The Angry Dog and Soft Core Porn

It's 7:30am and my hair really does fall that way

Last week at the AIGA Pivot Conference, Command X was, as always, a huge success. The young professionals who are contestants are the bravest people on the planet. There is no way in hell I would get up in front of 1,500 designers and defend my choices. This year’s group, Spencer Charles, Wendy Hu, Matt Hunsberger, Susan Murphy, Mark Nizinski, Jesse Reed, and Sarah Sawtell are remarkable designers with nerves of steel. The judges, Ellen Lupton, DJ Stout, Michael Vanderbyl, and guest judges, Karl Heiselman, Chip Kidd, and Matt Munoz had the unenviable job of determining who moved on to the next challenge. Michael Bierut hosted the competition, and I mentored and filmed the behind the scenes updates.

Behind the scenes, drama ensued. Michael Vanderbyl was reprimanded by an attendee for suggesting the use of a shamrock on a piece. Supposedly this is deeply offensive to Irish people. I asked Command X contestant, Susan Murphy, who is an actual Irish person, if she was offended, and she was fine with it. In fact, she suggested many names and comments that could be quite offensive to the Irish.

And then another speaker attacked my great friend Bonnie Siegler for Command X. According to an onlooker at the party where the bloodthirsty attack occurred, Bonnie stood defenseless as this person became increasingly furious. As this onlooker said, “it was like a chained angry dog who was let off its leash. There was spitting, snarling, and lunging.” I didn’t realize that “fun” is clearly a filthy word we should never use. Design should be laborious and we should refrain from making artifacts. Charts and meetings are the future.

As usual, nothing shocking happened to me, except for the scandal in Marian Bantjes room. Marian needed to learn how to tie a tie. I can’t do it backwards, so I sat behind Marian to teach her. The result was a photograph that looks like a cover of Viva or Oui magazine, or a soft-core porn film. Thank God it was Marian and I wasn’t teaching one of the Command X contestants how to tie a tie.

Sean Adams, Sarah Sawtell, Mark Nizinski, Wendy Hu, Michael Vanderbyl, Susan Murphy, Matt Hunsberger, Spencer Charles

Our brave contestants and worthy judges

Ellen Lupton, D.J. Stout, Michael Vanderbyl, and Matthew Munoz

Sean Adams and Jesse Reed

Sarah Sawtell in a groovy motion shot

Me harassing Spencer with bad ideas

Susan was truly scared of me and my color suggestions

Wendy attacked by the camera crew

Susan Murphy (a real Irish person who likes shamrocks)

If you don't like someone standing over you, try a camera crew

Marian and I and the "ties and knots" episode

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One Response to “The Angry Dog and Soft Core Porn”

  1. Terry Lee Stone Says:

    Sean are you and Marian having an affair? These AIGA Conferences are apparently very lusty.