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Circles Design Conference

Our Talks



Designer, Artist & Author

Design was supposed to be The Answer

Ash was raised in the strict tradition of Swiss graphic design. Yet, she’s now a product and brand designer, illustrator, essayist and award-winning author—as well as the knitting/soapmaking/weaving/cooking woman you’d want to run your post-apocalyptic commune.

In searching for silver bullets, how are we messing up our work and the world? Let’s go on a journey together and examine the pitfalls of focus. There will be fun pixels, quotes and pleasantly scratchy pencil marks on the way.


Art & Communications Director at Hillsong Church

Unlocking Creativity

From his 11 year journey in building the visual identity and branding of Hillsong Church, Jay Argaet will share the single most powerful key that has unlocked his creativity.


Brad Weaver & Tara Victoria

Swimming to The Shore

For Professional Creatives, who you are and what you do are intertwined. You identify with the culture of creativity, and are defined by the outcomes of your work. Your status, income, social life, and wellness can be dependent on your ability to create–and create well. Your work is judged and critiqued by others, who determine whether it's “good”. Some people can wall themselves off from their work, but many suffer from issues of self-worth, anxiety, depression, and other issues that make compartmentalization impossible.

Many creatives–including musicians, actors, writers, artists, and designers–are overwhelmed to the point of breaking. Some do break, and are lost. It takes courage to face these issues head on, knowing that there is no cure and little understanding. Many people who don't understand mental illness can be frustrated or coarse with suffering colleagues or loved ones, which only makes the problem worse.

In this raw and powerful talk, we'll share what it's like to have mental health issues while working as a creative professional. Through stories of struggle and perseverance, we'll help you identify ways to help yourself and others. Then, we'll uncover how our industry can help the creative community through courageous vulnerability.


Creative Director at Lakewood Church

Leading Creative Change

Have you ever embarked on a Creative change, only to find that it backfires, doesn't achieve the objective, or never even eventuates?

Peter Wilson has led Creative change for multiple organizations over the past ten years. His experience spans both the Church & Corporate spheres, which has given him experience in both profit-driven & cause-driven change.

Creative Change can be initiated by many things; the desire to reach a new audience, launch a new product, maintain a competitive edge, communicate a new corporate culture or rebrand and many more. Come and enjoy a laid-back, interactive session hearing from Peter's first-hand experience, in a way that will enable you to lead Creative change to achieve your objectives.


of Hoodzpah Design Co

Science Says You're Addicted To Being Right

If you're human, then you're addicted to "I know." We get a high in our brain every time we experience being right. But like any drug, this can impair our judgement. It can embed you in your own confirmation bias. How do we make sure our addiction to being right doesn't blind us to what's wrong with our company, our projects, our decisions? We have to check that ego. We'll talk about the benefits and methods of critique, and how to invite it into your workflow for inclusive results that are bigger than your personal experience. You know something, but you don't know everything. Great feedback can come from anywhere. It won't always be easy to digest. Divine messages have come through asses, and even Twitter trolls speak truth once in a while. Join us for an interesting dive into our psyche, the nature of our ego, and the pitfalls of confirmation bias.


Lead Graphic Designer at Flywheel

Building a Startup into a Brand

In the multifaceted world of design, there comes a point when a brand becomes more than just a logo. In her keynote, Andrea will speak about how she’s navigated this inflection point at the thriving tech startup, Flywheel. She’ll explain why she left one of the country’s top ad agencies to take full ownership of developing a brand in-house. Her talk will walk through the inner workings of building the company’s identity from the ground up, all while delicately balancing the need to allow it to grow, scale, and shift alongside the ever evolving tech industry.


Lead User Experience Designer at Handsome

Making Chaos & Ambiguity Your BFFs: How to Stop Worrying & Start Working the Problem

As project asks get bigger and more ambiguous, learn how to better manage the chaos through key research, synthesis, and ideation activities that can help small teams produce products, services, and experiences that truly drive success for clients.


Designer, Photographer & Creative Director

Topic: Photography

Title and description coming soon


Group Creative Director at HUGE

Topic: Agency World

Title and description coming soon


Founder of Onefastbuffalo & Warstic Bat Co

Topic: Design

Title and description coming soon