RE:DESIGN/Creative Directors 2014

This is the archive page for RE:DESIGN/Creative Directors 2014 which took place in Palm Springs.

The theme for 2014 was Adaptation: How we change (and what we change) has ever greater importance and ever greater meaning. Whether translating ideas from one medium to another, morphing old infrastructures into new platforms, or reinventing entire careers, adaptation is the choice between what becomes the future and what remains the past. RE:DESIGN/Creative Directors convenes designers, artists, writers, strategists, inventors and thinkers to explore and explain the role adaptation plays in shaping their creative practice, their clients’ businesses, and themselves.

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Thanks to our sponsors:
Thanks to Hoefler & Co. for sponsoring the break lounge: Thanks to Plumb for sponsoring our gift packs:

Christopher Simmons 2014 Symposiarch Principal/Creative Director, MINE™ [ Show bio ] The Message is Medium Rare
Christopher Simmons is a designer, writer, educator, design advocate and principal of the noted San Francisco design office, MINE™. He is the author of four books, including the recently released Just Design, which focuses on designing for social good. Christopher’s work has been exhibited at museums ranging from the Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art (Japan), to the Smithsonian Institution. He is an adjunct professor of design at the California College of the Arts (CCA) and a past president of AIGA San Francisco. On completion of his tenure in that role, then Mayor Gavin Newsom issued an official proclamation declaring San Francisco to be a city “where design makes a difference.”
The Message is Medium Rare The world is full of secret messages and hidden meanings. Participants in this lunchtime session will eat a hamburger, review it, and uncover the creative insight locked inside that experience.
Sean Adams Partner, AdamsMorioka [ Show bio ] Changing Lanes
Sean Adams is a partner at AdamsMorioka, and professor at Art Center College of Design. He is an AIGA Medalist and AIGA Fellow. Adams has been cited as one of the forty most important people shaping design internationally, and one of the top ten influential American designers. He has been recognized by every major competition and publication including; Step, Communication Arts, Graphis, AIGA, The Type Directors Club, The British Art Director’s Club, and the New York Art Director’s Club. AdamsMorioka has been exhibited often, including a solo exhibition at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Sean is the current national AIGA President, serving his second term, past AIGA national board member, and past AIGA Los Angeles President. He is a Fellow of the Aspen Design Conference, frequent lecturer and competition judge internationally, and author of several books. AdamsMorioka’s clients include The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Cedars-Sinai, Disney, Mohawk Fine Papers, The Metropolitan Opera, Natural History Museum, Richard Meier & Partners, Sundance, UCLA, and the University of Southern California.
Changing Lanes How do we change and adapt professionally, personally? When do you know it’s time to make a change from one job to another, starting your own firm, changing your clients, closing the doors to an office, spending your days making macramé and playing golf?
Lawrence Azerrad LADdesign [ Show bio ] Design + Music
Lawrence Azerrad founded the independent graphic design studio LADdesign in 2001. Creating graphic design and comprehensive visual identity systems for clients such as The Clinton Foundation, The Beach Boys, UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, Heal The Bay, and over a Sixteen-year client relationship, spanning seven album packages for award-winning American alternative rock band, Wilco. Prior to opening LADdesign, he worked as an art director at Warner Bros Records, creating packaging and artwork for artists such as Miles Davis, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers. He has taught Graphic Design at Art Center College of Design, The Academy of Art University, San Francisco, He is the author of a personal project, a design history of the supersonic luxury airliner, Concorde.
Design + Music Two art forms, one message: design that represents music. This workshop is about the experience of listening to music played live and translating what we hear into a design language that effectively represents the art of music visually. The session will call on participants to question how one form of art in design, is adapted to be the visual articulation of a different form of art in music. Through the workshop, we will experience the challenges in aiming to have these two art forms overlap into a single artistic and cultural message. During the musical performance, we will design to the music in live time. Through collage, using materials provided, the limited time frame will require an immediate translation of what we hear into a visual treatment, calling on us to draw on our most direct artistic response to the musician’s art and performance. By designing in the presence of our musical guest, we will explore the sensitivity of developing visual solutions for the songwriter and performer’s art, and the understanding that this music is their heartfelt creation and how we channel the most effective translation of this. Following the performance and design session, we’ll have a group review of our work, also including the comments and thoughts of our musical guest, and select the design solutions that most effectively embody the sound, spirit, and content of the music.
Stefan G. Bucher Designer / Illustrator / Writer, 344 Design [ Show bio ] Love in the Time of Thunderdome
Stefan G. Bucher is the man behind and, which has spawned a book and the popular “Monster Maker” iPad app. He is the author of several books, including “344 Questions—The Creative Person’s Do-It-Yourself Guide to Insight, Survival, and Artistic Fulfillment.” He has created designs for David Hockney, Judd Apatow, and The New York Times. D&AD honored him with a Yellow Pencil for book design, and the Art Directors Club of New York declared him a Young Gun way back in 2004. He designed the titles for the films “The Fall,” “Immortals” and “Mirror, Mirror” by director Tarsem. His time-lapse drawings appear on the Emmy-award winning TV show “The Electric Company.” He recently designed the Blue Man Theater in Las Vegas, and in December of 2013 Saks Fifth Avenue adapted his book “The Yeti Story” into animatronic holiday window displays for their flagship store on Fifth Avenue.
Love in the Time of Thunderdome Designer-Illustrator-Animator-Writer-Speaker-Monstermaker Stefan G. Bucher talks about surviving as a compulsive hyper-hyphenate in the age of “Everything goes, but you only get to pick one!” Learn from a few of his successful strategies and tactics, and really, really learn from his many dunderheaded fuckups. (If you don’t like what he has to say, he’ll draw on your arm with a Sharpie. Nobody walks away empty-handed.)
Ti Chang Founder & Design Principal, CRAVE [ Show bio ] We’ve Come A Long Way
Ti Chang is a respected female industrial designer who is disrupting the adult products industry through innovative design. She is the co-founder and VP of Design of CRAVE, a San Francisco-based company specializing in discreet and beautifully designed luxury sex toys. The DUET, Ti’s first design at CRAVE, debuted through a crowd-funding project, which ultimately secured over $100K from over 900 donors. Since that time, Ti has continued to lead the concept and design for the company’s full line of products, including its celebrated foreplay jewelry. Prior to Crave, Ti founded INCOQNITO, a line of intimate accessories that double as fashionable jewelry. The company was acquired by CRAVE in 2011, which laid the foundation for foreplay jewelry. Earlier, Ti held positions with major consumer brands, including Trek Bicycle and Goody Products, where she helped pave the way for women by serving as the first female industrial designer at both Trek and Goody. During her time at Goody, Ti was named inventor on multiple patents and designed the “Ouchless” hairbrush collection, a prolific product for nearly a decade. Ti holds a MA in Design Products from Royal College of Art in London and a BS in Industrial Design from Georgia Institute of Technology. Ti grew up in Atlanta, GA and now enjoys life and work in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We’ve Come A Long Way The way society views sex and pleasure has changed over the years, and so has the design of products and materials that reflect those social mores. From chastity belts to vibrators, product design reflects and adapts to the societal beliefs, fears, misconceptions, expectations and fetishes of the time. As the stigma of pursuing our pleasure wanes, design continues to adapt. Join the conversation and let’s talk about sex and design.
Nick Cronan Co-founder and Creative Director, Branch [ Show bio ] You Gotta Pay to Play
Nick is a designer, entrepreneur, Founder and Creative Director of the San Francisco design studio Branch. Prior to co-founding Branch in 2013, Cronan was the Design Director for Dr. Dre’s Beats at Ammunition. Before that he was at Fuseproject directing creative for clients such as Herman Miller, Samsung, OLPC, CocaCola, Johnson & Johnson, Barnes & Noble and Puma.
You Gotta Pay to Play Investing in the work you are passionate about, to attract the clients you want.
Marc English Marc English Design [ Show bio ] Papa Was A Rolling Stone (or, You Can’t Always Get What You Want): The Career I Never Wanted
Step Inside Design magazine once called Marc English “the Johnny Cash of AIGA”, referring to him as “teacher, preacher, shaman, showman.” The 20th anniversary issue of HOW magazine listed him as one of “20 Designers We’d Like to Have a Beer With.” He suggests the sentence should read “ . . . With Whom We’d Like to Have a Beer.” According to the Austin Chronicle, “You might want to wear a welder’s visor and some chain mail just to be on the safe side; in his hands, “design theory” is a radical, insurrectionist weapon. Joe Strummer would’ve dug this cat, but good. His identity both as a human being and an artist is XXL life. Austin filmmaker/writer Cary Roberts has rightly called him ‘the Stanley Kubrick of design.’ He fairly burns with passion for his life and work, and he wants you to burn, too. No sparks or embers here. English is a conflagration of design theory, overwhelming talent, and experimentalism, and his work meets at the dirty crossroads of the artistic truth of what has been entrusted to him and the bottom line, the movement of “product,” the allure of the dream made true, at midnight, beneath a full moon, with pistols and blood well spent. His aim is truest. . .” Yes, that is hyperbole at it’s finest. English studied design at Massachusetts College of Art, after a stint at the Berklee College of Music, where he studied composing, harmony and arranging. He began his career in Boston working for a number of studios on projects in communication design for Fortune 500 clients, broadcast design for ABC-TV’s Boston affiliate, and creating museum exhibits for national and international clients, before opening his own studio in 1993, and later moving to Austin, Texas. His work can also be found in the collections of the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany, the Merrill C. Berman Collection, New York, and the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitano, México City. English has served as a director of the AIGA, and as president of both the Boston and Austin chapters. He has served as a member of the Massachusetts College of Art National Alumni Council and sat on the board of directors of the Austin Film Society. Author of Designing Identity: Graphic Design As A Business Strategy. English has taught at the university level for more than two decades, in the U.S. and Mexico, and currently teaches graduate studies at the Academy of Art University, in San Francisco. He’s ridden camels in the Sahara, almost died on the North Shore of Oahu, been chased through the jungles of the Yucatan after midnight, has slept in the rain under only a serape in Utopia, Texas, and the longest day he’s spent on a motorcycle was 18 hours in the saddle. He continues to travel and lecture frequently and likes to read Homer in the original Greek. As they say in Texas, it ain’t braggin’ if it’s true. Most of the above is true
Papa Was A Rolling Stone (or, You Can’t Always Get What You Want): The Career I Never Wanted Description coming.
Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers Founders, Mike & Maaike [ Show bio ] Turning The Future Into The Past
Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers are founders of the progressive industrial design laboratory Mike & Maaike. Maaike is Dutch, Mike, Californian. Their distinct backgrounds and unique design approach inform a diverse body of work marked by experimentation, substance and conceptual narratives. They were named in Fast Company’s list of Most Creative People in Business in 2012 and 2014 and have recently joined forces with Google [x], where they help scientists, researchers and engineers build amazing new experiences.
Turning The Future Into The Past Acelerating change in a world of accelerating change.
Su Mathews Hale Senior Partner, Lippincott [ Show bio ] Keynote Conversation With Su Mathews Hale
Su is a senior partner in design based in Lippincott’s New York office. For over two decades, Su Mathews Hale has thrived at the intersection of graphic design and brand strategy. Using the power of design to develop inspiring creations while solving business problems, Su has worked with a broad range of notable clients including Chase, Chick-fil-A, eBay, Hayneedle, Hershey’s, Hyatt, IHG, Liz Claiborne, New York Public Library, RadioShack, Red Robin, Samsung, Shutterstock, the U.S. Department of State, and Walmart. As a senior partner in design for Lippincott, Su works on global projects spanning the full gamut of brand creation and identity development. She served as creative director on the famed Walmart rebranding – a massive repositioning and brand revitalization engagement that contemporized the global retail giant while retaining the values of its heritage. The program included a new visual identity, an enhanced omni-channel customer experience, an award-winning employee brand book, and an overall alignment with the retailer’s new brand essence, “Save money. Live better.” Recently, Su led the creative team for the refreshed brand identity of eBay that signaled strategic changes of eBay Marketplaces and a cleaner, more contemporary experience. Prior to joining Lippincott, Su was an associate partner at Pentagram Design. A frequent speaker and design judge, Mathews was featured as a “Symbol Master” by the AIGA, and was selected by Graphic Design USA as one of the 2013 “People to Watch.” Her work has been published in design books such as Designing Brand IdentityGo Logo, LogoLounge V, and Symbol, and featured in leading design publications such as American Institute of Graphic Arts, Communication Arts, Graphis, Identity, Mohawk Show 9 and PRINT. Su holds a B.F.A. in graphic communication and an associate degree in advertising design, both from The Fashion Institute of Technology. She is currently serving as president-elect of AIGA, where she is 1 of 15 members of the national board and has been spearheading a Women’s Leadership Initiative
Keynote Conversation
Nikolai Gregory Galle Co-founder, Future and Executive Producer, Ingenious Strategy [ Show bio ] Born Ingenious
I’ve been exploring how to improve lives through design and ingenuity for 30 years. I love helping people create ingenious solutions to challenges—big and small—facing organizations, communities, society, and our planet. I’ve collaborated on design, brand, and business books including The Brand Gap: How To Bridge The Distance Between Business Strategy and Design by Marty Neumeier, Why Business People Speak Like Idiots: A Bullfighter’s Guide by Brian Fugere, and Mass Career Customization: Aligning The Workplace with Today’s Nontraditional Workforce and The Corporate Lattice: Achieving High Performance in the Changing World of Work by Cathleen Benko and Molly Anderson. To further positive change I am an advisor to Fuse Corps and Project M and a board member of Not For Sale, the campaign to end slavery and human trafficking. I was shocked, but made my mom, wife, and daughters proud, by being recognized in The 2014 GOOD 100.
Born Ingenious How to unlock our natural born ability to create clever, original, and practical solutions with the resources available to us.
April Greiman Designer, made in space [ Show bio ] There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
April Greiman is a thinker, designer, and artist whose transmedia projects, which address all areas and scales of design from communications to textiles and from architecture to new media, together with her innovative use of advanced digital technology, have made her a leader in the design world. Greiman actively challenges interdisciplinary boundaries, investigating the parallels and intersections between art and design in all aspects of her work, which has appeared in print in Newsweek, Time, The New York Times and USA Today, among others; on television networks including CNN, PBS, and ESPN; in the monographs April Greiman: Floating Ideas into Time and Space and It’snotwhatAprilyouthinkitGreimanis, Hybrid Imagery: The Fusion of Technology and Graphic Arts, and Something from Nothing, among others. April’s work has long had a relationship to architecture and she has collaborated with such renowned architects as Frank Gehry and RoTo architects to produce signage, exhibitions, and color palettes for both interiors and entire building complexes. Recently, collaborating with landscape architect, Ken Smith, a 1400 acre park, Orange County Great Park, has begun implementation of the color, signage-wayfinding system and other 3-dimensional interventions into the built environment. Featured currently at the Museum of Modern Art, Designing Modern Women 1890-1990 exhibition, interest in both print and virtual space has led to projects for furniture manufacturer Vitra’s Workspirit Magazine, the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in Los Angeles, Southern California Institute of Architecture and fashion label Dosa, among others.
There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in. Adaptation to/of color and light, spatializing information and then some.
Stanley Hainsworth Founder and Chief Creative Officer, Tether [ Show bio ] Ten Years Of Instant Change
Tether is a group of friends who are passionate about one thing: telling stories that matter. Tether was born from the desire to work on brands that share the desire to create passionate, emotional connections with customers. Everything that our team of visionaries, strategists, designers and implementers create tethers back to the core of the brands we partner with. Previous to founding Tether, Stanley was VP Global Creative of Starbucks where he oversaw all creative aspects of Starbucks – new products, packaging systems, seasonal promotions, brand campaigns, advertising and collateral materials. Stanley spent twelve years at Nike as a Creative Director working on everything from product launches to Niketowns to the Olympics. After Nike, he moved to Denmark to join the Lego Company as their Global Creative Director. There he directed a total visual overhaul of the Lego brand from top to bottom, including packaging, the web, retail and brand stores. Stanley is a national board member of AIGA, a featured speaker on Creativity worldwide and the recipient of awards from ID Magazine, Communication Arts, The Library of Congress, Graphis, Type Directors Club, HOW International, HOW Regional, NW Design Awards, PRINT International, AIGA National, AIGA Regional, Rosie’s, POP Times, and Communication Arts Illustration, Retail Interiors (Best International Store and Best Retail Theater) and MAPIC (Best Retail Store).
Ten Years Of Instant Change I studied to be an actor, that’s all I ever thought I would be. Then I became one, but not before waiting tables and being a fragrance model at Macy’s Herald Square. I thought I was on a life path, I was an actor, a musician, a writer. But, my wife and I received a phone call one night 10 years later asking if we would take in 2 children (my wife’s 5 and 8 year old niece and nephew). Their mother had been killed in a single car accident and their father was driving intoxicated and headed soon off to jail. It was overnight adaptation. I subsequently learned that I had been making choices all my life that led to this moment when my career changed overnight from actor to designer (with instant fatherhood as the catalyst). I found out that my career to this point was just the preparation I needed. I was armed with entrepreneurial courage. A blessed ignorance. An untrained, curious eye. And Nike supplied the playground. I left a life behind but carried forward more than I could of imagined.
Josh Higgins Communication Design Manager, Facebook [ Show bio ] Words As Flint
Currently manager for the Communication Design team at Facebook, last year Josh concluded his role as Design Director for President Obama’s 2012 campaign. As the Design Director, Josh built and led the design team for the historic 2012 political campaign in which the web, design, and technology played a pivotal role. The responsibility of Josh and the team was to design the Obama 2012 campaign both online and offline. A main focus of his was on creating a uniform message and consistent visual language across all mediums. With roots in both advertising and graphic design, Josh’s work has earned him national honors. He has done extensive work for brands including Asics Footwear, HP, Fender Guitars, The Tony Hawk Foundation, CBS, Perry Ellis International, Kyocera, Bolle & Serengeti Eyewear, Newcastle Brown Ale, PF Changs, Yamaha, and Life Technologies. Josh dedicates a percentage of his time to social causes. Finding creative ways to support them has manifested into successful exhibits and charitable projects, like The Hurricane, So-Cal and Haiti Poster Projects in addition to lecture series with photographers, designers and film makers with proceeds donated to various charitable organizations.
Words As Flint In this session, we’ll discuss the evolutionary process that leads to the adaptation. We will explore how something meaningful heard or read — whether wisdom, a story, a lecture or an email — can lead to a moment of influence or action forward.
Jay Jurisich Founder / Creative Director, Zinzin [ Show bio ] Bacteria, Brands and Ballyhoo
Jay Jurisich is the founder and Creative Director of Zinzin, a brand naming agency. He has been a professional namer for over sixteen years, and has led name development projects for Participant Media, Nokia, eCornell, ABC Television, GE, MTV, DuPont, MGM Resorts, Camelbak, Raytheon, Nike, TalorMade, Canon, Honeywell, SonyMusic, GAP, Hasbro, Turner Networks, EA Sports, Seagate, Shaw Communications, TCF Bank, and DirecTV among many others. Zinzin creates powerful product and company names that differentiate and propel brands beyond their competition. It is a unique agency committed to helping companies rise above the generic branding chatter that clogs cultural discourse. Jay believes that doing naming right is part science, and for that Zinzin has a rigorous, battle-tested process in place. But he also firmly believes that naming is an art, and it is art, poetry, depth of meaning, stories and mythology that separates great brands from the pack of competitors who fail to understand the value of evocative, metaphorical names. Jay has an MFA in painting and drawing from UCLA and BA degrees in Literature and Art Studio from UC Santa Barbara. Before naming took over his life completely, Jay has been a web developer, editor, writer and visual artist. He is always thinking about names and naming, and is happy to guide anyone willing to listen through the process of creating a killer brand name.
Bacteria, Brands and Ballyhoo The language of brands is the new avant garde, the rapidly evolving bacteria of culture. How the meanings of words and brand names mutate, adapt and evolve over time, and how chance, layering, distraction, humor, misunderstanding and chaos contribute to the mutation of language and the creation of transient poetry in the moment. Adaptation will be put into action as we discuss how adaptation has been put into action.
Everett Katigbak Brand Manager, Pinterest [ Show bio ] Seeing With Sound
Everett is a tinkerer, storyteller, and hacker of physical objects. As Pinterest’s Brand Manager, his job is to communicate the company’s story to pinners from all walks of life. Before coming to Pinterest, he was the Environmental Design Manager and an early communication designer at Facebook. During his time there, he helped design the company’s campuses (recently with Frank Gehry Partners LLP) and global satellite offices, created the audio mnemonic and sonic identity, and produced several brand videos. He was also the co-founder of the Facebook Analog Research Laboratory, a print studio and workshop led by a rogue band of pirates determined to challenge the status quo. In addition to tech, Everett has done a lot of work in the museum industry for the J. Paul Getty Museum and as a freelance exhibition designer. Many of the exhibits he designed were a first for the Getty, ranging from baroque portrait sculpture to contemporary architecture and design.
Seeing With Sound Using sound and emotion through improvisational sound design for storytelling.
Jimmy LaValle The Album Leaf [ Show bio ] Design + Music
Bio Coming
Design + Music Two art forms, one message: design that represents music. This workshop is about the experience of listening to music played live and translating what we hear into a design language that effectively represents the art of music visually. The session will call on participants to question how one form of art in design, is adapted to be the visual articulation of a different form of art in music. Through the workshop, we will experience the challenges in aiming to have these two art forms overlap into a single artistic and cultural message. During the musical performance, we will design to the music in live time. Through collage, using materials provided, the limited time frame will require an immediate translation of what we hear into a visual treatment, calling on us to draw on our most direct artistic response to the musician’s art and performance. By designing in the presence of our musical guest, we will explore the sensitivity of developing visual solutions for the songwriter and performer’s art, and the understanding that this music is their heartfelt creation and how we channel the most effective translation of this. Following the performance and design session, we’ll have a group review of our work, also including the comments and thoughts of our musical guest, and select the design solutions that most effectively embody the sound, spirit, and content of the music.
Pum Lefebure Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer, Design Army [ Show bio ] Design Your Life So You Can Kick Ass 365
Pum Lefebure is a co-founder and chief creative officer of Design Army in Washington DC, where she oversees all creative coming through the agency’s doors. An award-winning creative director and a savvy business leader, Pum has dreamed up and developed numerous high-profile campaigns worldwide. The Thailand native brings a global sensibility to American design – a creative point of view that draws from different cultures and resonates with diverse audiences. Guided by an international eye and entrepreneurial edge, Pum has helped expand the agency’s client base and elevate its reputation as a trend-setter. Pum’s hallmark is a distinctive union of the artistic and the commercial. With a rare balance of creativity, strategic thinking and industry know-how, she has proven that good design is the cornerstone of good business. Pum regularly judges elite design competitions around the world including Cannes Lions and served as the chair of the 2012 One Show Design jury. Her work has earned a plethora of awards, including D&AD, One Show Gold Pencils, Art Directors Club Cubes, Red Dot Awards, AIGA 365, I.D. Annual Design Review, SPD Award, and Type Directors Club, among others. She has been featured in industry publications such as Communication Arts, Graphis, HOW, Print, Novum (Germany), Coupe (Canada), Concept Magazine (Indonesia), Gallery (China) and Art4D (Thailand). Pum has been asked to give design lectures and lead workshops from Copenhagen and Beijing to Monterrey and Moscow. Pum excels at establishing the vision behind high-profile campaigns. Skilled in the creation and implementation of corporate identity, branding, conceptual design, and known for her distinctive art direction. She has guided the design and development of an array of award-winning work. Her clients include Adobe, GE, Disney, Bank of America, Bloomingdale’s, The Ritz Carlton, Marriott International, The Washington Ballet, Verizon, Neenah Paper, The Smithsonian and Lucas Film. Pum help successfully launch the Washingtonian’s Bride and Groom and Washingtonian MOM magazine. Pum was named by Graphic Design USA as one of the top “50 People to Watch,” and was honored as a “Rising Star” by the Washington Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business. Entrepreneur Magazine, the Washington Post and Capitol File have all featured Pum and her work, and Washingtonian Magazine named her a “style setter” for her unmistakable creativity and trend-setting fashion. In addition, Pum and her creative team have been featured on Fox-5 and ABC-7’s “Working Woman” segment. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors for The One Club in New York.
Design Your Life So You Can Kick Ass 365 What do success and fulfillment really look like? Is the concept of “work-life” balance a mirage? Learn how to integrate your passion and creativity into your everyday life so you can be a more motivating leader. Get a fresh new perspective and visual inspiration from a woman who shaped her business – and her life – into a creative tour de force.
Jonah Lehrer [ Show bio ] On Failure
Jonah Lehrer is a writer, primarily about science. He is currently at work on “A Book About Love”, to be published by Simon & Schuster. He blogs at
On Failure In this personal talk, Lehrer will discuss the educational benefits of failure. He’ll argue that failure is both a necessary and painful part of the creative process, which is why the best kinds of creativity require the sort of lasting commitment that can only come from love.
Heidi Reinfeld Partner & VP, Sequence LLC [ Show bio ] Embracing and Empowering Both Introverts and Extroverts
Heidi Reinfeld is a Partner and Vice President of Creative for Sequence, a leading creative agency based in San Francisco and New York that focuses on connecting brands, products and people. A classically trained designer, she couples a refined visual sensibility with a holistic understanding of large-scale interactive systems. She has rich experience both in-house, with Bank of America, and at agencies like Sapient and Studio Archetype. Her career moved from traditional print to a strong foundation in user-centered design and design strategy by working closely with interaction designers, researchers, and technologists. Because of this experience, her approach to every project is as interdisciplinary as possible—truly understanding the integration points along a project’s lifecycle. Throughout her career she has worked on a variety of projects—most recently various mobile devices, physical environments, marketing websites, e-commerce, packaging, numerous identity and branding initiatives, and pure brand strategy and product development projects. Despite the wide array of end deliverables, Heidi thrives on designing a complete experience across multiple touch-points. To each engagement she brings a strong, yet considerate, point of view, an ability to set a vision and ensure it is executed and a strong level of storytelling – all while never forgetting that everyone has to still laugh and enjoy what they do. Brands she has worked most recently are: Peet’s Coffee and Tea, Apple, Chevron, Disney, Medtronic, Lytro and WebMD.
Embracing and Empowering Both Introverts and Extroverts The design process has become more complicated, team members have become more diverse, and the need for rapid, thoughtful ideation has not just become part of the process but often the product itself. Design thinking is beyond just part of the selling process — it is something that clients and peers need to see and be part of, and with that comes the diverse set of designers who are involved in the mix. While introverts and extroverts don’t always necessarily translate to being shy or overly thoughtful vs. gregarious and dynamic, there are tendencies that start from these personality traits that need to be considered in this ever changing design environment. There is a need for collaborative, iterative working sessions that happen by the hour or group brainstorms which have taken on an integral part to the design process. Here is where these personality traits are forced to battle their strengths and weaknesses and designers need to figure out how to adapt.
Bonnie Siegler Founder/Creative Director, Eight and a Half [ Show bio ] Some Things Never Change
Bonnie Siegler is an award-winning graphic designer. She is the founder of Eight and a Half, a multidisciplinary design studio based in New York, and before that, co-founded Number Seventeen in 1993. She served as the chair of the 2013 AIGA National Design Conference, was the 2014 Koopman Distinguished Chair in the Visual Arts at the University of Hartford, and has taught in the graduate design programs at Yale University and the School of Visual Arts. Bonnie’s work is in the permanent design archives of AIGA and has been recognized by the Art Directors Club, Type Directors Club, the Society of Publication Design, the Webby Awards, and the Broadcast Design Association. Bonnie also has a weekly advice column on Design Observer where she responds to readers’ professional, ethical, or design-related dilemmas, and she would love for you to submit your questions to Eight and a Half’s clients include Late Night with Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary, Maveron, HBO, Brooklyn Public Library, The Criterion Collection, Random House, The New York Times, and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.
Some Things Never Change A therapeutic examination of how and why we make the design decisions we do.
George Slavik Design Director, Embarcadero Partners [ Show bio ] Adapting To The Job
George is a design director at Embarcadero Partners, a strategy consulting firm that works with leaders in Fortune 500 companies to solve their toughest problems. Previously George worked at Gensler, creating branded corporate and retail environments, signage and wayfinding systems. He also designed for literary magazine McSweeney’s, and teaches information design at the Academy of Art.
Adapting To The Job I’ve been a designer in an architectural firm. I’ve worked as a designer for a strategy firm. I’ve always been fascinated by the different processes those in different fields utilize to perform their work. In this session, we’ll discuss how we as designers adapt the processes from other disciplines into the practice of design.
Lisa Kay Solomon Educator/Author/Innovation Strategist, [ Show bio ] Designing Moments of Impact: Strategy as Experienced
Lisa is passionate about helping leaders envision and create more expansive futures. Lisa is the coauthor of Moments of Impact: How to Design Strategic Conversations that Accelerate Change (Simon & Schuster, February 2014), which offers innovative teams and leaders a creative framework for tackling high-stakes challenges using the disciplined principles of design. Lisa teaches innovation and strategic foresight at the MBA in Design Strategy program at San Francisco’s California College of the Arts, where she helps leaders embrace their full potential as innovators using the concrete skills, tools and mindsets of design. Lisa is a frequent lecturer and keynote speaker at leading business schools, and has designed and delivered innovation programs for a wide range of executive teams in organizations, ranging from ING Bank, Citi Ventures, Herman Miller Inc., Toyota Financial Services, and Roberts Endowment Development Fund to Stanford’s Media X and the Kauffman Fellows Program for venture capitalists. In addition to her corporate work, Lisa also works extensively with educators and students to bring innovation and discovery skills into primary and secondary education. She recently delivered a TEDx talk on her passion for design, co-chaired the Nueva School Innovative Learning conference and was the co-host at the international Business Design Summit with Alex Osterwalder, coauthor of the global bestseller Business Model Generation.
Designing Moments of Impact: Strategy as Experienced What does a baby food fight, a scavenger hunt and a live graffiti wall have to do with strategy? Everything. In a time of growing complexity and dynamic change, how can we can solve challenging problems in co-creative and collaborative ways? Through strategic conversations – creative, collaborative problem solving sessions that generate ideas and momentum that accelerate innovation and lasting change. Learning how to design great strategic conversation is a craft and discipline similar to great product design. Together we’ll explore how a design mindset, a sharpie, and the right conditions can stimulate new ideas and advance impact on your most vexing challenges.
Alissa Walker Urbanism Editor, Gizmodo [ Show bio ] Sidewalk Critic: Exploration, Observation, and Mid-Century Modern Architecture
Alissa Walker writes and speaks about design, architecture, cities, transportation and walking for many publications and events. She is the urbanism editor at Gizmodo and her work regularly appears in Los Angeles Magazine, the LA Weekly, Dwell, Fast Company, GOOD, T Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as on the KCRW public radio show DnA: Design and Architecture. In 2010 she was named a USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Fellow for her writing on design and urbanism, and in 2011 she was awarded an ArtPlace grant for the initiative GOOD Ideas for Cities, where creatives propose solutions to urban problems proposed by city leaders. Alissa lives in a Dodger blue house in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles where she throws ice cream socials, tends to a drought-tolerant garden, and relishes life in L.A. without a car. Read more at her blog, A Walker in LA, and follow her @awalkerinLA on Instagram and Twitter.
Sidewalk Critic: Exploration, Observation, and Mid-Century Modern Architecture Part walking tour, part architectural criticism lecture, this session will head out into the nearby Twin Palms Estates neighborhood to discover and disseminate hidden details of the urban environment. Wear comfortable shoes, and bring the following: A notebook, something to write with, and a camera-enabled phone.
Cinthia Wen Principal, NOON [ Show bio ] Opposite George
Cinthia began her career in design after graduating from California College of the Arts in 1993. In 2001, she founded NOON, a design agency that focuses on visual communication through narratives, experiences and graphics. Cinthia was named one of the “People to Watch” in 2004 and selected as one of the most influential designers to exhibit in the San Francisco Museum of Art + Crafts in 2008. Her work has been included in various curated shows including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Cinthia was appointed the Chair of Graphic Design at the renowned California College of the Arts after a rigorous international search. In 2013, after building the program’s community as well as redesigning, expanding and implementing the design curriculum, she returns to her practice full-time with a renewed vision and devotion for NOON. Cinthia’s work is consistently recognized and awarded including The Addy Awards, The West Coast Art Director’s Club, The Type Director’s Club, Graphis, Communication Arts, Print, How Magazine, Step and other notable design titles. Cinthia has the capabilities and facility to work with a broad range of industries and projects scopes—from arts and education to fashion and technology; and from a thoughtful invitation, event campaign to a comprehensive branding assignment. Projects under her leadership include branding, strategy and visual design for clients such as Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco Ballet, The San Francisco International Film Festival, Nicole Miller, Seibu/Japan, Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Nokia, and Oracle, to name just a few. She is a true believer that design matters and is passionately involved with the profession’s efforts to continually evolve. She is currently working on a personal piece to documents and express time and how it is spent . Additionally, she is working with her team to create GOODS, a sub-brand of NOON that creates and makes earth-friendly products. Cinthia is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and un peu de Français. She is learning how to play the drums.
Opposite George Adaptation is generally good; it’s how we adjust, become better, more fit. It’s how we succeed in a changing environment. But what happens when we resist the unspoken mandate to adapt — go slower rather than faster, do less instead of more, or become more private and less responsive.

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