Yesterday, Herman Miller was proud to host more than 30 students from the Kingston University Product Design course ( http://www.thedesignschool.co.uk/ ). It’s an annual event where we share with them some of our design heritage and history, as well as give them some insights into our research programmes.
It’s great to have a youthful and enthusiastic audience. One that has not been tarnished by the cynicism prevalent amongst those of us with more working years behind us than we care to remember. I enjoy seeing the looks of wonderment as they walk into to our National Design Centre in Aldwych, and the fun they have interacting with our products.
The whole session then got me thinking about the apparent dichotomy of the situation. They were enjoying a lecture about workplace products and design from the archetypal presenter we see at all workplace conferences – a white middle aged male. Whilst experience adds value, and is all part of the rich tapestry of views available, where are all the bright young things? When am I going to see someone under 30 presenting at a workplace conference? Someone that will bring a different perspective to the debates I see happening daily amongst workplace specialists on twitter. I want to hear from people with different perspectives than mine, and I want to be challenged to think differently and I don’t always have to agree with everything I hear.
So do I put together an ‘event’ (I don’t want to limit it by calling it a conference) which features people at least under 30, from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds sharing their thoughts about work and what it means to them? I’ve discussed this with others and think this may be worth doing. Let me know your thoughts by good old fashioned email at email@example.com or you can send me a Tweet
UPDATE – The event discussed above is now happening on Wednesday 17th October – check out this blog to find out more https://markcatchlove.wordpress.com/2012/09/25/working-to-live-or-living-to-work/