We face many challenges today. Our ecosystems are being damaged by unsustainable resource extraction, pollution, and short-sighted development. Our physical health deteriorates while we sit for hours before glowing screens, craving sugary, fatty, processed foods. Religions lose their followers, leaving us unclear in our spiritual community. And we still face unnecessary ignorance — whether it be racism, sexism, homophobia or class issues, or the idea that climate change is neither our fault nor our problem.
Most design studios make their primary money by supporting a global consumer economy which encourages many of the problems above, rather than solving them. Talented designers create marketing campaigns promoting the idea that a fancier car, a bigger house, high heeled shoes, celebrity-endorsed lipstick, more cable channels or luxurious vacations will deliver what we want and need in life. But this has created an unhealthy culture of irresponsible excess.
Emrys Damon Miller runs the Rocketday Arts studio, which aims to create a financially healthy business, supporting the health and prosperity of its employees, collaborators and clients — all while working exclusively on projects which help make the world a healthier place.
Many designers describe mixed feelings about whether their core client work is truly good for the world, and so, separate from their client work, they donate 5–10% of their efforts to charity, “giving back”. Emrys challenges this flawed model, working to simply have 100% of Rocketday’s work uncompromised in its support of a healthier world, while also profitable.
In this presentation or workshop, Emrys shares the many successes and challenges of Rocketday over its first 15 years, as well as the obstacles they continue to face. He speaks candidly about financial struggles, the marriage of business and personal life, and how to bring a utopic vision to the forefront of a design studio’s service. Participants learn from Rocketday’s successes and failures, and will see how they too can align their company’s focus and culture to their own vision of a healthier world.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014, 5–6pm
at the Shaw Auditorium, Vancouver Island Conference Centre
(101 Gordon Street, Nanaimo, BC, Canada)
students & GDC Members FREE
public welcome $10 at door, or $7 in advance via EventBrite
the Vancouver Island University Graphic Design Class of 2014
graduation exhibition & reception from 6pm–8pm
with live music, cash bar and food