By Shannon Calder
The Memory Palace–a mnemonic device many memorization champions utilize to win world competitions, may be an ideal mechanism to compartmentalize the thoughts, talks, phrases, images, inspirations, conversations brought forth by this year’s Monterey Design Conference, if one is looking for a way to remember all of it.
Guy Horton of the Architect Newspaper, made an excellent case to refer to MDC as a “festival”, as it felt a bit more celebratory than your average conference. (And here’s another flattering summary with chronological photos published by talk contract:here.
On deck at the Asilomar Conference Grounds were nine keynotes and four emerging talent speakers, wine tasting reception, dozens of exhibitors, a Gladding McBean sculptor working his magic clay into a large sea otter, AIA President Elizabeth Chu Richter, FAIA and AIA Firm Award Recipient Ehrlich Architects. Accordingly, the fun and the play merged with the sublime, the intelligent and the controversial. Each presentation, each epiphany, each significant moment, whatever that may have been for you, shall stay forever in the Monterey Memory Palace—in your place. Whether it was a glass house designed with stepping stone hallways by Junya Ishigami, or the Giraffe Habitat in the Pairs Zoo by Bernard Tschumi, or even the dancing sketches layered and piled atop one another all on a notebook piece of paper (to be taken as the process within the mind of Merrill Elam, AIA), there was something for everyone—some #mindblowing situations (if anyone was following the #MDC2015 twitter feed).
Sketchbooks were provided to all attendees to take notes and… well… sketch. AIACC Editor Tim Culvahouse, FAIA, made excellent use of his:
Emcee Reed Kroloff
Rand Elliott, FAIA Sketch
However, MDC sketchbooks weren’t the only compilation of various artistic renderings. Anyone who attended the Academy of Emerging Professionals Mixer may have been part of the napkin sketching taking place:
And of course, every phenomenal event requires a determined, positive, and polished committee chair. Alice Kimm, AIA, of John Friedman Alice Kimm Architects, has not only garnered two AIACC design awards this year, but was also the fearless leader of the first-ever sold out MDC. So if you were one of the 847 attendees at this year’s conference-festival-gathering, we hope you enjoy the memories in the Palace of your own making, and look forward to seeing you in two years. If you weren’t in attendance, mark your calendars as soon as the 2017 dates are set. You won’t want to miss it.