Sunday, March 14, 1999

SXSW Frog Hops Over the Competition

After dinner we went to the big party for the conference at the world-renowned Frog Design ( Designers of the Apple SE and Dual's modular stereo, this architectural, interactive and graphic design firm has expansive offices in Austin. Green frog cutouts were projected on the outside of the building and inside many offices had, well, frog tchotchkes. The paper drywall walls (ala Avalanche Systems new offices in NYC before they merged with Razorfish) and raffia-like carpets, soft lighting and other elements conveyed organic and simple hi-tech design. Vicky Faith, the hostess who ran the party like a pro, and Frog's operations manager, was attired in a lovely green silk kimono, Chinese slippers and had chopsticks in her hair. Flags and beers from around the world where Frog has offices were represented. There was Warstein beer by the German Polka players, Tecate by the Mexican Mariachi band and Voodoo by the Cajun Zydeco band. There even was a room with a bellydancer. Fortune cookies with funny sayings filled up baskets throughout the floors. Mine said, "If you are caught wearing your loved one's underwear, act like nothing is wrong." Okaaay, point taken. Julie Proshek, a curator and artist and who was crucial in starting the Robot Group was striking in a silk silver ensemble and told me of the brilliant and award winning design work she has done. She recommended I check out Design Edge, a company with offices in Austin that truly excel in design. Throughout the evening people flowed through the spaces and oogled at Frog's museum of product displays, super high-end video and multimedia production equipment and views. This was the party to be at and while the space was expansive, throughout the conference everyone I spoke with had been at this party at some point.