Neither snow nor rain nor gloom of night kept the world’s interaction design community from a week of engaging conversations, workshops and celebration at IxDA’s Interaction 19. From our speakers to our studio party, here’s a look at what Artefact got up to at this year’s conference:

Context is king

Senior Design Director Holger Kuehnle discussed the importance of context in giving meaning to data. He shared the experience of designing data visualizations for USAFacts, a nonpartisan civic initiative that reflects “our nation, in numbers.” He urged designers to encourage data literacy by creating visualizations that make data quantitative, historical, and relational.

Trust, transparency, and tarot cards

Executive Creative Director Sheryl Cababa took her talk on designing responsible products to Seattle’s historic Cinerama theater. In addition to the chance to win decks of The Tarot Cards of Tech and enjoying the theater’s famous chocolate-covered popcorn, the audience was treated to larger-than-life visuals of everyone’s favorite Jurassic Park character.

Responsibility, inclusion, and the greater good

Some of our favorite presentations this year centered around tech ethics and designing for inclusion and accessibility.

“I learned from speaker and disability advocate Liz Jackson that the word empathy was coined in 1909,” said Director of Community + Talent Dave Miller. “Although the concept has been around since Ancient Greece, it’s only been 110 years since we’ve ascribed a modern word to it!” Liz contends that designing with goodwill alone can have negative outcomes, and emphasizes an inclusive design approach of solidarity over empathy.

“A talk that particularly resonated with me was by Kristian Simsarian about AI and design,” said UX designer Kris Fung. “Kristian reminded us that designers need to use our voice to help shape the future of emerging technologies like AI. I’m excited to see thought leaders in the design space advocate for the greater good.”

“I was very proud to be an Artefactian on Friday, thanks to Sheryl Cababa’s talk,” added visual designer Hannah Hoffman. “Designing responsibly kept popping up as a theme in everyone’s talk. It’s energizing knowing that Artefact is working at the center of those conversations.”

Studio soirée

We were also thrilled to connect with creatives from across the globe at our studio party. We welcomed close to 300 designers representing companies as diverse as Microsoft, Airbnb, Home Depot, Intel and more. It was the place to be during Interaction 19 and we hope you had as much fun as we did!

All photos by Mandee Rae