October 28, 2011

October 23-27: Attended a world summit on press design.

Cumbre Mundial de Diseno en Prenza took place in Mexico City late last month.  Essentially, the group discusses the present and future conception of printed and electronic media in the broadest of senses.

My friend Pablo was scheduled to speak, and I asked if I could attend the conference.  Not only did the organizers give me a free pass ($500), but they gave me a 15th floor suite in the hotel Fiesta Americana on a principle street, Reforma.  The suit was so big it had two bathrooms.  And when the smog was thin, one could see D.F. infinitely in all directions.  Genial.

The conference was exciting.  Some of the world's best designers were present.  Ideas were discussed, friendships rekindled, business partnerships formed.  We always gathered for the buffet at the hotel, which was the most bountiful  and overwhelming selection I've ever seen.  The reception was held in an impressively ornate and old art museum.  Laughter and generosity abounded.

Pablo's friends, and everyone else, for that matter, were kind, usually humble, often characters, and I'm delighted to have met every one of them.  There were about 25 presenters and 250 attendees.  I was a bit overwhelmed for the first two days, realizing that I was rubbing shoulders with people whose ideas literally affect millions.  And then I reminded myself of my personal belief system:  People are people. 

I attended about half of the conference.  I was overwhelmed with altitude sickness and a lot of Spanish thrown into my brain.  Nausea, headaches, burning eyes, and attempting to understand print jargon in a foreign language do not exactly go hand-in-hand.  I spent this time in bed instead.  And I should note - the burning eyes and throat were a direct response to the smog of D.F.

I easily convinced six presenters and a participant to head out salsa dancing at Mama Rumba's.  The night was long, and a good time was had by all.

En fin, I am delighted to have participated, to gain friendships, and experience a professional culture entirely new to me.

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