Reflecting on SEGD’s 2022 Branded Environments and Xlab

Read Time: 5 minutes

SEGD’s Xlab event last Friday was just as great as Branded Environments the day before. I loved hearing all of the amazing talks about how digital and physical realms can interact to continuously create unique experiences. The talented people in this community are doing such exciting and groundbreaking work! – LinkedIn post by SEGD Member Talley Larkin

“We don’t see our own blindspots” by amazing Phillip Tiongson and reinterpreting “metta” and real-time interactive possibilities of #magicleap2 with Joel Krieger reinforced us about inclusivity and accessibility! Loved the design process and curated contents in MIT Museum and the creative works of Studio HHH and DCL (Design Communications Ltd.) — Overall this 2-day SEGD’s #BE and #Xlab2022 event was lit! – LinkedIn post by SEGD Member Muhammad Nafisur Rahman


Last week on October 13 and 14, SEGD held the first in-person double feature event! This year’s 2022 SEGD Branded Environments and Xlab event succeeded in two days of thought-provoking and visionary talks at the Museum of the Moving Image. Read on for a full recap of the spectacular event.

Branded Environments on Thursday, October 13 returned for the sixth year in a row. Focusing on the design of brand-centric customer experiences, the event featured speakers from firms such as BUCK, Selbert Perkins Design, Daktronics, Coherent Design, Acrylicize, and Room for Magic.

SEGD Fellow Richard Poulin kicked off the event with an insightful keynote into the beginnings of Branded Environments. A celebration of the life and work of Rudolph de Harak, one of the most influential graphic designers of the mid-twentieth century. Attendees were also able to purchase a copy of Poulin’s latest book on the life and work of de Harak and have it signed by Richard himself during the morning break.

In the second session of the day, Simon Buijs of BUCK introduced attendees to The Art Department, an annual festival that celebrates and champions craftsmanship in the broadest sense. To bring the branding of this festival to life, the team at BUCK went back to basics, utilizing the concept of the creative process to drive the inspiration for this project.

Before breaking for lunch two graduate students from the FIT Exhibition and Experience design program presented their recent Branded Environments case study projects. Lyka Williams introduced us to a retail pop-up for the Allbirds shoe brand. In this pop-up Williams took the brand’s values and brought them to life through color, typography and materials. Then attendees got a look at Jenny Hsin-Yi’s concepts for the Museum of the Moving Image itself! Presenting a cohesive brand that tied into the building’s architecture and wayfinding.

In the afternoon, event attendees were transported to Las Vegas with talks by Jessica Finch (Selbert Perkins Design) and Jeff Everson (Daktronics). Finch talked through various projects that SPD has worked on in Las Vegas over the last 17 years. Including one of their most recent projects, the Las Vegas arches, a new gateway to the historic downtown. In contrast, Jeff Everson (Daktronics) spoke about Circa, the shiny new casino property at the end of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Similarly to Finch and SPD’s approach Everson and the team working on Cira focussed on the flair and history of old-school Las Vegas while combining it with the current energy of the city.

Acrylicize’s Carly Klaire then took attendees back to Art School and explored how Acrylicize incorporates the experimentation that is part of Art School into the design studio practice. This creates a studio process of education, experimentation and play, which allows the team to create successful narratives. “When we begin we start with a blank page, a blank room and think without limitations,” Klaire says.

Our final session of Branded Environment ended the day with a bang! Nu Goteth of Room for Magic inspired the audience by sharing his professional journey and how design impacts and supports our communities.

On day two of this event the focus was switched from branded environments to digital experiences and technology in the return of SEGD’s Xlab event. Kicking off the morning was Joel Krieger, Senior Director of Design at MagicLeap, exploring how AR can be utilized by designers as a tool to expand experiences, and strengthen the design process

Then attendees learned about how a collaboration between artists, designers and technology can enhance public spaces with Jeff Grantz (DCL) and Vanessa Till Hooper (Studio HHH). The morning sessions were rounded out with case studies from two graduate students of the FIT Exhibition and Experience design program. Naz Erturgul began with her exhibition titled Flow. Which remakes the experiential space for visitors by conveying the idea of depth and dimension when experiencing different stages of flow. Then Ciera Iveson explored how technology like RFID can help to create integrated adaptive storytelling to support the development of historical empathy.

After returning from lunch attendees learned how AR can reshape and expand the experience at cultural institutions. Abigail Honor and Jean-Pierre Dufresne of Lorem Ipsum explored various projects, including Lorem Ipsum’s recent collaboration with the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum titled Doorways Into Open Access. This virtual and augmented reality application takes viewers back in time to experience objects from the museums collection.

Attendees were then given the inside scoop on the new MIT Museum straight from the team who worked on it! Ben Bojko (Bluecadet), David Nuñez (MIT Museum), and José-Luis Vidalón (Studio Joseph) gave an insightful talk on how they utilized technology to move from science lessons to science experiences and spark visitor curiosity and discovery.

In the next session attendees got the unique opportunity to “step” into the Metaverse. Chris Moore (Electrosonic) and Mike Pell (The Microsoft Garage) as they spoke about the new digital frontier and how the Metaverse can allow for digital enhancement of our world and human experiences.

For the final session of the event, attendees were brought to their feet by Phillip Tiongson, Founder of Potion. With a brief stretching session to begin, Tiongson then dove into an insightful and informative overview of designing for an accessible experience. 

Thank you to all speakers, attendees, and members for another spectacular event! Thank you to our Branded Environments Presenting Sponsors Color-Ad, Inc. and Nanolumens, as well as our sponsors DCL, Daktronics, Archetype, Designtex, DE Powder Coated Graphics, MOSS, and Enhance a Colour. Thank you to our Xlab Presenting Sponsors DCL and Nanolumens, and to our sponsors MAD Systems, ANC, Enhance a Colour, Electrosonic, and Blue Telescope.

We hope to see you all at the next SEGD event!


Discounted tickets to Summit at One Vanderbilt courtesy of Electrosonic are still available!

20% off any ticket, Limit to 4 tickets per guest

Call the contact center directly at 877.682.1401 and press 0

Mention the Ticket Promo Code: SEGD2022

The purchase will be valid from October 5th – October 30th. No purchases or redemption are valid after this period.