Brendan Dawes
Analogue + Digital

That Was The Week That Was — 21st April 2019

This week saw me travel to San Francisco for Smashing Conference. I couldn't let anyone know I was travelling there as I was the so called Mystery Speaker. Have to say I don't really get the whole mystery thing — after all most of the audience had no idea who I was anyway, so it was kind of pointless as far as I was concerned.

It was beautiful to be able to walk to the venue each day along the coast line, with Alcatraz one direction and the Golden Gate Bridge the other. I really miss home though when I travel. Luckily my friends Marc Thiele and Tobi Lessnow meant the time I was there was really enjoyable.

The talk came and went. Things happened which made me miss home even more, and made me realise how I must constantly tweak the type of people I want to be around and spend my time with. I also realised the type of audience I should speak in front of. Over time you begin to understand what it is you're about and what you stand for. What was very cool was how the audience collaborated on a document of all the talks in real-time.

As I flew to San Francisco via Dublin (the USA pre-clearance was fantastic), Gary Hustwit revealed the 10th anniversary reissue of the wonderful Objectified poster. Morfff — my letter holder made from code and concrete — had been added as one of the ten new iconic / disruptive objects. To say I was honored is a bit of an under statement. To see my humble little object sat next to the iPhone, the Eames lounge chair, objects from Marc Newson and many other beautiful things was a little bit bonkers.

There's nothing I like more than spending time in a room of intelligent people at the top of their game, and so was great to find myself in a meeting on the day I would fly back home, talking with a team that hopefully I may get to work with on a huge project.

As I sat in the bar at the airport waiting for my flight home, sat next to a guy in a Stetson and wearing cowboy boots — like something from a Coen brothers movie — I ordered Jenny Odell's new book How to Do Nothing. I was lucky enough to spend some time with Jenny in Belgium last year and see her talk. That's the best thing about travelling — the opportunity to meet interesting people who you do want to spend time with.