Recap: Community Meeting #7

Guest post by Joe Brueggen

Last week AIGA Orlando kicked off 2016 with a truly remarkable Community Meeting. These meetings are an effort to unite design in The City Beautiful – anyone is invited to come hear about what’s happening in the city and network with like-minded creatives.

This month’s meeting welcomed several new faces. Among them were Jennifer Hiatt and Natalie Bednarz, who graciously offered their time and insight in sharing the work they do for the City of Orlando. Together with their team, they improve the city through people-first design initiatives that emphasize usability in a part of our culture too often criticized as being difficult to use. They’re on a mission to improve the way people interact with the city, but that’s not all… they’re also working to generate a greater sense of community throughout all of Orlando. They want to unite Orlando’s citizens under one brand – one common understanding of what it means to live in The City Beautiful and enjoy all that it has to offer.

At one point in their presentation, Jennifer said something that really stood out to me. “We are the city,” she said. “Not individual offices and logos. One city.” I realized that this was a perfect reflection of how we ought to treat our Orlando creative community. We are the creatives.

Sure, we may work in different offices and associate with different logos, but all of us share the common goal of working toward a more functional and beautiful society. Unfortunately, because many of us struggle with leaving our comfort zones, we don’t always connect quite as well as we could. We tend to settle, and as a result, we miss out on becoming part of an incredible design community.

Perhaps 2016 will be the year we stopped settling. Maybe this will be the year we stop seeing ourselves just as isolated facets of a larger industry, and start becoming more connected and more community-oriented than ever before. In 2016, I believe we can be more than just a city’s worth of creative individuals. We can become a city’s worth of connected creatives, valuing not only design itself, but also the important role that community plays within it.

It’s a new year, Orlando. In 2016, let’s unite.

Upcoming Events

Re:Solutions 2016 – Saturday January 30 – The Iron Yard + Power DMS
Re:Solutions is a one-day conference dedicated to re:starting the new year inspired, informed, and re:invigorated. The day is broken down into two parts. In the morning, re:charge your creativity in one of three hands-on workshops. Then in the afternoon, re:engage your mind as you glean from the knowledge and experience of four key speakers. Re:solve to attend this re:warding event and don’t forget to re:gister! More information here.

Ad2uesday // Ad2 + AIGA Orlando Happy Hour – Tuesday February 9, 6:30pm – Ollie’s Public House
Join us as Ad2 Orlando and AIGA Orlando mix and mingle for a networking happy hour. Doesn’t get much better than advertising folks and crazy creatives getting to know each other over food and drink. When you arrive check-in with an AIGA board member to get a wristband for happy hour specials until 8pm.



Upcoming Community Events

Dribbble Meetup – Monday January 18, 7pm – Will’s Pub
In partnership with Uncomfortable Brunch, we’ll be showing Off The Record, a film by Laura Sans about life in the design and visual arts fields; how important is style, what’s the deal with clients, our responsibility as creators, and finding satisfaction in the work we produce. We’ll also have another Analog Playoff and an art swap. More information here.

Mentorship Program Work Session – Wednesday January 20, 6-9pm – Stardust Video and Coffee
AIGA Orlando will host a casual work session to help mentees focus on their concepts and get some face time with each other. Please feel free to come share progress and exchange information on your Mentorship experience to date. This session will be open to the public. If you’ve always wondered what the AIGA Orlando Mentorship Programs entails come out and one of our program chairs will be happy to answer any questions you may have! More information here.

Design With A Purpose – Thursday February 4, 6:30pm – Purple Rock Scissors
How To Conduct Research Beyond Usability: How can we make good design decisions without reliable information about who we’re designing for? While putting your designs in front of users is crucial for usability and iterative research, the need for deeper level research is critical in designing for emotion and communication. Tommy will share how to conduct effective research to understand the attitudes and behaviors of your users, and how it should fit into your organization. More information here.


Joseph Brueggen is a designer and illustrator based in The City Beautiful. He’s a lover of television, tech and typography. Find him on Dribbble here:

By aigaorlando
Published January 13, 2016