This year as we prepped the design strategy for marketing our annual FUSE conference we looked at the analytics from last year's web traffic. I won't go into all of the details about the bounce rate and/or 'stickiness' of the site itself but I'll say from an insiders' view its fair to conclude that the folks who attend the FUSE event are there for its community. As the Creative Director for the company who produces FUSE, I find myself in a different situation from previous years. This situation mirrors one of the 'new dimensions' that FUSE promises.

I'm talking about the integration of digital and interactive design. This year, more than ever we've collaborated with our social media team in an effort to extend the community that presents itself at FUSE to the digital space. With that in mind we pulled together a basic site design that communicates with the FUSE crowd that we are all familiar with, those who may be new to FUSE and those who may be interested in what is different this year. Recently I've seen a shift in my day to day approach to more collaborative efforts that integrate multiple disciplines (social media, web, print, digital data, etc.) and I'm happy to see that the event we're designing for remains relevant to what it is that I do even to the level of executing tasks. I also thought it'd be neat to share an image with some of you 'visual' folks out there of a white board we came up with that portrays the event digital strategy...
As we look forward to Fuse 2012 we'll be featuring some of our exciting speakers here on the blog.

Keynote Maggie Macnab, Designer, Macnab Design, Educator, UNM and Santa Fe University of Art and Design; Author, “Design by Nature” and “Decoding Design” will be presenting "Remembering What We Know" on Thursday, April 19th, 2012.

In this session Macnab will address the ways that our intuitive understanding of nature underlies all we design from communications to products to systems. By acknowledging the everyday principles, processes and patterns of nature around and within us we create more beautiful, more functional and more meaningful designs that are common to all people.

Her most recent book Design by Nature also addresses some of these topics, and in the following interview with Peachpit Press, Maggie discusses them. Watch below for a taste:

One interesting takeaway: banks or other institutions that want to convey a sense of efficiency and stability tend towards using hexagonal shapes in their logos (see for example, Chase), whereas non-profits might trend towards a spiral or round logo (for example, United Way).

Designers may already instinctively be driven towards these designs, but "Design by Nature" and Macnab's "Remembering What We Know" session at Fuse will allow us to create a better understanding of the ways that we communicate through design.

Watch the second half of the interview here.

To learn more about the session and Fuse 2012, download the brochure.

Plus, stay in touch for more conference news and industry updates by joining our communities on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter.
Here at the Next Big Design blog, we're already looking forward to April when we will once again be heading to the FUSE conference. From now until April 18th, we're bringing back our popular feature from 2011: #FUSEFactFriday.

FUSE Fact Friday will highlight some of the key takeaways from the 2011 conference, including inspirational quotes, main themes and more. Each week, we'll dive in to our 2011 executive summary and remember some of our favorite presentations and moments from last year. Today's FFF Fact is:
"Technology is actually helping us become more human"

Be it Jonathan Harris' use of data to find "the human in the machine" with the We Feel Fine project, or discussions about the ways that new technologies allow increased customization of products, the 2011 Fuse event frequently  touched on the ways that technology is actually allowing both brands and people to reconnect and become "more human."

To find out more about this year's FUSE, coming up in Chicago on April 18-20, visit the webpage. Plus, join us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to begin networking with the FUSE community now.
Design within the FEI process is helping organizations unlock their innovation potential.

Today more than ever, design is working to increase operational efficiencies, improve processes and deliver superior products and services into the marketplace. Design is enabling companies to create better and more meaningful experiences which delivers a competitive edge.

Get a sneak peak of what's in store in this preview video from the chair of the Design Track, Smart Design's Sean O'Connor below:



Want to see all of the entire sessions? Join Smart Design and hundreds of of leading innovation and design executives at FEI Europe 2012: Europe's leading innovation conference.

To Register:
Visit www.iirusa.com/feieurope,
Call: +1.941.554.3500 ,
Email: register@iirusa.com

Please mention your priority code when registering to save 15% the standard and onsite rate: FEIEMEA12BlOG
FUSE 2011 was arguably the best FUSE ever. Compared to a professional retreat, it inspired, provoked and delivered unprecedented ROI. Tapping into most influential designers and brand strategists in the business, we're proud to unveil an even more inspiring, provocative and meaningful program for 2012.

Recognizing the increasing cross pollination of ideas and workflow, we present our 2012 organizing theme: New Dimensions of Magical. We have invited industrial & structural designers, as well as digital and interactive designers to become friends of FUSE. Of course, nothing you've come to love about the original program has been sacrificed to bring you this new content for 2012.

Check out the newest addition to our groundbreaking keynote lineup, best-selling author, Sheena Iyengar. 
The Art of Choosing Sheena Iyengar, Author, The Art of Choosing, S.T. Lee Professor of Business, Columbia Business School
A world renowned expert on the subject of choice, she says that choice can provide a sense of freedom and control that is essential to our well-being. It is the most powerful tool we have to shape our lives, to go from who we are today to who we want to be tomorrow. Unfortunately, the misunderstanding and poor practices of choice often undermines its many benefits and leaves us frustrated, overwhelmed and unhappy. In her critically acclaimed book The Art of Choosing, called "refreshingly thought-provoking" by The New York Times and "a page-turning narrative that blends academic rigor with a pop culture sensibility" by The Boston Globe, Sheena shines a bright light on the many facets of choice, exposing it in all its mystery, complexity and compelling beauty. The Art of Choosing is "provocative rather than prescriptive" (The Wall Street Journal), raising questions that many of us have never asked ourselves but should.

Discover the full FUSE experience here.

Be Moved. Personally and Professionally. Some have even referred to FUSE as life-changing. Trust that you will walk away from FUSE with learnings you can apply immediately, as well as exposure to big picture, blow your mind thinking. To most, what makes FUSE so meaningful and memorable is the people. Their passion, dedication and curiosity bring contagious energy and excitement. Experts in their own right, they appreciate that there is always so much more to learn. And that is the best, most productive way to do it - by learning from each other.

Register by January 28th to save $400 off the standard and onsite rate.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me, Michelle LeBlanc at mleblanc@iirusa.com

Cheers, The Fuse: Design & Culture, Brand Identity & Packaging Team
Fan Us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FUSEBrandingDesignCulture 
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/nextbigdesign 
Interested in becoming a guest blogger for Next Big Design? Send me an email at mleblanc@iirusa.com
Here at the Next Big Design blog, we're already looking forward to April when we will once again be heading to the FUSE conference. From now until April 18th, we're bringing back our popular feature from 2011: #FUSEFactFriday.

FUSE Fact Friday will highlight some of the key takeaways from the 2011 conference, including inspirational quotes, main themes and more. Each week, we'll dive in to our 2011 executive summary and remember some of our favorite presentations and moments from last year. Today's FFF Fact is:

What more important than branding, design, sustainability, technology, etc? The ‘human’

A main theme in 2011 was the trend towards the human, be it in the personalization of mass produced goods, the continued prevalence of the analog, or the way we share our human experiences by connecting online or through brands. Look for more on this topic in upcoming weeks.

Do you have a FUSE Design Fact? What was the best thing you learned at FUSE 2011?
Share with us today and look for another fact next Friday!

To find out more about this year's FUSE, coming up in Chicago on April 18-20, visit the webpage. Plus, join us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to begin networking with the FUSE community now.
Attention Design Industry! Design is invited to take a prominent seat at the innovation table. The Front End of Innovation EMEA now includes a 2 day track dedicated to Uniting Design at the Front End. Design applied to the Front End of Innovation is acting as a therapeutic lens across disparate functions within the organization. This ultimately leads to a more successful innovation pipeline.

If you are responsible for industrial design, product design, user experience design, or design thinking at your organization, this program is designed specifically for you.

Special design keynotes never before on the same stage:
Alberto Alessi, Legendary Design Guru & President, Alessi S.p.a
Benoit Jacob, Head Designer, BMW iBrand




Tap into a carefully curated group of both design and business leaders from Nokia, Hasbro, Tetra Pak, Nestle Purina, BMW Group Designworks USA, Fahrenheit 212 Europe, Adidas, Smart Design, Vestas Wind Systems, Segway, Telefonica, Royal College of Art, TomTom, Whirlpool, Airbus, and more to discuss, learn and share best practices for the following topics:

• How to sustain design innovation over decades
• Creating a design language in an ever changing mobile world
• Realizing a design vision across-organizational silos
• Identify the future of design within your organization
• Successfully uniting the creative and FEI processes
• How to succeed in designing an innovation organization
• How to inspire and focus non-designers to see things differently
• Rethinking the producer and consumer relationship

Download the conference brochure for full event details.

Next Big Design Blog readers receive 15% off the standard and onsite price. Mention code FEIEMEA12BLOG when registering. Register here.
This week, The Creative Leadership Academy (CLA) is meeting for the first time in Carefree, AZ. Check in on the first day of CLA on Storify below:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” - Albert Einstein
A new year brings new resolutions. We ask ourselves how we can change for the better, how we can develop our strengths both personally and professionally, and ultimately how we can train our brain to think differently and maybe even more creatively.

Join us to GAIN insight, expand your tenacity for complex problem solving and transform your capacity for whole brain thinking. The Creative Leadership Academy (CLA) is YOUR opportunity to develop and advance your creative talents as a core competency in 2012. CLA illustrates the value of creativity, inspires disruptive thinking and transforms the business leader into an architect of tangible creative. This is achieved through the unique combination of formats, exploration and hands on instruction which is unlike anything else in existence.

The CLA syllabus starts with real world BUSINESS CASES that demonstrate creativity in practice and directly link back to business results.
• Creative Leadership in Action
• Common Ground: Overcoming Boundaries and Finding New Purpose • Re-Imagining the Crotonville Experience
• Biomimicry: The Newest Approach to Innovation
• Creativity is Our Business Currency: How Coca-Cola Builds Internal Entrepreneurial Capability and Spirit
• Driving Change from the Inside Out Engage with the world’s most passionate and proactive thinkers.

The CLA PROVOCATEURS will expand your mind and encourage a creative flow.
• Andy Stefanovich • Daniel Pink • Chris Waugh • Jonah Lehrer • Andre Martin • LiAnne Yu • David Kuehler • Luke Williams • riCardo crespo

Become a creator through hands on CLA WORKSHOPS led by qualified instructors:
• Cultivating a Kaleidoscope Mind
• Food and Photo Styling - Secrets of a New York Stylist
• Flavor Creation
• Storytelling
• Visual Meetings and Teams: The Key to Practical Application of Creative Leadership

You are expected to deliver a breakthrough. This uniquely created experience teaches you how to achieve beyond the incremental.
Join CLA and learn how.
Regards, Your CLA Team
Download the syllabus to learn more: http://bit.ly/yfGEXA

Engage with us. Join our communities to begin learning now:
https://twitter.com/TheCLAcademy
https://www.facebook.com/TheCLAcademy 
http://linkd.in/vLzUKr
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