Simon Zirkunow

Newer Project
A Good Book Website

Older Project
344 Design Portfolio Website

Looking Forward Through the Rearview Mirror Talk

As a frequent visitor of the tech-savvy Web Monday talks in my town, I thought, it would be nice to give a talk myself. But it should have a slightly different approach by looking back at what we can learn from history and how it benefits our work today: We follow role models, search for inspiration, learn from failures as well as successes and ultimately we build our own collection of sources we can resort to. I backed my arguments with stories and examples. If you knew your pop culture references, you would also find the Talking Heads, Samuel Beckett and of course Star Trek, among others, sprincled across the talk. In the end, the crowd was pleased an my life has been spared.

You can view the slides (as a video) and read the speaker’s script (in German).

This is how all of my slides in motion looked like.
Since I didn’t want to show pictures and couldn’t pick one typeface, I decided to revert to an old favorite source of inspiration: Bob Dylan. The music video D.A. Pennabaker shot for Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues” back in 1965 was my starting point.

I filmed the whole sequence and cut it into little bits, so that each Keynote slide featured one sheet with a statement my charming assistant is holding up so I could talk about it.
During the last week of preparations, it was hard for me to sleep properly. The arguments occupied my thoguhts and I was too excited to share some of the ideas with the crowd. Frequent discussions with friends helped me to get the talk into a better shape.

I spent days massaging every phrase and every word. It was literally only one hour before I was up when everything came together. Here are some impressions from the talk, before it was time for me to get off the stage.
These are some of the snapshots from the video I used as my slides.
The concept for my slides came from an idea for the 344 Design site. Initially, I wanted Stefan to hold up his work. But we shelved this concept and went with a different approach.

Luckily, I remembered this idea during the last week of preparations while I was showering, where these things usually turn up.

This is the original sketch from 2010.

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