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Rancho Diseño XII? Fabuloso!

Written by in Design Ranch Austin AIGA, Events, Inspire

“Saw Folks. Met Folks. Did Do. Didn’t Do.

Should’ve Done. Would’ve Done.”

At AIGA Austin’s Biennial throwdown,
the only thing missing is the time to do it all.

Editor’s Note: No spread on earth offers more head of of big horned maker-thinkers than AIGA Austin’s Design Ranch. It’s an unwashed version of TED, with sweaty shirts, calloused hands, smelly feet, beer belches, chili gas, and woozy moonlight madness.  Forget the blue toothy world changers clad in black turtle necks in a subdued climate controlled room! Now, don’t get me wrong: TED’s great. That adorable boy from Kenya who saved the tigers from irate goat hearders with his solar-powered-motion-activatved-tiger-repelling-blinky-clanky-pie-tin-thing?  Heck yeah! Save the tigers! Save the goats! But were that sweet boy invited to Design Ranch, he’d teach us how to make one. Wendy Lewis and Sean Carnegie of LewisCarnegie Austin file this report from Design Ranch XII.

DR_HdrDesign Ranch Week?

“It was a jam packed, four-day, Texas Hill Country experience.’ We saw folks and met folks, did do and and didn’t do, should’ve done, and would’ve done. If we’d only had more time.”—Sean Carnegie


Above, Ian Kasnoff & Hong Ko of Singapore, before a photograph of Ko.

Imagination On Fire: A wild flowing creek and wildflowers abloom were the perfect backdrop for this twelfth edition of Design Ranch and more than 100 guests. A range of activities and events provided the spark that set imaginations on fire. Above, Ian Kasnoff & Lumiere Tintype led the workshop entitled “On Being a Camera.”


Big Horns: Session leaders were among the longest horns in the business: James Victore (Intentionality), Kate Payne (DIY Bar: Crafting Bitters & Liqueurs), Abi Daniel (Burn Some Lines: Wood Burning), Kristen Moses & Natalie Davis (Stamp it Out: Leather Stamping), Tony Diaz & The Industry Wrecking Crew (Cmnd X / Cmnd P), Ryan Duggan & Elizabeth Kovach (Beer Can Piãtas & Smash-Em-Up-Fiesta), Danielle Evans & Joseph Alessio (Edible Word Play), Dirk Fowler (Print Everything), Ian Kasnoff &Lumiere Tintype (On Being a Camera), Denton Watts (Linocuts), Keith Kreeger (Pray to the Kiln Gods) Aaron Michalovic (Spoon Making) and Judy Schultz (Bind-a-Book).

Something Extra: Smaller ‘non-design’ activities distracted us from our ‘work’: Rope Making, Hatha Yoga, Flat Track Barista Lessons, A Vinyl Listening Lounge, DJ Johnny Hot Tub, B&W Polaroids, Pinata Smash Session, Trash Talk Kick Ball, Hay Rides, Rockin Bands, and Screen Printing.


High Water: Inside and outside, workshops flowed into one another. Above, Ian shoots 8″ x 10″ film during the waterslide appreciation time trials.


Books Abound: Judy Schulz of OK Paper, above, deploys Neenah Paper to create hand-bound, non-adhesive books.  The variety of creation was exhilarating.


New-2-Texas: Recent Austin emigré (see the spanking new hat?)  James Victore, “sexy, memorable and brave,” led a class on “Intentions,” that is to say being true to yourself—if not your Manhattan milliner.


Burn This: Mantras were created on natural objects and burned. James’ hat survived the conflagration. No live plants or animals were harmed in this demonstration (except the cattle straw used to make that spanking new hat).

BeerCanFiesta_FullBeer Can Piñatas: Using a Vintage Beer Can library as inspiration and starting point, ranchers sketched and created piñatas in Ryan Duggan and Elizabeth Kovach’s workshop.


Smashed: After hanging their hand-made piñatas Saturday, ranchers smashed them to bit, then scrambled for the candy and bottles of spirits that rained down.


Tasty Words: Food was the medium for type creation in Danielle Evans & Joseph Alessio’s Word Play workshop.


No Hurry: Aaron Michalovic’s Spoon Making was a favorite and voted workshop most likely to crash. Some participants got so involved in their spoon whittling they weren’t seen anywhere else but under this shed.


Cold Pressed: Dirk Fowler created a spin on traditional letterpress using alternative surfaces like fabric and wound textiles.


Making Rope?: Crazy we know, but it was awesome seeing how the process worked.  Next year, Ranch officials promise a workshop called Growing Grass.


Tin Type by Adrian Whipp of Lumiere Tintype. Subject of portrait Matthew Bolick from Flat Track.

Mission Obscura: “Delve into not only the steps of image creation, but the magic of optics and the science of chemistry, wrapped into the approach of becoming the brain inside of a camera.”  How’s that again!?! Explanation: Luminere and Ian Kasnoff knock out huge 18” x 24” portrait tintypes and using paint cans, pin hole cameras, and a site-specific camera obscura fashioned from an entire building. Sensational results.


Gun Rights: Tony Diaz and the Industry Wrecking Crew blast a shirt gun into a waiting crowd. Total First Amendment Chaos.


Privacy Please: What is that woman doing? And her friend? They are goofing around! Like everyone else. Don’t judge folks at Ranch.


Bean Me Up: Flat Track Coffee was on site again to treat everyone to a workshop on espresso making and the caffeinated beauty of the best coffee beans in Hill Country. Flat Track excels at fixing spoon carving fatigue.


New & Old: The classics were spinning and more than 65% of this years guests were newcomers. This fact has organizers bringing Design Ranch back every year, not every other years.


Old Hands:  This was Sean and Wendy’s 12th trip to the Ranch, says Sean Carnegie, “Same time, same place next year?! Yeehaw! Ya’ll will see us first in line, no matter when!”






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