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Halo vs SXSW

So, we're here. We've made the 7620km journey that took us 10 hours (including a close call making our connection from Dallas to Austin) - but there's no time to rest because SXSW is a full on experience.

It's kind of like a typical festival. There's incredible things to see, all happening at the same time, and the key is not to plan too much. There's no need to seek out interesting, it's all around you here. Go with your instinct and cool stuff appears.

Today started with a great session called 'Digital Copyists: Escaping Plato's Cave' by Karwai Ng and Will Anderson (from SapientNitro). It basically challenges the 'cookie cutter' approach to design, suggesting that in order to be original we have to rethink everything we know about the classic UX and design process to escape 'a meta cave of self-referential digital products and services that mimic and gloat in each others glory'. They have designed a new model called 'The Iceberg Canvas' which encourages us to see below the surface of Function & Need to the societal, environmental, economic and political impact beneath - to effect genuine value in everything we do. Value for the client, their customers and society itself.

It was the sort of big, brave thinking that makes SXSW so exciting and since Halo have been working on a similar theory since last summer, essential for us to check out.

We also saw a keynote from living legend and hero of SXSW Gary Vaynerchuk. Quick fire, 'fuck' filled answers to anything the audience could throw at him Gary V didn't disappoint. He was as entertaining, inspirational and insightful as ever and to see him in Austin was a real trip.

And then we went to Mars with NASA. That's right, we went to a talk by NASA about the exploration of Mars. Which is happening. And will involve robots that look like people. Mind. Blown. Plus NASA gave us free stickers. Which now grace our laptops.

We're off to the opening Interactive parties to meet lots of new people as part of a Bristol Media project to extend the reach of our fair city in the international creative community. And eat ribs. We need to eat ribs.

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