Knock Knock’s Jen Bilik Moderates AIGA Y21 Conference San Diego’s Premiere Design Conference Was “Distilled” with Insight

Knock Knock CEO Jen Bilik with Adobe's Brian Wood

On April Fools Day, Knock Knock head honcho and CEO, Jen Bilik, stepped onto the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice stage to host and moderate AIGA San Diego’s Y21 Conference. Hundreds of curious-minded designers traveled from around the nation—trekking from as far as even New York City—to attend. In the spirit of the holiday and in true Jen form, she had the audience laughing within the first two minutes of her welcome address. She even staged a dare with attendees: Jen would sip on a cocktail (situated happily onstage, a companion to the conference’s theme) every time she said the word “um.” Following the crowd’s incessant laughter, she stopped after the third “um.”

The two-day event, themed “DISTILL/Design with Spirit,” gathered creatives from around the world for a symposium of all-things design through keynotes, titillating Thinkshops, and hands-on Workshops. Jen was delighted to meet, chat with, and interview top creatives and guest speakers from around the world (including Brian Wood, Adobe’s Artist in Residence seen above). Watch a few of our favorite moments of Jen from the conference below.

Industry leaders discussed their works and overall imprint on the design community, including:

  • Typographic artist Ebon Heath shared his graphic design beginnings and typographical installations and sculptures.
  • Award-winning team Amy Levine and her sister MaeLin Levine examined how their branding agency catalyzed the founding of charter school Urban Discovery Academy in San Diego.
  • Designer Tina Hardison weighed in on her quest to revamp and reimagine better product and branding design for the marijuana community.
  • Graphic designer Yomar Augusto walked through his riveting mixed-media projects, one of them being a piece that’s dedicated to his father, “Yo + Yo.”
AIGA Y21 Conference Jen Bilik with Melissa Eccles
Jen interviews Melissa Eccles, creative director at Elastic, who led the Game of Thrones “Three-Eyed Raven” social media storytelling experience to tease season 5. (Photo courtesy of AIGA San Diego)
Knock Knock AIGA Y21 Conference Table
Knock Knock Marketing gals Melanie Gasmen (left) and Jill Villareal (right) were excited to chat with conference attendees.
AIGA Y21 Conference Knock Knock Table
Wit was fully represented at the Knock Knock table. The Big Book of Awards for Grownups and Calm the F*ck Down book were among crowd favorites.
AIGA Y21 Conference San Diego
University of San Diego calls this area “The Garden by the Sea.” We would like to hang out here more often.

We are glad to have met all the designers, innovators, and makers at Y21! Hope to see you all next year.

Have an upcoming design or entrepreneurial event? Request Jen as a speaker or catch her in person at an upcoming speaking engagement!