HybridConf 2015: Ideas on design, development and STEAM

29 Aug 2015

HybridConf founder, Zach Inglis, at the 2015 event in the Helix, Dublin. Photo: Luke Maxwell

When HybridConf 2015 came to Dublin, we visited the conference for designers and developers to find out more about the work taking place in the confluence of these two fields.

During HybridConf 2015, designers, developers and makers took over the Helix in Dublin from 20 to 21 August.

The aim of the game was to bring these creators together and get them talking in a friendly, welcoming environment.

“I started it because I didn’t find there were any conferences for people like myself,” said event founder Zach Inglis.

“I found it wasn’t very easy to get into if you’re a newcomer, so I wanted a conference that was very welcoming, there were no VIPs and everyone just really felt comfortable and nice to be here.”

What makes good design?

Carl Smith, co-founder of nGen Works, served as the event MC, and speakers included Jake Giltsoff, a designer and developer with Adobe Typekit, Scott Riley, Pact Coffee’s UI lead; and Karolina Szczur, lead interface designer and developer at &yet.

Christopher Murphy from Belfast School of Art at the University of Ulster was also speaking at the event and took time out to tell us about interaction design, Ireland’s thriving design industry, and the need to move on from STEM to STEAM.

With a wealth of design experience behind him, Murphy has grown with the times to become a senior a lecturer in interactive design. But, when it comes to good design, he believes the secret is “timelessness”.

“For me, speaking as someone who’s got over 20 years of experience, I think moving away from trends towards things that last [makes good design],” he said.

STEAM is better than STEM

As an educator, Murphy is passionate about bringing a focus on design into formal education.

“I think arts, the creativity, needs to be part of the curriculum and the focus on just science, technology, engineering and maths [STEM] is missing a huge amount of artistic input,” he said.

“If we look at the rise of the creative industries internationally, I think we are making a mistake not putting that A into STEAM.”

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.