Design Technology Summit Goes Online
By Robert Manna (DTS Chairperson)
Greetings everyone! I started writing this blog post in March when we were about “three weeks in” as I put it. As I said then, we find ourselves…
in a very different atmosphere. We knew COVID-19 would reach North America, but I think none of us were truly prepared for the astonishing change we have witnessed in less than a week. Not that I am against the steps being taken, but our lives have certainly changed, and we are witnessing (I hope) a (nearly) once in a lifetime event.
Which brings me to the real purpose of this post. As you’ve likely already heard, all DBEI events in 2020 are going online including, the Design Technology Summit. As it happens our theme for 2020 is Digitization & Digital Transformation. Put another way; looking at both the act of migrating existing work processes to a technology platform and the transformation of processes to more fully utilize the strengths of technology. Think of the classic children’s shape toy of trying to put a round peg in a square hole. A creative child might be able to get a shape that ‘doesn’t fit’ into the wrong hole (I’ve seen it) but the point is its more efficient to find the right hole for the shape at hand.
Ironically, by the time of the Summit our experiences as Design Technology leaders will have prepared us all for this discussion. As huge number of workers have shifted to a lifestyle of remote work and collaboration; we will all be able to discuss what has worked, what didn’t, or isn’t, possibly why and most importantly what we think the future ahead looks like. For the most part, the design field has always been reluctant to truly, fully, embrace remote work; we’ve been happy to embrace ‘casual remote work’ (oh you can do that two days a week, but always make sure you attend design review meetings). The casual approach has grounded to a halt. Principals can no longer demand the new intern be in the office 10 hours a day. How is it all working out? Are teams able to embrace new workflows? Did they merely try to imitate what they’ve always done, except on the computer. For example, digital red marks versus virtual coordination?
Since going online affords us more flexibility in schedule, we will be spreading DTS sessions over the course of several months. To kick things off we will be hosting a free panel discussion. You can think of it as a stage setting ‘keynote’ discussion from a few industry folks, what their firms’ experiences have been, and where they see themselves going. We will follow-up the free panel with a series of sessions that will be a mix of small and large group discussions built around the topic of Digitization, Digital Transformation, and the transformative impacts of the pandemic.
We are very much looking forward to this new way to stay connected, engaged, sharing stories and learning. Details will be released soon. I hope you can join us!