Pause Fest 2020 Feb 13, 2020
Melbourne’s leading tech conference Pause Fest
is the innovation festival that brings speakers
from Australia and around the globe to inspire
and network.

This year did not disappoint and was full of interesting talks all focused on a new odyssey and the future.
I found myself drawn to the common topics of Extended Reality and Technology, creative thinking, and the workplace. While there was a huge number of amazing talks and panels, these five stood out amongst the rest:


Love Has No Labels R/GA

Why now is the most important time for design 

Mike Rigby (Global Head of Brand Transformation, R/GA) 

Rigby discussed the positive impact design can make to business, not just to brands, adding  more value for themselves and the community. Rigby also shared some innovative and unique projects from R/GA, including Love Has No Labels, the Valentine's Day 2015 campaign that demonstrated and promoted awareness of implicit bias in the United States. 

Key takeaways from this talk was the absolute importance of accessibility in design, as well as providing purpose to brands through design. Design-thinking makes a valuable difference for all.

Read the R/GA Love Has No Labels case study 



Dot watch and Pavlok bracelet

Is imagination really more important than knowledge?

Shingy (Digital Prophet)

This talk blew my mind with new innovations and inventions, such as the Dot braille watch, a smartwatch that allows the visually impaired to tell the time. Even the Pavlok bracelet that shocks you when you indulge in a habit you shouldn’t. Shingy spoke about technologies’ progress and the shift from focusing on sight to also include motion and sound.As wearables, AR, VR and other technologies take over how we consume media, designers need to adapt to the new world - encouraging creativity and building meaningful experience through storytelling.

See the Dot braille watch and Pavlok shock bracelet



Monsters Inc Brian Green Pixar Disney

Behind the scenes: Creating Disney’s favourite characters

Brian Green (Character TD, Walt Disney Animation Studios)

Green’s talk was unique to others, taking us through a lot of the process of character creation. He showed examples from his favourite projects including Monsters Inc, Ratatouille and more. It was an eye opening experience to learn about the process of character creation, from simple hair animations to the detail of costume design and development. This talk not only showed me the complex process that is involved for each character in an animated film, but the power of teamwork to successfully create something beautiful.

Watch Brian Green's Pause Fest 2017 talk




How immersive technology drives behavioural change

Trent Clews-de Castella (Co founder and CEO, PHORIA)

Castella’s talk dove deep into the power of Extended Reality and how it can be a catalyst for positive change. We were taken through the REWILD Our Planet shared AR experience project, from the beginning of developing a concept, building the prototypes, then to showcasing the experience around the world… it was even at Pause Fest! Castella’s talk really showed where we are at with Extended Reality, and a glimpse into the possibilities in the future. 

Read the PHORIA REWILD Our Planet case study 



Ros Horner (AKQA) at Pause Fest 2020

Don’t hire any more designers

Ros Horner (Design Director, AKQA)

Focusing on the power of design-thinking and creativity, Horner educated us on how design needs to be considered and embedded in every aspect of a business, from the C-Suite right down to the deliverables. Horner referred to design as glitter - not a sparkly addition to something - but how design needs to be thrown around and found in every nook and cranny. The role of designers is changing and as designers, we need to look past our current requirements. We don’t need to just design as a service, but design how we communicate and involve others in our process as well.


Throughout the festival, three key topics stood out the most for myself: 

  • We need to design and create with a focus on accessibility, driving purpose and value for all users while promoting global inclusivity
  • Creativity and design-thinking is a super power and we need to utilise
  • The rise of Extended Reality is going to change and improve current roles, forever. 

After Pause Fest, I found myself excited for the future and the role of technology and design in an ever-growing inclusive world. 


Written by Amanda Restovic, UX/UI Designer at Bliss Digital