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Creative before coffee #6 with Oana Filip



PROGRAM  ︎  Experience design 

CLIENT  ︎ Creative before coffee

SITE ︎  Fablab Iași

STATUS ︎  Built | 2020

TEAM︎
︎ CONCEPT DESIGN  ︎  Alexandra Berdan
︎ GRAFIC DESIGN ︎ Ilinca Roman
︎ CONCEPT ILLUSTRATION ︎ Ancuța Costandache
︎ TEXT ︎ Oana Filip
︎ PHOTOGRAPHY ︎ Oana Gociman și Katerina Nedelcu
︎ IMPLEMENTATION ︎ Alina Andriescu, Ancuța Costandache, Ștefania Borș, Alexandra Berdan, George Olaru, Cătălina Zaharia, Ilinca Roman, Daniel Vasile



A space built with meaning can bring out authentic stories, can amplify acceptance and listening, can encourage people to give up barriers of all kinds, and bring a community together.

Experience design is more than a concept that sounds good in the textbooks of those who are in charge of communities, creative or non-creative, digital or offline. The framework in which an event is held puts much of an imprint on the experience.

Not coincidentally, for the anniversary edition Creative before coffee, we built an experience in which each element was perfectly integrated, as a puzzle filled with the help of the community, step by step. The final image was, in fact, one that bears a collective signature, in which a host (Oana Filip, the initiator of Creative before coffee) and an interviewer (Cristian Lupșa, DOR editor) next to 60 creatives (designers, copywriters, programmers, architects, illustrators, photographers) created a unique world for a few hours.


Creating a space that is conducive to an audience dialogue is not an easy task. First of all, you have to have two interlocutors who have agreed on one essential thing: that their purpose is to offer something new and meaningful to the public. Then they must have a conversation that seems intimate, even if it is with others.
The framework created by A+noima when discussing with Oana from Creative before coffee not only ticked both of them but gave me the opportunity to experiment with a new form of conversation, which I felt warmer and with more substance than others I've moderated so far.

— Cristian Lupșa (Editor DoR)


Small, but meaningful gestures build a framework in which stories bring us closer to each other.

The scene where the interview took place was located in the physical center of the room. The chairs of the guest and moderator were face-to-face, the lampshade centered above and the round carpet that held them, almost amplified the vibe and the story, as it is: with intrigue, emotion, characters, challenges, and lessons.



The layout of the space, with its dynamics, created symmetry and equality and instilled a common desire for discovery.


The contribution of the participants to the scenography through the concentric placement of the seats to the stage, as in a well-orchestrated, though spontaneous direction, offered the feeling of “șezătoare*” and provided a framework for active listening, empathy, and generosity to a man, with everything he represents: dreams, ambitions, anxieties. All the energy of the community was directed to an intimate and vulnerable conversation.

*șezătoare (ro) : social gathering in a village, where the participants work (each coming with his own work) and at the same time, tell stories, jokes and riddles. 




The dynamics of duality, along with the balance between speakers, together with the theatrical arrangement of the participants and the outline of a festive setting, in which the idea of celebration was the red thread of the meeting, made the experience immersive and memorable.


The fact that everything took place in the same space: live interview, socializing, eating, coffee, wine, shortened the distance between people and gave them the courage to start meaningful conversations and narrate their own experiences.

This feeling of togetherness was facilitated by preparing the space with a pattern drawn by Ilinca Roman, brand’s creator. The rhythm of hand-painted shapes on the walls of the room built a visual story and an invitation to discovery, aligned with the central mantra of this event: slow down.

Discrete aesthetic gestures have provided a generous playground and exploration for many forms of brand expression. The integration of graphic symbols from previous editions, the installation of a tribute to those who support Creative before coffee from the beginning, and the return to the foreground of illustrations that capture the essence of this experience.

illustration by Ilinca Roman


To be authentic, the conversations at Creative before coffee must contain a few ingredients. Two interlocutors who promise, even just tacitly, empathy and acceptance. Listeners who are willing to hear the narrative thread as it is, without clinging to prefabricated beliefs. For the story to have the best chance of transcending to introspection, everyone present needs a framework in which they feel safe. Only in this way can they dare to be truly vulnerable. What the A+noima crew managed to achieve at the anniversary edition is poetry, precisely for the way it harmonized these ingredients, and for that I am grateful.

— Oana Filip (Host Creative before coffee)


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