Meanwhile, back in Moscow, day 2 for Base partner Geoff Cook was an eventful one.

It was “American Day” at the “Design-Reklama” (literally: “Design & Advertising”) conference where Geoff and Brian Collins of Collins were invited as keynote speakers. Presenting to a packed house, Geoff’s “9 1/2 Tips to Building a Global Design Studio,” included tales of Base’s most prominent work and methodologies that have made the company into the international network it is today.

The convention center where the four-day conference was held.

The convention center is located across from the beautiful Gorky Park, which also houses Dasha Zhukova’s Garage Center for Contemporary Culture.

The entrance to the convention center, pre-guest arrival.

Magnificent, imposing steps leading to the convention hall with posters outlining the various events of the conference.

Base’s “9 1/2 Tips to Building a Global Design Studio.”

The vibrant, social lounge at the main entrance to the convention hall carried on its back wall Base’s “5 Minute Posters”.

Many stopped to read and photograph the wisdom of Base’s group creative director, Thierry Brunfaut. For more info on the “5 Minute Poster series”, see Fast Co.Design.

Showtime! A packed house of 300-400 people. Due to overflow, the festival telecast the talks to another lounge in the convention hall that seated hundreds more.

First up, Brian Collins of Collins, speaking of his agency’s methodology and work for such clients as BP, Microsoft, and Dove.

Geoff then took the stage, talking early on about recent work for the City of New York, the visual identity for the first ever citywide design festival, NYCxDESIGN.

Anatoly, Geoff’s translator for 3 of his 5 speeches in Moscow.

Geoff also explained how Base “Specialized in not specializing,” and encouraged the audience to do the same. “It’s not easy at first. People always like to be able to categorize design firms,” he said, “but if you can stay the course, it will prove an asset in the long run.”

Geoff also made a point of walking the audience through the “Base Clock,” a mind map present in every Base studio that outlines the company’s vision, beliefs, values, methodologies, and more.

Following the speech, Geoff was interviewed by Anastasia Fedorova of Voice of Russia radio. One exciting exchange took place when she asked Geoff what Russian designers should take away from their American counterparts. “Rather than adopt from us,” Geoff replied, “perhaps it’s interesting to look at it in another way. The Belgian fashion designers became famous by defining Belgian design. It would be fantastic if designers here really question what it means to be Russian designers and define their OWN voice. Their own signature. That would be incredibly compelling.”

On the way out, Geoff stumbled across this gallery that had magnificent, historical Russian posters.

Newspaper ad, 1926

Eye candy for any designer!

Following the talks, the Design-Reklama team hosted a full-scale after party. Here, the delightfully animated master of ceremonies for the evening.

In honor of the “American Day of Design,” Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon made guest appearances. Here is just a small taste of this very special performance.

An awards ceremony sprung up in the middle of the after party… and Geoff was recognized for his participation in the conference!

Special thanks again to Peter Eckstrom, Asst Cultural Affairs Officer at the US Embassy in Moscow, who has made our trip possible.