Working alone. Sharing with others.

by Carly Hagins

Conversations are inevitable whenever a group of like-minded people are in the same place at the same time. It happens in offices every day: around water coolers, by the copy machine, in the lunch room. It’s often how ideas are hatched, plans are made, and collaborations are launched. But these important daily interactions are far less common for designers who make their own hours.

Concerned that isolation might inhibit innovation, this month’s AIGA Roundtable was centered around the need to create opportunities for spontaneous conversations—and community—among independent designers. Ben Spear generously hosted a dozen designers at the Oficio coworking space. The diversity of the group, which included students, early-career freelancers, and independent veterans, ensured a thought-provoking discussion that made two hours go very quickly.

The evening progressed from one topic to another as individual designers voiced questions and the rest of the group shared advice, experience, and strategies. By the end of the night, everyone left with new thoughts, new strategies, and a few new contacts, too.

Best of all, the Independent Designer Roundtable is now a monthly meet-up. Next month’s topic: Triumph and Tragedy. Each designer will arrive with one story about unbridled success, and one story about dismal failure. The date is tentatively set for Wednesday, May 2. Check the AIGA Boston website for more information.

Carly is currently doing contract work for a little toy brand called B. and teaching in the industrial design department at Wentworth Institute of Technology. In her free time, she likes to bake pies, ride bikes, and blog. Tweet hello @carlyhagins (she’ll tweet back!)

By AIGA Boston
Published April 24, 2012