up the evaluation forms.
A small army of volunteers maned the rooms and make sure a form was available on each chair, help with registration, assist the presenter, make sure that lights, sound and projector were working and (I’m sure) lots more.
Presenters were equipped with microphones and the sound worked great (at least in all the sessions I attend).
A few sessions were a bit over crowded, but that’s one of those things very difficult to foresee.
Early on I decided to go outside my comfort zone and attend (mostly) non development sessions.
I took a very “codemash” approach and tried to learn something knew.
I don’t regret that decision at all. I hang out a lot at the voodoo lounge, and it wasn’t just because of the free beer, but the presentations were really good.
Maybe the short 30 minutes format combined with the casual setting (sofas) and small room make for a more intimate experience.
One of those great presentations that get all the room captivated.
He showcased some of the work at b-reel where their interfaced internet with the real world.
- Shoot Jam to some clothe via facebook
- Remote control a Honda civic via the internet, yes a real one.
- Or this virtual / real live assistance for 3 liveshop
Riccardo also showed how to control Scalextrics with an Arduino live in the voodoo lounge. In the demo he used his computer and iPhones.
Another great presentation at the voodoo lounge. Denise talked about how to work toward facilitate inspiration and creativity, how to overcome our own fears and silence the internal critic.
Other great presentations.
- The thing is your friend – Ivan Poupyrev
- Create more, better, different – Jason Theodor
- The responsible response to responsive design – Stacey Mulcahy
- A window to the physical – Peter Nitsch
- The rapid prototyping, creative incubating, lean startup – Hoss Gilford
- The secrets of creation – Panel
- HTML 5: life in the trenches – Grant Skinner
- Fun with particles in processing – Randal Church
- How I learn to stop worrying and love Jon Burgerman – Jon Burgerman
It was a great experience that I hope to repeat next year. I’m highly motivated by some of the presentations to start exploring some new things.
If you are a developer and you are interest in design, I will highly recommend you to go next year.