Digifest 2016 brings together leaders, storytellers and creative entrepreneurs

From April 28th to 30th, Digifest, Toronto’s annual international festival celebrating digital content innovation takes over Corus entertainment, Canada’s driving force in the media industry. The immersive three-day event showcases groundbreaking creations and trending content in digital media, art, design and technology.

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The Great Beauty – 2014 Best Foreign Language Film at the 86th Academy Awards
Furniture designed by Denis Santachiara

Digifest 2016 features an extensive program that explores issues at the heart of digital creativity while inviting discourse about how we invent, shape and build our future world. The 2016 theme of ‘Design, Technology and Entrepreneurship’ identifies the growing trend and shift in focus the industry is pivoting towards. As a response to this, the festival will feature exhibitions, international keynote presentations, interactive workshops, IT’S A START pitch competition and a digital pioneer award, bringing together industry, academics and the public to showcase digital and technology discoveries that will re-shape today’s pressing challenges.

digifest 2016 toronto international festival designboom
bill buxton

Digifest 2016’s digital pioneer award recipient, Bill Buxton, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research, is one of Canada’s leading innovators in human-computer interaction, including multi-touch input and point-to-zoom technology. In 2001, the hollywood reporter named him one of the 10 most influential innovators in Hollywood. In 2002, Time magazine named him one of the top 5 designers in Canada.


Wacom graspable / tangible input
Video courtesy of Bill Buxton

in a recent interview by Digifest, Bill Buxton was asked to reflect on his career and receiving this award:

‘It makes getting old a little bit better because the reality is, is that, almost nothing happens in less than 20 years. we started working on multi-touch in 1984, we published a paper on capacity multi-touch in 1985, and it wasn’t until 2007 that things like the microsoft surface and the iPhone brought it out publicly. It takes a long time. but that’s true with everything, the mouse took 30 years. so, it’s a really good feeling.

You also have to assume that in many cases you’re not going to get credit. And that’s fine. And that’s always compensated for because you get credit for things you didn’t do. And you have to be honest about that too.

It’s amazing what a group of people can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.

If you purpose is to promote change as oppose to promoting yourself it’s much easier. The sense of self-recognition, if it doesn’t happen on it’s own, just let it go. It’s less important. Or else just go and become the Kardashians.

But, let’s be very clear, great design is like plumbing, if you notice it, it’s probably wrong or broken. Prepare for obscurity if you do great work, and anything that comes your way be grateful and be humble because you didn’t do it on your own anyhow.’

Bill Buxton will be receiving his Digital Pioneer Award, on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm with a reception to follow at Corus Entertainment.
digifest toronto international festival designboom
‘spider dress’ by Anouk Wipprecht
Intel edison spider dress photo by jason perry

Dutch tech-minded fashion designer Anouk Wipprecht wants to make fashion ahead of her time, combining the latest in science and technology to make fashion an experience that transcends mere appearances. She has been named ‘maker with great influence’ by maker magazine and has been named a groundbreaking dutch designer to know now by dwell magazine.

digifest toronto international festival designboom
The ‘Hi-tech couture’ of Anouk Wipprecht
Image courtesy of Anouk Wipprecht

Anouk Wipprecht will be giving a keynote presentation on ‘hi-tech couture’ at Digifest 2016. She will take you into the world of wearable tech and some of the amazing projects she has worked on with colleagues and celebrities. Through slides and examples, you will get an inside look to see how fashion and technology can be combined. She creates technological couture with systems around the body that include artificial intelligence that allow her creations to move, breath, and react to the environment around them.

digifest toronto international festival designboom
Detail of Anouk Wipprecht’s ‘spider dress’

Wipprecht’s ‘spider dress’ is a perfect example of how she wants her garments to facilitate and augment the interactions we have with ourselves and our surroundings. The sensors and moveable arms on the dress help to create a more defined boundary of personal space while employing a fierce style.

Anouk Wipprecht will be speaking at Digifest 2016 on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 11:00 am to 12:00pm and will be conducting an exclusive master class on ‘hi-tech couture’ at Corus Entertainment.


Video courtesy of Secret Location

The advent of virtual reality in the commercial marketplace heralds a new arena for digital creative and technologists. Just as the dot-com boom of the nineties launched the careers of web designers, front-end developers, social media strategist, and the ubiquitous ‘gurus’, we’re going to be seeing some new job titles and business models emerge.

Emmy award winning studio, Secret Location, a content studio for emerging platforms will be giving a keynote presentation on ‘VR-creativity & technology’. creative director, Stefan Grambart and associate technical director, Josh Manricks talk about the process and strategy secret location employs on VR projects, and discover the various roles and challenges that await the next generation of digital makers.

Creative Director, Stefan Grambart and associate technical director, Josh Manricks of secret location will be speaking at Digifest 2016 on Thursday April 28, 201 6 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm at Corus Entertainment.


Video courtesy of asapTHOUGHT

YouTube stars Gregory Brown of asapSCIENCE and Yolanda Gampp of How to cake it, will also be at Digifest to talk about how they turned their passion into a successful digital business as content creators.


Video courtesy of How to Cake it


Gregory Brown will be speaking at Digifest 2016 on Friday, April 29, 2016 from 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm and Yolanda Gampp will be speaking at Digifest on Friday, April 29 from 11:00 – 12:00 pm at Corus Entertainment.

All Digifest events and programs require registration and admission fees which is currently available online at torontodigifest.ca. to view the full schedule of programming please visit: torontodigifest.ca

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