What experiences will best serve design education in the 21st century? Facebook director of product design Maria Giudice, Nike design director Wilson W. Smith, and hundreds of educators and students explored these questions at the AIGA New Ventures conference. This year the national conference was held in Portland, and two firms were selected for their studio tour: Liquid Agency and Ziba. Liquid also presented two DEXed scholarship awards for student designers.


We were honored to be part of the conference’s invigorating swirl of ideas, conversations, and connections. “At Liquid we’re interested in the potential of design to improve the human condition,” said Alfredo Muccino, the agency’s Chief Creative Officer. He gave a presentation about design education and community, following a gallery talk from current Liquid Space PDX artist, Kate Bingaman-Burt. In addition to working as a recognized fine artist and commercial illustrator, Kate is a full-time design professor at Portland State University. She talked about the balance between those worlds, and encourages her students to participate in the greater design communities they live in.

At the closing ceremony at Pacific Northwest College of Art, student art was shown alongside an exhibition of cult movie posters from the 1930s through the ’80s in the Feldman Gallery. Then came the DexEd AIGA Portland awards, presented by Liquid’s Group Creative Director Lawrence Orleck. Interactive design and brand development student Julie Lesseg and graphic design student Olivia Serrill each won a $500 award for their creative work. During Design Week PDX last year, Liquid donated all proceeds from Director of Transformation Marty Neumeier’s lecture to fund the awards.