Camp Collage

WS Gets (CAMP) Fired Up

CAMP, a two-day “festival of creative technology, art and design,” was held in Calgary at the Theatre Junction GRAND recently. It was a rare opportunity to meet and hear from some of the biggest talents in our industry. Several Woodruff Sweitzer team members, including our entire digital department, attended.

The names given to many of the sessions – such as, How to Be an Honest Shill, Unpacking the Dark Arts, Excuses to Talk to People, Why Would You Can’t, GMUNK Unplugged and Magically Delicious, and Five Biggest Failures – showed that this was a very un-conference-y conference.

Session highlights included design uber-idol Stefan Sagmeister’s funny and irreverent talk – including practical tips on how to negotiate with Jay-Z (if he wants your work badly enough, he’ll pay through the nose); Jason White from Leviathan showing some mind-blowing video-mapping; and intimate and inspiring stories from Helen Papagiannis from and James White from

The “Five Biggest Failures” talk given by superstar user experience and design team Irene Pereyra and Anton Repponen was especially moving. The biggest of their biggest  failures was the gut-wrenching story of getting word – three days before Christmas – that their client, USA Today, hated their redesign of the mega news site. Merry Christmas. There’s a happy ending though. Instead of hitting the eggnog hard, the duo and their team cranked out a new site – that the client loved – in just three days.

While the WS attendees gained some usable insights and tips on craft and new technologies, each of them reported that their number-one takeaway was the inspiration factor. The various presenters’ exhortations to “be brave,” “do things you love,” “keep on trying new things,”  “believe in what you do and who you are,”  “be true to your art,” “be yourself” and “generally give a shit,” left our team feeling all (CAMP) fired up.


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