Talent Talks: 8 newcomer design firms on stage

Talent Talks will premiere at TYPO Berlin 2018, and brings together a selection of young, international design studios, that lead by example. Curator and facilitator of the 4-hour event, Kali Nikitas is the Founding Chair of the MFA Graphic Design Program at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. // Deutsche Version hier lesen.

Hailing from Copenhagen, Rotterdam, Antwerp and Los Angeles, amongst other cities, the youngsters will each take 30 minutes to present their way of working and share their success stories. The common ground: fearlessness! Filled with optimism and enthusiasm over the potential to make a mark in their field and in the world, they do not fear the industry’s big players. We are already curious and can’t wait to find out what “triggers” their daily routines in the studio.


Design industry in change

In an age where our lives and our businesses have undergone such a severe digital transformation, design innovation and new ideas have never been more valuable. As in many other sectors, the creative industries can be resistant to change and sometimes prefer to follow the mantra: ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it!’. Design stars and the global top-100 agencies can be lucky, but where shall we nurture the grass roots of design in order to foster new ideas in the future? In response to this conundrum, TYPO has created a new platform, Studio Sessions, as a breeding ground for innovative new ideas and design concepts.

On the first day of TYPO Berlin young design talents from Europe and the US will gather. Their exciting ideas are not born behind closed doors. They instead emerge in co-working spaces, at Hackathons, bar camps or in purely digital collaborations. Gender mainstreaming is not just a buzzword for this generation but a lived reality in their studios and projects. They choose the material for their works with an open mind: pixels, paper, the white cube and even food is sometimes used as their medium.

Talent Talks is the brainchild of Californian Design Professor, Kali Nikitas. This year she will join TYPO Berlin as facilitator and curator, bringing her selection of eight studios:


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Actual Source, Provo (Utah, USA), is a dynamic mix of brand, publisher and retail store.


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Alexis Mark, Copenhagen (Danmark), works with abstract linguistic systems to explore the borders of design and information transfer.


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Kate Johnston, Los Angeles (USA), is in her design approach political and the initiator of a feminist network in LA.


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Sarmishta Pantham, Berlin (Germany), expresses in her doing a lust for colour, scents and flavours.


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Specht Studio, Antwerp (Belgium), Stephanie Specht weaves together fashion and minimalistic illustrations.


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Team Thursday, Rotterdam (Netherlands): The women of Team Thursday combine their instinct for typography with new ways of working in a white cube.


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We Became Aware, Ghent (Belgium), works at the intersection of design, music and architecture.


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In a Collaboration from Sean Yendrys, Johannes Breyer and João Doria we will learn more about how long-distance design processes are managed between Montreal, Berlin and Oslo.


Speed boat vs. flag ship

“We must not underestimate the intensity and momentum of a studio in its first five years of development.“ Explains Kali Nikitas when giving her initial thoughts on the talk format. “During this time for them anything is possible. Young professionals do not wait for the instruction of a team leader; they make their own marks in the field and in the world. This is enticing and fits the spirit and idealism of a young and rather non-dogmatic design practice.” What constitutes my signature, who are my clients, in which networks do I have to position myself? Answers to these questions and much more are brought to you in eight short presentations at the Stage, on Thursday of TYPO Berlin.


Curious? Take a peek on Instagram…

In the coming weeks we’ll be showcasing our Talent Talks participants and sharing their work on our Instagram, every Tuesday and Thursday. Follow us for more!


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