Creativity and the technology behind it is moving at an almost immeasurable speed. Artists, designers, technologists and entrepreneurs are bringing the future to the surface and Pause Fest forces us to take a glimpse into the industry’s current triumphs along with what lies ahead.

The collection of screenings throughout the Pause Fest took me into and out of new worlds. I was blown away by the latest animation tricks forged by the most talented designers of our times. I saw colours, textures and motions I have never seen before and sailed through narratives that were heartfelt, tragic and silly. And while technical execution was undoubtedly extraordinary, there was another layer to savour.

The content of the hand-picked shorts explored issues that were real, raw, relevant and perhaps planted to help re-contextualize or inspire our own creations. Some of the selections hinted at possibilities in sustainable urban design in an environmentally fragile future, for example. Others forced me to consider the dark implications of cultural conservation in a world becoming less about photographs stored in our bookshelves and more about the ones in the cloud.

I walked away from the festival with my eyes bewildered and my mind heavy yet hopeful. I am looking forward to the future as posed by the Pause Fest, promising richer colours and new ways of looking, but am also wary of the changes that may come in an unexamined society.

So if you didn’t get a chance to experience the Pause Fest, I urge you to look forward to the third installment of the Pause Fest in 2013. And for those who are the creators behind the art, products and businesses designing for our future, consider a few guiding principles spun from the underlying themes I found to be palpable throughout the festival:

Tell a story. Build something that is part of a bigger story. Create an immersive world for it so that your audience believes that they can touch and feel it on some level.

Imagine first, engineer later. Dream as though there are no limitations in physics or resources. Figure out how to build it later.

The finer details matter. The small details in colour, texture, font, size and tone are part of the immersive world you’re creating.

Work together. You can’t do it by yourself. Work with people who are not like you. Doing so will make you better at what you do.

Note: the videos hyperlinked within this post were screened at the Pause Fest.

About our Ambassador // Jackie Antig is a product innovator who doubles as a wordsmith and visual designer. Insatiably curious, data junkie. Works in the trenches. Connect with her on Twitter @jantig.