• D&AD Awards 2018
    Deadline 14 February
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  • Deadline 14 February
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D&AD Festival Speaker Interview: Kate Dawkins

Kate Dawkins is an acclaimed Designer and Director, specialising in design-led content for Live performance, shows and brand events. As well as acting as a Judge on the Spatial and Experiential Design Jury in 2016, Kate also presented her talk, entitled '0 > Experiential Designer' at the inaugural D&AD Festival. 

Can you tell us a little bit about what it is you do?

I am the founder, and creative director at Kate Dawkins Studio. We specialise in designing and delivering bespoke content for live performances, shows and brand events. During my career I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on some very special and high profile projects, such as the ‘audience pixels’  for the opening and closing ceremonies of the London 2012 Olympics, Elton John’s Red Piano show in Las Vegas, as well as events for global brands such as Land Rover, Samsung and Adidas.

Why are 'experiences' increasingly important for brands?

Brands can’t really afford to hide behind more traditional media such as TV commercials and billboards anymore. Consumers want to see their passion and personality, and the latest technologies are being embraced by the best brands to achieve this. Creating more and more compelling experiences, which have further reach due to the social media buzz they create, as well as firming brand loyalty with their existing consumers.

Can you think of one situation you've found yourself in where you've thought 'oh no, this isn't going to work?'

We spend a lot of time testing and pre-visualising how everything is going to look. So by the time we go live, we pretty much know what we’re going to see. However the less time we have for this testing/visualising phase the more chance you’re going to to be standing there, thinking ‘oh no, this isn’t going to work’ I may well be showcasing one or two of these particular times in my talk at D&AD Festival!

What can our audience expect form your talk at D&AD Festival?

I shall be talking a bit about my creative journey, how I straddled the pre and post digital age, and how this may or may not have influenced my work. Also showing the ‘behind the scenes’ of a couple of projects, the creative process and problem solving. An insight into my world.

What are you most looking forward to about D&AD Festival?

I’ve not been involved before and am absolutely delighted to have been asked to be a Judge. I’m always excited about meeting new people and my fellow judges, hearing others talk (where possible) and of course the opportunity to see all the amazing entries within the Spatial and Experiential Design category.

What is it about London that makes it such an exciting place for creatives?

It’s such a vibrant melting pot of cultures and people, there’s so much going on all the time, weird and wonderful things to see and experience, to absorb and feed ones mind and soul.

This year's festival theme is 'Nothing matters more'. In your view, why does creativity matter?

Creativity is for me what makes life worth living, it’s what brings an extra spark to the normal, it makes life exciting and unpredictable.

The D&AD Professional Awards celebrate creativity in categories such as Graphic Design, Book Design and Crafts for Advertising. If you think you have a campaign that deserves a D&AD Pencil, why not enter it and see if our board of judges agrees. Or, for more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.

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