“What’s really exciting to me is that the next generation really has the power of owning the change that we are all experiencing.” -Benni Frowein, President of Schumacher
On Thursday, September 27th, the Pacific Design Center will kick off fall with this year’s market theme of “NEXTGEN DESIGN,” honing in on how technology is impacting the design industry and inevitably deconstructing some of its traditional processes. There are now a multitude of ways to jump in, create and share, with infinite possibilities.
Courtesy of Samuel Amoia
The PDC will present two Keynotes in which designers will dive deep into how they navigate a world that is growing in digital capacity. Robb Report Home & Design Editor Arianne Nardo moderates at the morning keynote, “Tech Savvy: Thriving in a Digital Design World” featuring Hellman-Chang co-founder Eric Chang; President of Schumacher Benni Frowein; Principal of Bennett Leifer Interiors Bennett Leifer; and Clique Brands SVP Commerce & Influencer Marketing Courtney Wartman. They will discuss the coexistence of the tangible and digital elements of design and how they strike a balance in their brands.
GDG asked Benni Frowein what “tech savviness” means to him:
“For me, tech savviness is less about knowing how to turn on the computer. Tech savviness means how you understand what technology can do for you and your business. It’s how you can use it as an acceleration or tool for your business to reach a client base that gets excited.”
(Left) President of Schumacher Benni Frowein (Right) California Home+Design Editorial & Brand Director Lindsey Shook
California Home & Design will shake up the day with their afternoon Keynote, “The Design Disruptors” featuring panelists with varying digital expertise and passions, including author and designer Justina Blakeney, design blog Bright.Bazaar’s Will Taylor, and designer Samuel Amoia. Moderated by CH+D Editorial & Brand Director Lindsey Shook, who believes these creatives are “flipping the traditional model of design.”
(Left) Justina Blakeney’s “The New Bohemians: Cool & Collected Homes (Middle) Designer Samuel Amoia (Right) Will Taylor posing with products from his line.
Shook told GDG that the conversation is less about social media, but more how these designers are innovating and juxtaposing social media usage with their individual skillsets: “[We will] dabble into how social media lends itself into what they do and how they’re using technology to change the game.”
Many designers and design companies accept and encourage the challenges that come with digital change. One of those companies, WITFORD will be hosting a showroom program, “Growing Together in the Digital Age” with California Homes Editor-in-Chief Susan McFadden; Vice-President Creative Director of Curry & Company Cecil Adams; Alfredo Designs‘ Alfredo Llamedo-Sierra; and Founder and President of ShowroomSoftware.com Brian MacLaggan. These panelists will discuss how they work best by joining the digital train – where fewer people are getting left behind.
(Above) Vondom’s new VASES floor lamps featured under “Product News” in the PDC’s Content Newsletter.
Schumacher Creative Director Dara Caponigro is curious about not only how creatives use technology in the industry, but also how they remain authentic amongst the digital noise. “We’re all surrounded by social media, how do you stay original and continue to be creative in a world where so much is shared and at our fingertips?” mused Caponigro
Perhaps it’s much ado about convenience. “It’s a way of discovery without having to leave your desk or your couch,” said Caponigro.
Caponigro will promote her new book, The Authentics, co-written with Melanie Acevedo, at Schumacher’s PDC Fall Market program, “Authenticity in the Online Era” with fashion designer Johnson Hartig and interior and jewelry designer Hutton Wilkinson, both of whom are featured in Caponigro’s book.
Caponigro shared, “We wanted to delve into the minds of these creatives who walk to the beat of their own drum and find out what are the things that get them up in the morning and what stirs them. We wanted people from all walks of life.”
(Left) Dara Caponigro (Right) Dara Caponigro and Melanie Acevedo’s “The Authentics”
“So many people have said to me, this is a coffee table book that’s worth reading.” A book signing will follow the discussion.
It’s clear that technology is an efficient binding tool, bringing people together for events like the PDC Fall Market. This event will showcase technology’s ability to make room for more unique voices in the industry. Whether it’s hearing about smart home technology at the forefront or about Millennials’ standards for purchasing personalized homes, there will be something new to learn at each and every program.
Crestron’s new automation technology featured under “Product News” in the PDC’s Content Newsletter.
Schumacher’s Benni Frowein sums up the discussion of digital change in the industry:
“We will discuss how people embrace the change. We will discuss that people need to wake up and own the change rather than criticizing it. Stop complaining and wake up!”