dsgnfix recently made a journey to Camden, Maine to attend the PopTech conference, an annual gathering of thinkers, makers and thought leaders on a mission to foster innovation through cross-disciplinary exchanges. With the theme of “Rebellion,” this year’s PopTech, hosted by John Maeda October 23-25, explored “how the spirit of rebellion has inspired progress across technology, science, medicine, design and business.” The highly-anticipated conference, which is held every October in the seaside New England town, is the cornerstone of an expanding universe of programs, fellowships and networks in Maine.
Maine’s mid-coast has long been a source of inspiration for artists, poets and writers – E.B.White, Edna St Vincent Millay, Rockwell Kent, Edward Hopper, George Bellows, generations of Wyeths, Alex Katz, to name just a few. Now, events including PopTech, the Camden Institute, and the Camden Film Festival are engines for establishing this region as a destination for innovation and creative leadership. Soon, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art (CMCA) will be in a new home designed by Toshiko Mori, joining the expanded Farnsworth Museum of Art and Wyeth Center in Rockland. http://farnsworthmuseum.org/ The Steel House incubator is in Rockland, too, offering a modern context for creative businesses, design studios and design education. Just to the north on Deer Island is the venerable Haystack, a creative colony for artists, writers, and more recently digital fabricators.
Thanks to our friends, dsgnfix posts reveal an exciting variety of inspirational destinations in the area, including cultural and historic sites, showrooms and shops, design studios, walks and views, farms and restaurants. dsgnfix thanks John Bielenberg, co-founder of @futurepartners, Suzette McAvoy, Director of the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Stuart Kestenbaum, Director of Haystack, Tom Weis, industrial designer and founder of Steel House, and Joe Galli for their connections and recommendations.
The landscape of Maine is synonymous with exploration. dsgnfix will help you find your way to the places and experiences that have inspired generations of artists and continue to inspire creative leaders today.