Virtual Event
Fri, Oct 2nd - Sun, Oct 4th
Virtual Event

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The first-ever virtual Design Camp® on October 2–4.

Since 1980 design icons have come together in the North

The first Design Camp, organized by the Minnesota Graphic Design Association (MGDA, later AIGA Minnesota), took place in 1980 at Lutsen Resort on the North Shore of Lake Superior. In the decades since, moving from Lutsen to Grand View Lodge outside Brainerd  and to its current home at Madden’s on Gull Lake, Design Camp has presented top keynote speakers including design legends Louise FiliMilton GlaserDoyald YoungGail Anderson, and Paula Scher, as well as next-generation leaders like Zipeng ZhuLawrence Azerrad, and Chip Kidd.

Join Your Peers…and make some new ones

Design Camp is made up of illustrators, photographers, educators, graphic designers, art directors, students, web developers, executives, copywriters, visual artists, sculptors, project managers, design entrepreneurs, and rollerbladers.

Check out photos from past Design Camps to get a feel for what it’s all about.

Escape (Virtually) Up North

The largest design conference in the Upper Midwest

At its core, Design Camp is a time of connection and a positive experience we all look forward to each year.  To ensure the health and safety of everyone, and to expand the accessibility of Design Camp far beyond those who can make it Up North, we’ll be celebrating the 40th anniversary of Design Camp with a virtual camp experience. We’re making some changes to the format and programming, and while we’ll miss the traditional Design Camp we’re excited about the possibilities opened up by going online and look forward to still connecting to celebrate four decades of Design Camp.


Stay Connected

All event information can be found on the Design Camp website. 

For the latest updates follow @DesignCamp on Twitter and @DesignCampAIGAMN on Facebook

2020 Keynote Speakers

Speakers and workshops are being announced throughout the summer.
Follow @DesignCamp for regular dispatches and updates.

Kevin Bethune

Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Dreams • Design + Life

portrait of Kevin Bethune

Kevin Bethune is the Founder and Chief Creative Officer of dreams • design + life, a “think tank” that delivers design & innovation services using a human-centered approach.  Kevin’s background spans engineering, business and design in equal proportion over his 20+ year career, positioning him to help brands deliver meaningful innovations to enrich people’s lives.   

Kevin began his career as a mechanical engineer in the nuclear power industry.  This chapter gave him deep product experience working with high performing teams across 14 nuclear reactor upgrade campaigns.  After his MBA, Kevin joined Nike, Inc. in a business capacity, but quickly navigated to the Global Footwear product engine to drive advanced digital product creation capabilities, discovering the world of design in the process.

After solidifying his creative foundation through further studies at ArtCenter College of Design, Kevin co-founded distinct design & innovation capabilities at two Tier 1 management consulting firms in Booz & Co. and the Boston Consulting Group (BCG).  As VP of Strategic Design at BCG Digital Ventures, he led a large cohort of designers that would influence and shape every corporate venture spun out from the incubator.  Kevin left BCG Digital Ventures to carve his own path under the banner of dreams • design + life, focusing on unlocking human potential through strategic design, industrial design and the building of new ecologies.

John Maeda

Chief Experience Officer
Publicis Sapient

portrait of John Maeda

John Maeda is an American technologist, designer, engineer, artist, investor, writer, and teacher. He was recently appointed Chief Experience Officer at Publicis Sapient, the technology consulting and delivery arm of communications conglomerate Publicis.

He has held positions with Automattic, the parent company of, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, led research at the MIT Media Lab, and served as president of the Rhode Island School of Design.

Named as one of the 75 most influential people of the 21st Century by Esquire, Maeda draws on his diverse background as an MIT-trained engineer, award-winning designer, and executive leader to bring people and ideas together at scale. He is the author of several celebrated books, including The Laws of Simplicity and Redesigning Leadership. He has appeared as a speaker all over the world, from Davos to Beijing to São Paulo to New York, and his talks for have received millions of views. He was born, raised, and lives in the United States of America.

Nancy Lyons


portrait of Nancy Lyons, CEO of Clockwork

CEO, author, and speaker, Nancy Lyons has been at the forefront of the work culture conversation for more than twenty years. “People-first as a business strategy” is the guiding principle that fuels the unique, award-winning culture at Clockwork.

Nancy has led employees and clients through thousands of business, team, and work culture challenges. As a digital veteran, she has witnessed the dramatic change technology brought to both businesses and people, and yet also sees people and companies struggling to figure out how to adapt.

She speaks and writes about the crucial role work culture plays in delivering meaningful and effective results. Work culture — our feelings, behaviors, and interactions — is core to how we work. It’s a primary determinant of personal and professional success. Nancy has watched people go from being a victim of work to being the agent of work with simple shifts.

Her first book was Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process, a human-centered approach to producing digital products. Her current book, Work Like a Boss: A kick-in-the-pants Guide to Finding (and keeping) your Power at Work, is the little book everyone needs to remember the actions, attitudes, and attributes that will make work better, for individuals and everyone around them.

Jennifer Morla 

President & Creative Director, Morla Design

Jennifer Morla is President and Creative Director of Morla Design, San Francisco.

With over 300 awards of excellence, she has been recognized by virtually every organization in the field of visual communication. She is the recipient of design’s most honored awards: The Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian National Design Award and the AIGA Medal. 

Since opening Morla Design in 1984, she has continued to pair wit and elegance on everything from motion graphics and branding to retail environments and textiles. Clients include Levi Strauss, Herman Miller, Apple, Stanford University, San Jose Museum of Art, the Mexican Museum and Design Within Reach. Morla lectures and judges internationally and has taught senior design at California College of the Arts for over twenty years. 

Her book, Morla : Design, published by Letterform Archive, offers insight into her creative process and shares 150 of her studio’s projects in print, branding, packaging, web, and environmental design. 

Host and Emcee

The glue that keeps it all together.

Cornel Beard

Co-Host, UnderRepresented
Associate Designer, 10 Thousand Design

portrait of Cornel Beard

My name is Cornel Beard and I am a creative living in Saint Paul, MN. My creative ventures mostly involve graphic design and photography, focusing on branding and content strategy. I also co-host @UnderRepresented, a podcast about design & culture from the Black perspective. Other than those creative outlets, my interests in life are my family, weightlifting, illustration and collecting vintage t-shirts and dope sneakers. Currently, I am an Associate Designer at @10Thousanddsgn, a kick-ass design shop in the heart of Minneapolis.

My experience comes from a complex background including; a few internships, three colleges and 6 years of serving in the US Army. My military background consists of two combat deployments to Afghanistan, 18 jumps out of aircrafts, 5 promotions, 5 duty stations, and an undocumented amount of miles ran in the rain. My military background is important because it has taught me valuable lessons about leadership, perseverance, organization and the value of working as a team. As a creative, I find that the best projects come from a collaborative and diverse environment.

If you’d like to learn more or just chat about design, sneakers or social constructs, connect with me on LinkedIn.

The Design Camp Experience

What you can expect at Camp — virtual or otherwise

Featuring five keynote speakers ranging across design communication disciplines, from traditional print to leading-edge digital, illustration to typography and more. Lawrence Azerrad onstage at Design Camp 2019
Connect with the most vital providers to the industry, from paper companies and printers to legal and business advisors. Neenah Paper sample table at Design Camp 2019
Take part in the now-legendary Design Camp cocktail Q&A. Design Camp offers unprecedented access to speakers and workshop leaders: solve your career conundrums over a coffee, a cocktail, or a bonfire. Seth Johnson and Brent Stickels toast onstage at Design Camp 2019
Registration table and swag bag at Design Camp 2019 Register for three days of inspiration, motivation, and networking with fellow design professionals from around the nation.
Letterpress printing workshop at Design Camp 2019 Learn new skills in breakout workshops, including things like hands-on letterpress printing, design firm practice management, UX design, and more.
DJ onstage with yellow psychedelic projection behind The Friday Night Social gives Design Campers a venue to let their hair down and cut the rug. From DJs and karaoke to fireside conversations, Design Camp continues long after the sun sets.