The Design Conference

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Two things might strike you about this design conference. Firstly, the very heavy inclusion of the word ‘The’ in its title, suggesting the only design conference you need to bother about. Secondly, based off the first point why would you ‘The’ design conference be taking place in Brisbane, Australia, hardly renown for being a hub of creativity.

With a mission to deliver one of the best design conferences of 2016, the team at The Design Conference (TDC) approached this years conference from a different angle.

Seemingly turning the idea of how a conference should be on it’s head, TDC ran a Pozible campaign, a crowd funded platform which essentially funded the conference. What’s different about this idea is that for ever $5000 they raised over their target they would add another international speaker. The result, an engaged audience that added a further three speakers and a conference that completely sold out with a serious value for money tag surrounding it.


“Being an already established event, we decided to launch this campaign in order to inform you about the future of ‘The Design Conference’, while providing everyone with an opportunity to help us evolve into a world class event, featuring more internationally acclaimed speakers.”

What’s not surprising about all this is once you meet the event founder, Matthew Haynes, is that the conference is unashamedly full of confidence.

Matthew is quiet the character as those attending a recent Creative Mornings would testify to. Starting off as a professional baseballer through to conceiving the event after winning an all expenses trip to America to meet a network of design, business and pop-culture heroes some might say that Matthew is attracted to risk.


His passion for creating a world class event is only surpassed by this love for his home state of Queensland. Being able to contribute and highlight the creative scene drew him to establishing the event in Brisbane with the chance to ignite and inspire others.

Evolving over the last five years, the conference now focuses more on insights, process, innovations and the things that the various speakers have leaned, often the hard way, during their career. Gone are the days of just sitting in a large room being talked out, TDC run masterclasses and workshops along side the more traditional keynote addresses. Running over two days there is a very real sense of sharing knowledge and experiences with encouragement to meet the speakers and other industry players through afterparty events and gatherings.

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This years line up of International speakers include letterer Jessica Hische, digital storyteller Branden Harvey, art director and illustrator Timba Smits,  agency For the People and designer extraordinaire Paul Garbett. Mix in masterclasses from solicitor’s through to designing a skateboard deck and the diversity is truly impressive.

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Ultimately this is an event which provides a high-value experience for its audience, speakers, supporters and sponsors. Nice work TDC team!

The Design Conference
26 – 27 May, 2016