Thursday is the first night of Hopscotch Music Festival, which has lured hordes of late-night concertgoers to downtown Raleigh every September since 2010.
During the day, however, Hopscotch Design Festival draws a different crowd – one fueled by coffee rather than PBR, and one seeking an experience that’s more TED Talk than Bonnaroo. Hopscotch Design Festival, which has moved from Wednesday and Thursday to Thursday and Friday in its third year, presents new technologies and inspirations to the creative class.
“A lot of the career advice of the day, of the era, has been to follow your passion,” says Matt Muñoz, co-founder of Hopscotch Design Festival and chief design officer and partner at Raleigh branding firm New Kind.
Keynote speakers Dan Heath, New York Times bestselling author and senior fellow at Duke University’s CASE center; Rina Roth Eisenberg, graphic designer and originator of CreativeMornings; Muñoz and Hopscotch Design Fest director Marie Schacht seek to set a you-can-do-it tone for the two-day fest.
We spoke with Muñoz and Schacht about the latest iteration of Hopscotch Design Festival.
Q: What’s new this year?
Munoz: We’ve got some new formats. We’ve got different formats in terms of lightning talks, five minute talks with people. We’re bundling talks in a sense. There’s a really interesting scale to the conversation that will give people a chance to explore topics (and) recognize Raleigh as a design destination.
Schacht: We’ve listened to the feedback from the last two years as well. . . . We’ve formatted a lot of the new features this year around streamlining our venue lineup. . . . We’re going to have a walking tour of Raleigh’s Union Station that’s under construction and will be exploring virtual reality.
Q: What’s the Virtual Reality Discovery workshop going to be like?
Schacht: (Arthur Earnest and Mike Cuales) have teamed up to create a project called Raleigh Spaces. They’re going in and doing 360-degree videos of the spaces and one of them is artist Luke Buchanan’s studio. They’re going to have a couple of different virtual reality headsets. They’re going to be showing some of the videos they have made and they’re going to talk about their process, talk about where this format of virtual reality is going, talk about how they can bring it into their own work currently and have a way to discover what 360 looks like. I think it’s a cool emerging medium.
Q: Are we in a moment where technology is finally catching up with imagination in that realm?
Schacht: Imagination is always evolving, too. I think that virtual reality is allowing our imagination to be expressed in a new way, and we are constantly finding new ways to build on our imagination too.
Q: What does Lulu Miller of NPR’s “Invisibilia” podcast contribute?
Schacht: They’re exploring human behavior and why we do the things we do and what makes us particular and unusual creatures. . . . Her talk is going to be about how we are our own biggest sabotagers of our dreams, and I think it’ll be a really interesting story that she tells about that and the invisible forces we put on ourselves when we try to create our own futures.
Q: I wanted to talk about Chris Alexander of Marbles Kids Museum and Dan Gottlieb from the North Carolina Museum of Art. What about their work do you want people to take home with them?
Schacht: Speaking of Dan first, I think the project that they have underway at the Museum of Art, especially how they are expanding the outdoor park, which is a project that Dan has been very involved in, and asking the question, what are those spaces going to be in the future, what’s the purpose of museums and how are they helping us? Similarly for Chris Alexander at Marbles – he’s working with a different audience in terms of focused on children, but how are those spaces really key in our city and what do they mean?
Q: Marbles really fits a lot into what is ultimately not a very large space.
Schacht: We want there to be a Marbles for adults (laughs).
Munoz: Maybe that is what we’re trying to do with this festival.
What: Hopscotch Design Festival
Where: Venues across downtown Raleigh
When: September 8-9
How much: $80-$225