GDC Fellow

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Mark Busse, CGD, FGDC

Contributions to Design Within the GDC: GDC/BC President 2007/2008

Mark was one hell of a Chapter President, he pushed and inspired every executive and member to bring their best game forward for the benefit of our Association and the Design industry in BC. During his term, he managed to assemble the biggest and boldest volunteer executive the BC chapter had ever seen; a well-oiled machine where every single individual knew exactly what to do, was ready to get things done and was excited about the possibilities.

During his term the Chapter grew almost 32% in overall membership, we experienced a great interest for certification (MGDC and LGDC back in the day), a huge increase in student memberships and put together the successful FGDC nominations of Dale Simonson and Jim Rimmer.

Also, during his term, the chapter experienced presentations from Stefan Sagmeister, Tim Inkster  and Michael Strassburger; had a very successful Graphex 2008 with an impressive panel of judges that included Marian Bantjes, Stanley Hainsworth, Michael Jager, Jamie Koval, Ronald Kapaz, and Sam Carter. His term also included two sold out premieres of the movie “Helvetica” that included a Q&A session with the director Gary Hustwit, Douglas Coupland and Jim Rimmer; as well as the first Student mini-conference POGO, now a staple event for the BC Chapter. These are just a small sample of the community events where Mark’s influence and connections were key in their success.

The “Busse-Factor”—or his amazing power of attraction, —made possible to create ongoing relationships with other associations like IxDA, CAPIC, SIGGRAPH, NABS and BCID to cross promote and organize industry events with mutual benefits; these relationships made it possible to establish the now legendary Associations BBQ, where every summer we come together as an industry and put one of the most friendly and relaxed events in the city. Mark’s moose chili is still one of the crowd’s favorite.

Thanks to the GDC BC, in 2007 Mark had the opportunity to attend Icograda Design Week in Cuba, an event that turned out to be the spark of one of the most influential and important events the GDC has put together, Icograda Design Week 2010—Design Currency. Engaging the whole BC design community from its formation, Mark with the help of the event’s co-chairs, managed to drive a committee of several creatives to bring the concept, identity and organize a line-up of 30 of the most influential international experts in the communication design field to speak about the Value of Design and to have attendees experience current design thinking to reshape the understanding of the value of
what we do.

The results of Design Week 2010 are still in the minds and hearts of those who experienced it. The event resulted in great promotion of the GDC, to government, local industry stakeholders and practitioners of other creative industries, all while navigating in the toughest economic times seen in the last decade. Design Week 2010 allowed the GDC to have a national presence in publications as the Globe and Mail, Business in Vancouver and other media outlets around the world that made possible to solidify the long-lasting relationship we have with Icograda, create an international influence—  with presentations in China (from Mark himself and Past President Rod Roodenburg), and open communications and resources with other sister associations like AGDA.

Currently Mark sits as GDC BC’s Vice President of Public Relations, acting as advisor, spokesperson, and liaison and expressing the purposes and philosophy of the organization to the public, business community, and media through a variety of communication channels, such as blog posts, articles, press releases and media appearances.

Contributions to Design Within the Greater Community: Commuity Engagement

Along with his contributions on the GDC executive, Mark’s influence is still buzzing about, bringing contributions to design to the community at large. He is the power behind CreativeMornings Vancouver, an event that has allowed the BC chapter to create a lasting presence in the last 2+ years, not only with the design and communication design community, but also with the general public. CreativeMornings Vancouver was the first Canadian chapter of the CreativeMornings monthly breakfast lectures series franchise, and is a model non-profit, volunteer-based event, enjoyed by all types of creatives in the Lower Mainland. Mark presented the opportunity to partner with CreativeMornings to the GDC/BC and this partnership is still going strong with mutual benefits.

Mark also co-hosts Likemind Vancouver, a monthly casual networking event in Vancouver; produces  and co-hosts Interesting Vancouver, a yearly event that showcases fascinating people that speak about something they care about; sits as an advisory board member on Vancouver is Awesome; and is a co- founder of The Red Hood Project.

Helping bring design and civic issues to the forefront, Mark is also a Citizen Member of The City of Vancouver’s Engaged City Task Force. Their aim is to examine innovative best practices for civic engagement, and seek to make progress on priority issues including improving the way the City communicates with citizens, engages immigrants and youth, consults on policy and increase voter turnout.

Educating & Mentoring Students

Educating and mentoring design students has always been a part of the Busse-Factor. Mark has always made time to not only teach and mentor students, but I’ve never seen him turn down a student’s request for a portfolio review or just a chat about their future career plans.

He is a contributing writer for DesignEdge Canada authoring articles and the monthly blog “What Design School Didn’t Tell You”; he is also involved in Instructing and mentoring students for Vancouver Film School (VFS),and co-developed the VFS Communication Design curriculum in the Foundation Art & Design program. As well Mark sits as an Advisory Board Member for the IDEA Program at Capilano College and provides insight and recommendations for the program to ensure it prepares students with the right skills and expectations for the real work of advertising, design and illustration when they graduate.

Along with his many hours of voluteer work, Mark is the co-founder, partner and managing director of the internationally-recognized brand and communication design firm Industrial Brand in Vancouver, BC. With over 20 years of experience in the design industry Mark has given back every one of those years  to not only help educate and mentor students, but also to further our industry within the GDC and the greater community.