SEGD: Branded Environments + Xlab “The Art of Storytelling”

Read Time: 6 minutes

WASHINGTON, DC—The Society for Experiential Graphic Design (SEGD) hosts “Branded Environments” and “Xlab” in person again for the first time in three years. Two back-to-back days of thought-provoking, visionary talks, Branded Environments on Thursday, October 13, and Xlab on Friday, October 14, hosted at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY.

These not-to-be-missed events will coincide with New York Digital Signage Week, Oct -10-14. Tickets can be purchased for a single day or discounted for both days, including optional tours on Wednesday in Manhattan. Save your spot for the exclusive welcome reception hosted by Electrosonic at the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea on Thursday, October 13, from 6:30 – 9 pm. Then, plan for a closing mixer sponsored by Daktronics after Xlab’s closing session in Queens.

Branded Environments, Thursday, October 13, returns by popular demand for the sixth year in a row. This event focused on the design of brand-centric customer experiences, where designers integrate meaningful brand experiences into places and spaces, providing the highest branding return on investment to owners and their users. 

A lineup of award-winning designers expands on this year’s theme of “The Art of Storytelling,” where presenters explore the breadth of branded experiences from the practice’s inception through the “learnings from Las Vegas” and a look at what’s on the horizon for the future of branded spaces. There will be opportunities for lively discussion and breakout networking where participants get real-time feedback from speakers and panelists. 

Sessions include:

The Birth of Branded Environments, Richard Poulin, FSEGD, Designer, Educator, Author, Artist. Poulin will celebrate the life and work of Rudolph de Harak (1924-2002), one of the most influential graphic designers of the mid-twentieth century. Poulin’s anticipated release of the first publication on de Harak, entitled Rational Simplicity: Rudolph de Harak Graphic Designer, will be the foundation of his presentation of how brand “storytelling” gained popularity and de Harak’s influence on this new field of practice. A Q&A will follow. During the morning networking break, Richard will sign copies of his newly released book, available exclusively to BE participants. To purchase the book, click here.

The Magic of Las Vegas: BE isn’t hosted in Vegas this year, but we can bring some of Vegas to BE. A series of panelists will explore the trends in entertainment and hospitality that make Vegas, Vegas. Case studies will explore Vegas iconography, reinvention, and how technology’s embrace has transported visitors to new heights. Gain insights into how dreams and storytelling become realized for future “firsts on the fabulous strip.”

Bringing Stories to Life with Local Artists: What do curiosity, spirituality, and creativity have to do with marketing brands and workplace environments? Some of the most innovative new faces on the design scene will share how they balance authentic stories to bring large brands and retail experiences to life without compromising their ethics or artistic vision. Speakers will share an array of beautiful and inspiring designs that bring stories to life in space, and concretize the importance of leaning into local narrative’s for global brands.

Brand Experiences that Improve Culture: Design is everywhere, so why not use it to improve how people experience culture? How does design thinking leverage research, design, and strategy to transform the approach from “selling design” to telling compelling stories that add value and solve problems? Our closing BE Keynote will share their process for making connections between community and brands, allowing for genuine exchange and meaningful engagement.


Xlab, Friday, October 14, is renowned as the event to explore the leading edge of storytelling design. After a one-year hiatus, this event will be the one place to learn how designers are stepping into the next frontier of digital via AR, VR, Web3, the Metaverse, and NFTs.

Focused on the intersection of physical and digital, award-winning designers and world-renowned visionaries will share stories about advancing the Art of Storytelling through new digital interfaces that create more meaningful, bespoke, and engaging narrative-driven experiences. There’s nothing like being in person and connecting with future collaborators, sharing lessons learned, and coming home with insights that will positively impact how you think about storytelling in space—virtual and physical. 

Sessions include:

Xlab Keynote: Stepping Into The Digital Frontier, co-led by Chris Moore of Electrosonic and Brian Mirakian of Populus. Many companies shifted to working and collaborating in the cloud during the pandemic. Some designers picked up AR and VR headsets for the first time and began stepping into the Metaverse without even knowing it. Though the events of the last two years have primed the world for the Metaverse and a decentralized web, many still view the topics as intangible. This session aims to bring a real-world approach to this new digital frontier. Together, we’ll walk through opportunities of the Metaverse, Blockchain, and Web3 and discover new ways our industry can utilize these platforms to diversify our businesses and create places for creative collaboration.

Four focused presentations explore emerging technologies to produce unique and provocative experiences that elevate the Art of Storytelling. Learn from leaders at the cusp of experimentation, prototyping, using technology for the greater good, and the impact of design on communities as a whole. 

An Exploration into the Art of Digital Storytelling:

  1. Is AR the Key to Reshaping our Cultural Institutions? – Abigail Honor and Jean Pierre-Dufresne, Lorem Ipsum 
  2. How Augmented Reality Is Finding Its Place? – Joel Krieger, Magic Leap
  3. The Conversation – A Permanent Public Art Canvas – Vanessa Till Hooper, Studio HHH and Jeff Grantz, DCL
  4. Experience Design and Storytelling on Web3– Josh Goldblum, Bluecadet 

Participants will have the opportunity to share their questions and join an open discussion about the practical applications of AR, VR, and Web3 for interactive storytelling in experience design. 

Then, a closing roundtable discussion with the next generation of digital storytelling influencers blurring the lines between art, design, and narrative. Hear from those blazing a new field of practice centering on the end-user experience and the influence and impact of memory, culture, and creative expression.  

All participants from Branded Environments and Xlab will have the chance to connect one-on-one at a Closing Mixer within walking distance from the Museum of the Moving Image on Friday afternoon. Don’t miss this opportunity to reconnect with peers, make new friends, and expand your network.


Thank you to our Presenting Sponsors, NanoLumens, Color-ad, and DCL; and to our event sponsors, Daktronics, Designtex, Direct Embed, Archetype, MAD Systems, ANC, Blue Telescope, and Electrosonic.


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About SEGD SEGD (the Society for Experiential Graphic Design) is the multidisciplinary, global community of professionals who create experiences that connect people to place. Find out more at