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    Vanessa created an alternative, *participatory* 2 day conference featuring 4 speakers, master classes, studio visits and a facilitated networking… Read More
    Vanessa created an alternative, *participatory* 2 day conference featuring 4 speakers, master classes, studio visits and a facilitated networking event. Read Less

Vanessa created the Design Smart Products Conference to be a participatory conference, a challenge to the sit-and-listen conference format. The two day participatory conference focused on bringing together different domains to design smart products and change the way we think about the future of technology and design.
A beautifully designed (Peder Hjulmand Søby) report, full of images, about the conference can be read here.

Instead of having mulitple speakers and forcing participants to sit through many presentations, Vanessa worked to create a format with only 4 speakers, 2 per day: engaging talks from thought leaders with complementary areas of interest; a series of participatory master classes where participants got hands-on with building, creating, and taking home a new skill; several studio visits and a unique “Cross Pollination” speed-dating event. 
The event took place at 2 different venues, one, Republikken, a co-working space in the heart of Copenhagen, and on day 2, at Dansehallerne, an old brew factory for Carlsberg, turned arts center. The goal was to allow people, especially visitors from outside of Copenhagen to move throughout the city and get a sense of the spaces that the locals visit; and while doing so, to form partnerships with other conference participants as they explored together. To further facilitate this, lunch was held at a unique restaurant in the city, "Foderbrættet" featuring traditional Danish hot dogs and champagne, and dinner was held at PapirØen, the Copenhagen Street Food experience. 
Speakers included: Euan Davis, Senior Director & Story Teller, Cognizant (UK); Carsten Schelling & Sven Rudolph, Designers, DING3000 (DE); Henrik Føhns, Technology Journalist, DR Harddisken (DK); Evelyn Lebis, Material Artist (Wearables), Cetemmsa Technological Center (SP). The goal was to present people from various backgrounds, research, design, technology and materials, and from different locations in Europe, to get different perspectives on Smart Products. 
The Master Classes included: 
01. Form, function and feelings in product development
– By Kalle Jon Nordbo, Design Director, Attention Group
02. Material selection and rapid prototyping – By Nikolaj "Dzl" Møbius, FabLab RUC 
03. Visual communication through drawing
– By Mie Nørgaard, an interaction designer and visual facilitator
And the Studio Visits were: 
Copenhagen Solutions Lab
Founders House
The conference ended with an incredible aerial performance by the talented Michiel Tange van Leeuwen as an homage to the location, Dansehallerne, that we were inhabiting for the day. 
Photos by Mathias Vejerslev http://www.flickr.com/photos/mvejerslev
All conference talks, and performance can be seen here: