Dreamed up over tacos with a friend + former studiomate, the Nearly Impossible conference is a multi-component event is aimed at fostering education + authentic conversations within the product-making community. After a huge response in 2013, our little pie-in-the-sky side project went bi-coastal bringing Nearly Impossible from Brooklyn to the Bay Area.
Undoubtedly, California is home to some of the most exceptional product makers in the US including our SF host, Heath Ceramics. For the West Coast one-day event, we took over the factory floor and brought together over 250 makers with speakers from leading companies such as Schoolhouse Electric Co., Google Ventures, Ban.do, and Poketo. As a nod to our host’s heritage + the movers, shakers, and makers of the California Modernism movement, we infused the look and feel with mid-century design elements—from the factory’s Stan Bitters sculptures and House Industries’ Eames type to the space-age props alongside Danish lounge furnishings. We carried this look to our Brooklyn conference where we again hosted more than 250 makers and speakers from industry leaders including Harry’s, West Elm, Kate Spade, and Rifle Paper Co. in a beautifully renovated industrial building.
Our brand collateral references another nearly impossible feat—going to the moon. We chose to work with illustrator Justin Pervorse to translate the triumph of staking a flag in the ground, representative of conquering the nearly impossible. We have chosen to weave this through in the experiential elements with a slight industrial + space slant as well. For a full look at the conference website, visit here.
To note: the name Nearly Impossible is derived from a quote by Edwin Land, “Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.” This side project is truly Nearly Impossible.
Speakers included: Seth Godin [author + entrepreneur], Vanessa Holden [EVP Creative, West Elm], Jeff Raider [Co-founder, Harry’s + Warby Parker], Anna + Nathan Bond [CCO + Co-founders, Rifle Paper Co.], Kyle Andrew [SVP Brand Director, Kate Spade], Brian Faherty [Owner/Creative Director, Schoolhouse Electric], Robin Petravic [Owner/Managing Director, Heath Ceramics], Rick Klau [Product Partner, Google Ventures], Patrick Buckley [Co-founder, DODOcase], Red Gaskell [Head of Social, Everlane], and more
Brands included: Areaware, Warby Parker, Harry’s, Kate Spade, Schoolhouse Electric, BAGGU, Everlane, Ban.do, Rifle Paper Co., 20x200, Swell, POKETO, Sugar Paper, STORY, Chronicle Books, Land of Nod, Tattly, MoMA Design Store, Photojojo!, NASA, Shopify, Heath Ceramics, Tesla, and more
Sponsors included: MailChimp, Squarespace, MOO, Blue Bottle, Shopify, Amplifier, Shipwire, Jeni’s, Mama’s Sauce, Chronicle Books, DWR, Emeco, and BAGGU