Gather: Weird and Wonderful

Last week some of us from GRIN’s design team attended Gather by Birmingham Design Festival. The event’s theme was ‘Weird and Wonderful’ and it was the perfect title for the evening.

This edition of Gather consisted of three fantastic speakers (in addition to plenty of shopping opportunities, food from Birmingham independents and a stamp workshop!); Voice actor Marc Silk, Design Director of Ragged Edge Priyjah Paramasivam and artist Mr Bingo. Here’s what we took from the event…

Marc Silk

What a fun way to kick off this month’s Gather! Marc Silk is a voice actor who has lent his voice to loads of beloved characters (Scooby Doo and Bob the Builder included!) and created tonnes of original characters. Marc’s talk took the audience on a journey through his career, complete with tonnes of impressions from his portfolio – we were even taught how to do our best Scooby Doo impression!
Check out Marc Silk’s showreel below and see how many voices you recognise!

Priyjah Paramasivam

Priyjah Paramasivam is the Design Director at London-based agency Ragged Edge. It was great to witness a talk from someone working within an agency setting as there was plenty that we could relate to! Priyjah’s talk was all about celebrating being weird with design and going against the grain in order to create brands that are different in the best way.

“I’m less afraid to present something that feels wild and weird because sometimes that’s just what you need to stand out.”

Through her talk, Priyjah presented three Ragged Edge projects that had all come from ‘weird’ sources of inspiration (memes included!) and transformed into wonderful outcomes. In addition to a project that had been launched and is officially ‘out in the wild’, Priyjah showed a concept for a brand that never got to be. As designers, we sometimes have to let go of our favourite concepts and so it was fantastic to see an example of ‘one that got away’ presented to a design forum. This was a great reminder that we should all be proud of the work we’ve done that lives in the archives as well as the work we see finalised.

Mr Bingo

The final talk about the evening was all about silliness and Mr Bingo had the whole crowd laughing. Mr Bingo divided his presentation into 17 things he has learnt from life. Here are just a few of our favourites…

People are sillier than you think
People love human stories
Art can be anything
Art can = therapy
Hobbies can lead to work in the most unexpected ways

By taking us on a whistle-stop tour of his work and experiences with his audience, Mr Bingo reminded us that art and design is meant to be fun! This talk was full of laughs and was completely daft – we loved it!

Thank you Gather for having us! We’re looking forward to the next one.