I’ve been working behind the scenes on a little thing called the RE:DESIGN Conference. It is a whole series of events around Design and the format really encourages intimate conversations led by session leaders.

The first event is themed around Creative Directors and I’ve had the privilege of trying to get many designers whose work I’ve long admired and many friends, colleagues and mentors to come speak at the conference.

Here is a quick rundown of those I know, and how I know them, arranged in autobiographical order:

  • Lawrence Azerrad was in my class at California College of Arts & Crafts (CCAC, now California College of the Arts (CCA)). I am envious that he has the pleasure of working with my favorite contemporary band Wilco.
  • Mark Fox was my one of my teachers at CCAC and I interned for him. A lot of what I know about logos and symbols I learned from him.
  • Neal Zimmermann was one of my bosses in my first full-time design job. Always funny, he would push us junior designers to kern five-letter words for a week, earning him the nickname of “The Kernel.”
  • I worked with both Angie Wang and Eric Heiman at Zimmermann Crowe Design (ZCD) and they have both since become inspirational educators and design practitioners.
  • Colleen Stokes was my boss at USWeb/CKS (which became marchFIRST). Her designs were always impeccable and she eventually moved to New York to work for a number of style and fashion brands.
  • Adam Connelly and I met at marchFIRST (formerly USWeb/CKS, formerly CKS) while working on the Sega account. We would cross paths again at Apple and Razorfish. His wealth of indie music knowledge is amazing.
  • Shawn Hazen and I worked at Apple together. Although we were in different groups within Graphic Design, we were both part of the growing team of highly-skilled designers cranking out layouts with Apple Myriad on white.
  • I met both Cinthia Wen and Christopher Simmons while working on a side AIGA/SF project dubbed “The Pub Project.” Both are CCA alumni and both are brilliant.
  • Dan Buczaczer is the likely outcast of the bunch. He is not a designer, but he and his company are incredibly creative when it comes to innovative ways to get one’s message out. He is also my neighbor in Oakland.
  • Dave McClain and I are counterparts at LEVEL Studios. We also both previously worked for Razorfish (formerly Avenue A | Razorfish, formerly SBI.Razorfish, formerly SBI and Company, formerly marchFIRST). Don’t remind him that the Oakland Raiders beat the Denver Broncos at Denver, in their 2011 season opener.

I cannot wait to see all these people in Palm Springs in November. I think it will prove to be a very fun, interesting and inspiring time. More info at the RE:DESIGN website.