by Rebecca Bedrossian
It’s been almost two weeks since 60 creatives converged in Pacific Grove, California, for the first Design Family Reunion (DFR). We’re all back at work, immersed in what we do best, but the magic of that gathering remains with us. And I don’t use the word magic lightly. DFR was special, small and intimate. The California coast, Asilomar, Julia Morgan, the Fancy House and the Beach House provided the spectacular and cozy backdrop; DFR was not staged in a hotel. Casual, inspirational, fun. There are more words of course, but I’ll defer to those of Matthew Porter, who along with Terry Marks, created this unique gathering.
The idea behind DFR was simple: curate a weekend with friends you’ve made over many years in the creative business, but whom you rarely see. What happened was a revelation. With luck, it is the start of a new tradition in creative renaissance… Everyone was on equal footing. There were no cliques or private luncheons. No VIP rooms or better beds. You came as yourself. You gave of yourself. You opened yourself to new possibilities and friendships. You rolled up your sleeves and you contributed.
DFR was, on paper, Chris Sickel’s animation workshops, printmaking with Francis Pavy, good ol’ fashioned photography with Woody Welch and Sean Carnegie juxtaposed with lively talks from Ranger Roxanne, a whirlwind, cutting-edge presentation from Kevin McConkey, kayaking amongst seals and otters, hat pimping and bike rides to the aquarium for behind the scenes tours, and more. The magic emerged in the connections. In a post-DFR email, Terry eloquently summed up the feeling we all carried away with us:
To have such talent collected in one place, but more so, such
good people—it’s a dream realized. The things I take with me,
that grant me strength and remind me why I’m here, have to do
with other people. Our legacy, if any, is not forged in conquest
nor acquisition nor “making it to the top”, but in the
interactions we have and the people we meet along the way. And
even that is fleeting. But I’ll take it and count myself
// From our friends at Communication Arts