Brains & Brews on the Bay

Brains & Brews glasses

If you’ve been following along on our blog or social media, you’ll know that we’ve been eagerly awaiting San Diego Design Week, the five-day event celebrating design across the binational San Diego-Tijuana region.

Since we’re big on creativity and community at VSSL, we’ve been looking forward to this event for a while. Here’s a recap of what we did for our Design Week event, how it went, and how much fun we had!

Prepping for Design Week

As you may have read from our previous blog, VSSL and San Diego Design Week 2022, the San Diego Design Week theme for 2022 was inspiration.

Our team spent several months planning and prepping for the event. The event was called Brains & Brews on the Bay since it was all about design smarts, beer, and we hosted it at the Mission Bay Yacht Club.

MBYC Brains and Brews

Our crew worked hard conceptualizing the theme and logo, building the interactive trivia app, designing event signs and coasters with QR codes, stocking up on supplies for collaborative activities, and making special take-home tulip glasses, among other fun projects.

Design Team at BB

Our goal was to create an event where designers and non-designers alike could be inspired by graphic design, interior design, architecture, fine arts, fashion design, and urban design, among other facets of design – and where individuals could get to know each other.

Brains and Brews Tulip glass

Our plan was to digitize traditional pub trivia and make all of the questions appeal to everyone’s inner “design nerd.” We built a custom trivia app for visitors to test their design knowledge, all while facilitating meaningful conversations for those within the design community. We made some creative challenges along the way, hoping to promote conversation and collaboration amongst attendees.

The Event: Brains & Brews on the Bay

Since our approach to a trivia night was different than your average pub trivia night, individuals could come by the Mission Bay Yacht Club any time between 5 and 8 PM for the interactive design trivia happy hour.

We welcomed friends, colleagues, and new faces to the event which gave attendees the unique opportunity to meet and network with other individuals from the San Diego design community.

Brains and Brews people browsing

The trivia was a mix of answering trivia questions and completing interactive design collaborative activities. There were multiple choice questions on the standard design and art-related questions.

The first interactive design prompt was to take a grungy photo inspired by David Carson (a contemporary graphic designer known for his grungy textures) which would be displayed on our auto-rotating screen.

The second fun activity was to submit (on the app) your most cringe-worthy piece of feedback from a client, which was also displayed on an auto rotation screen for all to see. It was hilarious to see the salty (and relatable) comments!

Brains and Brews girls

The next activity was to select a quirky “design brief” from our bucket of briefs. After reading what was on the “design brief,” the guest could design and construct a burgee (flag) for the business they selected.

The guests could use pencils, magazines, colored pencils, or markers in their design process. Once someone created their burgee, we strung it up over the fireplace with the other burgees that had already been created to add to the nautical experience.

Brains and Brews collages

The last interactive activity was to contribute to our collage wall. The collage wall started with a small collage – just a few cut-out images and words. Then everyone could use magazines and art supplies to contribute to the communal collage.

Highlights from the Crew

We believe that the strongest crew is one that works and celebrates together. We all had a ton of fun at Brains & Brews on the Bay and here’s what the team has to say:

Michael: My favorite part was seeing all of the creative energy and cool humans that exist within the San Diego design community. People seemed to have a lot of fun with the creative challenges, which was awesome.

Adam: I loved being able to connect with old friends and make some new ones too! Being able to share a space with creators who are passionate about what they do was so encouraging. The beer was great but the camaraderie and kinship amongst fellow innovators and creators was even greater.

Lindsey: I loved meeting and networking with other design and marketing professionals from the San Diego community.

Yara: My favorite part was seeing all the new faces and their creativity. It seemed like people who didn’t know each other at first were making connections and were engaged in the creative projects.

Bre: My favorite part was getting crafty with new faces in the design community! Letting go of the computer and mouse and getting back to basics with old-school design forms with art supplies was so refreshing.

Kate: My favorite part of Brains & Brews was showcasing VSSL’s unique company culture to friends and the design community (and getting to have a drink at the Mission Bay Yacht Club)!

Lisa: I loved seeing all the cringe-worthy clientisms on the screen! Some were really funny, and some were very relatable too.

McKenna: I hadn’t made a collage in years and forgot how incredibly fun (and cathartic) it is to cut up magazines and images to make something new! Creating collages and flags with coworkers and new friends was such a great experience.

Dani: I loved the view at the Mission Bay Yacht Club and how the event felt very intimate. I also think people enjoyed the trivia questions… to get the food!

Zoe: While it’s always fun hanging with the crew (and having a good brew by the bay), I think my favorite part was meeting other members of the SD design community, getting to do some fun design trivia on an awesome app, and seeing everyone’s artwork come together!

Dwayne: A lot of team members had an impact in putting on the event, and it was fun seeing everyone’s hard work finally come to fruition. It was also nice to see all the coworkers that we don’t regularly get to see every day. I very much enjoyed having a drink and a laugh with them as well as the wonderful design community we got to meet at the event. The food wasn’t bad either!

Leanna: My favorite part of Brains & Brews was seeing the whole event come together! It was amazing to see how creative and collaborative everyone got with the activities, and so fun to connect with the local design community. (I think that’s three favorite things, but I CAN’T CHOOSE JUST ONE!)

Team raising glasses

Become Part of Our Community

If you made it out to our Design Week event, we’re so glad we got to grab beers and design projects with you! We’d been looking forward to Brains & Brews on the Bay for a while and couldn’t be happier with how it went.

If you didn’t make it out but would like to connect with us and become part of our design and digital marketing community, drop us a line and we’ll talk to you soon!