Ahead of Vancouver Design Week's second edition, which runs from May 12 to 14, the Straight is publishing a series of Q&As on participating designers. To learn more about the graphic artists, architects, fashion designers—and everyone in between—taking part in this year's fete, visit VDW's blog.
Derek Dix is a founder and manager of the studio space colder° and has been involved with many forms of design, video, and photography. His passion lies in the ability for mediums to communicate succinctly. Dix's colder° is one of 45-plus studios participating in VDW's Open Studios series.
1. Design is / design can _______?
Design is, and should always be, a form of clear communication. Whether it be typography, photography, logos or iconography or even fine art for that matter, there are visual cues about the message and feeling behind it.
2. Why does it matter?
Design matters because the goal is to simplify the messages to be communicated. It is a vessel that message the most efficient way and then be digested by the viewer. I mentioned fine art above and that can be a bit muddy, but even if your message as the artist is about them struggling to communicate in that realm, it is still a message.
3. What differentiates Vancouver design (from the rest of the world)?
Design based in Vancouver differentiates from the rest of the world, I think, due to our location having an influence on how people work and shape their days, weeks, seasons, and years. We are also a very young city in a young country. This gives Vancouver the ability to grow and flex. Growing up here, I found the outdoors an incredibly heavy influence on my thought patterns and thinking. While that is me as an individual, it is visible in many of the brands that are founded here as well.
4. What impact is (Vancouver) design having?
Brands founded and grown in Vancouver are bringing a greater focus to health, wellness, exercise, and the outdoors. This is a great trend to see rising globally or at least in Western culture.
5. What design impacts are you most proud of / what impact potential are you most excited about?
I've worked in the health and recreational fields and have done some very fun campaigns that focus on getting viewers out to outside...and returning that joy by putting it back into the community. While the focus and locations of these projects were all based in British Columbia, it is the shared interest over the activity that helps apply it to a more international audience. Hopefully, there can be more projects that help people relate to what they do and what they can contribute to the community and themselves.