Living in the Moment at Design Ranch

Written by in Events


[Photography by Woody Welch of Austin, TX) Design Ranch was the brainchild of Austin’s incomparable Marc English who loved this event into existence, using every favor he had to cajole his far flung network of prominent and accomplished “Rock Star” talents to Austin. On his shoulders the event  built a reputation for excellence in learning and fun and music and venue and food. Limited to (approx) 150 attendees, tickets were hard to come by.

Economic setbacks that killed the few other chapter-driven design covens nearly extinguished Design Ranch in Texas but the event survived  due to loyal Austin supporters and the will of its board. It became a biennial affair, too, which helped sponsors stay in the game. Conference Report 2011: All’s Well in Hill Country.

Having attending DR 2000 and DR 2005, I believe DR 2011 reflects a more mature and smoother event that is as  tasty, fun and educational as its forerunners. While the names of speakers here are [arguably] not as prominent as some from the past (DeMartino, Anderson, Doyle, Pirtle, Nakamura, Osborne, Arnett, Scher, Adams, Lukova, and on and on and on), this year’s line up (McGarr, Sickels, Hische, Ibarra, Byzewski, Leonard, Geyer, Millman (OK, she’s famous), Vit & Gomez-Placio, Jensen & McClaren, Schulz)  is every bit as talented, generous and accessible as those from the Rock Star past.




But why draw comparisons?  Past conferences are relegated to faded t-shirts. Great conference live only in the moment. For most of us over-committed, over-booked, over-fed, over-tasked folks, great conferences are about the only place where we permit ourselves to live in the moment. Proof? Look at these  Happy People Living in the Moment. Reckon they got a care in the world? Not in Hunt, Texas at least.



  1. 04
    Sean said:

    Great stuff Matt! Thanks for coming to the ranch. It’s great to see you.

  2. 04
    Hollie said:

    The coverage of Design Ranch is wonderful, and seeing my picture accompanying the article makes me smile. Appropriately, I felt very much “in the moment” throughout the weekend. This was my first time at the ranch, and I am already looking forward to 2013. The people I met and conversations we shared made the time there so incredible. A theme that seemed to weave through all of them was not focusing on a predetermined outcome…. not just with work or creative projects, but with life. It was all encouraging to hear, as I feel I’m on the brink of a new direction. There are a few ideas for personal projects that I wish to pursue, but it can be so intimidating to start. I’m now determined to go for it, thanks to Design Ranch

  3. 03
    David Smith said:

    Waldemar, Design Ranch, and the Texas Hill country are the perfect combination to get the creative juices flowing. A great place to develop life-long friendships and get encouragement to forge ahead. It’s magical!