Demo Nite 1 - The Story Behind The Design

by Todd

Photos from Richard Eriksson, Jim Pick, Steven Enns and us

Last night we ran the first Demo Nite as part of Vancouver Design Week. A sold-out house came to see some inventive and entrepreneurial people show us what they’ve made and to tell the story behind their designs.

We couldn’t have asked for a better lineup of demos, supporters, and an audience of engaged people from different backgrounds and professions. The works shown are worth checking out if you couldn’t be there:

Tris Hussey | Nugg

Tris bravely went first and spoke about the research, thinking, and design that the team at Nugg have been doing to support the natural dynamics of teamwork. Tris took us through a new feature set around decisions, and talked about how his team has worked through ideas and assumptions towards a design they believe in.

If you’re working on teams, take a look at Nugg and follow them @nuggsocial.

Carol Ann McDevitt | Citizen Science Trips

Carol Ann talked about the new business she’s building that combines her dual passions of travel and science. Her demo took us through how people with an interest in nature and travel can contribute to field research using apps and the web, and of course, their phones.

The trips look totally engaging and educational, and quite affordable. Check out the Citizen Science Trips website and follow these adventures @citscietrips.

Steven Enns | Hand and Sew

Steven took us out of the digital and into the craft of doing inventive things with leather working. From his studio at MakerLabs, he explores and experiments with various design philosophies and influences, embracing the way time and use change objects. He showed us in detail how he arrived at and created the The Transfold Bag, a knapsack with origami-style expansion and contraction properties.

Check out his beautiful works at and follow @handandsew.

Sean Braacx | Whys Learning

Sean is not just creating a business and a web-based product, he’s creating something that he truly believes in, and is driven by a passion to help children and parents in social development. He demoed some of the exercises the website makes possible with a helpful volunteer, and talked about where its design came from by speaking to his own experience as a parent and lifelong willingness to help people with technology.

If you have younger children or are interested in early childhood education and socialization, see what he’s doing with Whys Learning and follow @whyslearning.

Haig Armen | Mineblock

Haig really captured the spirit of Demo Nite with the story of how he thwarted Minecraft griefing jerks for his son and neighbourhood kids by creating a private, portable, and beautifully made private Minecraft server. The journey to find the right design was a long one, with lots of trial and error, but resulted in something quite special. Watch for his Kickstarter launching in October!

You can read more on Haig’s Mineblock blog, and follow @haigarmen to hear about new developments.

Edition 2: November at Startup Week

We went about 45mins over time with all the questions and conversation, but nobody seemed to mind. Things went well, so we’re going to do it again in November as part of Startup Week Vancouver. We’re not sure of a specific theme yet, but it will almost surely have something to do with startups.

If you know someone doing interesting work, and think they can give a good demo, make an introduction or point them in our direction. If you’d like to join our lineup of good-looking supporters, we’d welcome that, too.


We had great supporters and partners for Demo Nite, and send out our thanks to these great people.