RE:DESIGN/Creative Directors 2015

The theme for 2015 is Golden Age or Mid-life Crisis: Creating context in a world that is focused on the small screen. Join Symposiarch Cameron Campbell and a fascinating group of clisareative leaders as they lead discussions that involve everyone in the room. At Re:Design, we keep things small to encourage conversations and connections, and create a setting where Creative Directors from across the country (and beyond) can talk shop and recharge their creative batteries.

Golden Age or Mid-life Crisis: Creating context in a world that is focused on the small screen

The media states this is the golden age of design. But is it a mid-life crisis? This era of design sees the global population with heads bent, focused on the screens in their hand and oblivious to others or the objects sharing the space around them. It begs to question–where is depth, meaning and significance in a world that is focused on the small screen? Or the power of language in a world communicating via snippets?

How do we as creative directors and strategist view our future and establish an optimistic platform? How do we design to break through the socio-environmental and contextual disengagement that comes from technology today? How do we move beyond the online and social media to understand context? How do we design and create to involve people in their present surroundings and the context of what is designed for them, staying curious ourselves even as those for whom we design are disconnecting? We’ll discuss this and more at Re:Design/Creative Directors 2015.

Register now at Eventbrite. We limit registration to 150 attendees.

We have started to announce speakers. Like our Facebook page for updates.

Learn about the most recent 2014 event which took place in Palm Springs

Learn about the 2013 event in Brooklyn

Learn about the 2012 event in Portland

Learn about the inaugural 2011 event in Palm Springs

To get periodic updates about the future Creative Director events, send us a note at


Registration includes sessions, lunch on Monday and Tuesday, and our cocktail hours.

Eventbrite - RE:DESIGN/Creative Directors 2015
  • Now through September 30: $585
  • October 1 on: $645


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You can find the schedule here. We’re updating as speakers confirm their exact slots.

Cameron Campbell
2015 Symposiarch
Director of Strategy, Digital Kitchen

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As Director of Strategy at Digital Kitchen, Cameron works closely with clients and colleagues to create strategies that engage consumers, establish employee culture, build brand awareness and drive business growth. In 17 years of building brand and product strategies, she has worked with such notable clients as the Boeing Company, Herman Miller, Apple, Nike and BMW/MINI, and she prefers to take a collaborative approach to her work, knowing that breakthroughs are born of multiple perspectives. She is adept at creating an integrated whole from many individual parts and is passionate about defining interdisciplinary teams, identifying user needs and envisioning ideas for new behaviors, products and services. Cameron also believes it’s important to be involved in the community whether teaching a strategy class at the local design school, jurying a design competition or applying her experience and skills to nonprofit organizations to help create better places to work, learn and live.

Jeanette Abbink
Founder and Creative Director, Rational Beauty
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“Design is not making beauty, beauty emerges from selection, affinities, integration, love,” Louis Kahn once said. Rational Beauty—a Brooklyn-based design firm, blog floating in the ether, and aesthetic philosophy—embraces this ideology. Founded in 2009 by Jeanette Abbink, Rational Beauty works with clients to create editorial and identity projects that are both intelligent and refined. We believe that skilled craftsmanship, dialogue, and hard work are key to making powerful design. Our philosophy is reflected on our blog, where you will find stories that inspire our practice. While beauty may appear chaotic—or even random—it is supported by a scaffolding of rigor, training, and discipline.

In almost three decades as an award-winning Graphic Designer and Creative Director, Jeanette has left her mark on a curio cabinet of diverse projects. These include a multitude of restaurant identities; designs for fashion companies such as Kate Spade, Esprit, Flora and Henri, and Carters; and editorial projects ranging from American Craft and Martha Stewart Living to the NY Times sports magazine Play.

Her work on the redesign of USA Today with Wolff Olins won the the 2013 Fast Company Design Innovation By Design Award. As the founding Creative Director of Dwell , Jeanette established the publication’s look and photographic style, for which she earned an ASME award. Fourteen years later the magazine turned to her once again to provide it with a fresh new look.

Jeanette’s passion for design is boundless and she studies weaving and machine knitting at the Textile Art Center, exploring techniques such at double weave, overshot patterns, and painting on the warp. Jeanette is an adjunct professor at Parsons The New School and has lectured in numerous classes, symposia, and design programs.

Rinat Aruh
Co-Founder & Principal, Brand Vision, aruliden
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Rinat Aruh is co-founder of the progressive product design and brand development agency, aruliden, where her nontraditional approach blends design, marketing and brand strategy to create powerful brand experiences to clients including Staples, Microsoft, Google, LG, Newell Rubbermaid and more.

Prior to co-founding aruliden, Rinat was VP of Marketing at the GAP and Global Strategy Manager for MINI Lifestyle Marketing at BMW Group in Munich, where she spearheaded a number of initiatives during the launch of MINI USA, propelling the brand to the forefront of the design world.

Lawrence Azerrad
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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.


Jason Baer
Principal, SYPartners
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Jason’s passion for partnering with clients in pursuit of bolder, more ambitious definitions of success led him to SYPartners, where he joined in 2013. As a Principal, he combines his experience in strategy, communications and creative direction to help great leaders and their organizations realize their true potential.

He began his career in a variety of roles at the D. E. Shaw Group, an overachieving global investment and technology development firm. He then spent several years as a Director and two-time winner of the Best Work award at Interbrand, the world’s largest brand consultancy, and most recently built and managed a thriving content strategy business at the simplicity and communications firm Siegel+Gale. Over this time Jason has led transformative engagements for some of the world’s leading organizations, including P&G, Hulu, NASA, Citi, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, SAP, Subaru, Comcast, and American Express.

Jason lives in New York with his wife, two undersized children and two oversized cats, and studied English and Creative Writing at Emory University.

Layne Braunstein
Co-founder, Fake Love
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Layne is a co-founder of the pioneering experiential design agency Fake Love. He is an award-winning creative known for his focus on experimental motion design and post-digital storytelling. Layne has led award winning global projects for brands such as Google, Levi’s, Microsoft, Tiffany’s, Virgin, Amex, MAC, Air Force, Marc Jacobs, Bacardi, Lexus, Coke, MTV, Samsung, Heineken, Sonos, Universal, Acura, VICE, Def Jam, Twitter and Nike.

Through Fake Love, he has recently collaborated with many artists including Doug Aitken, Chris Milk, Shen Wei, and Aerosyn-Lex for Station to Station, the Creators Project, the Park Ave. Armory and Scope Arts. He has been featured in zines like Wired, NYT, Comm. Arts, WSJ, Creators Project, Fast Co., Creativity, PSFK and Adweek. Layne has spoken about experiential design at Cannes Lions, Hyper Island, Future of Storytelling, SHOOT Directors Forum, CreateTech at M.I.T., NYU, Columbia and the award-winning Design Matters.

Geoff Cook
Partner, Base Design
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Geoff Cook is a founding partner at Base Design, an international network of strategic branding and design studios with offices in New York, Brussels and Geneva. As founder of the New York office in 1998, he has since headed up business development, and has shaped Base’s distinctive and conceptual style of design, marketing and brand strategy to build one of the most sought-after studios in New York.

Having lived and worked in Europe and Asia, Geoff is proficient in four languages. He brings a global perspective on culture and commerce to an eclectic, international slate of projects that span the worlds of art, education, fashion, beauty and beyond. Recent clients include MoMA, Miami Art Museum, L’Oréal, Le Pain Quotidien, Spin, Gagosian Gallery, Neuehouse, Milk, Puma, Fred Segal Beauty, Infiniti, JFK Terminal 4, Kiki de Montparnasse, The Met and Wellesley College.

Under Geoff’s leadership, Base built their brand of ingeniously simple yet flexible design and branding solutions that transcend and adapt to today’s ever-evolving consumer landscape. Their work has earned them top awards from D&AD, AIGA, LAUS, PRINT, The Art Directors Club and they were listed as a finalist for the Cooper Hewitt Communications Design Agency of the Year.

Geoff is also active in leadership and mentor roles in the tech world, acting as a mentor-in-residence at the renowned tech accelerator program TechStars, and serving on the boards of advisors for start-ups Placemeter, Social Sign-In and Crest & Co. He combines his passion for education and the arts as a member of the Board of Directors for New York’s Children’s Museum of the Arts. He regularly speaks about creative marketing and entrepreneurialism at top business schools and industry conferences and is a contributor to Fast Co. Design and PSFK.

Prior to his tenure at Base, Geoff held senior positions at DKNY and at the fragrance firm Firmenich, establishing a solid foundation in the fashion and beauty sectors. As head of DKNY’s International Menswear Division, Geoff led a team of 10, and grew the business from $980K to $56 million in 6 years. Hailing from Philadelphia, Geoff is an avid art and furniture collector. You can often find him riding his Brompton bike around Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and five year old son.

Josh Horowitz
Co-founder, Fake Love
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Josh Horowitz is an award-winning creative, and co-founder of the experiential design agency Fake Love. He excels in bridging gaps between people and brands by creating emotional connections through the use of art and technology. With Fake Love, Josh has led numerous award winning global experiential activations for brands such as Coke, Levis, Virgin, Tiffanys, Lexus, and Nike and collaborated with artists such as Shen Wei, Doug Aiken, Aerosyn Lex, and Chris Milk. Josh draws from his background in interactive projections and experience on the entertainment side working with MTV Networks overseeing promotions, live performances, music videos, and art installations. He found a deeper passion for the latter and began to focus his time on creative installations and environmental design that focused on bringing music together with technology to create unique experiences. As a leader in Experiential, Josh has guest lectured at numerous Universities and Conferences including NYU, Parsons, SVA, Hyper Island, Event Marketing Summit, Future Of Storytelling, and others. He has been featured in Creativity, Wired, Creators Projects, Fast Company, Agency Post, PSFK among others.


Johan Liden
Co-Founder & Principal, Industrial Design, aruliden
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As co-founder of the progressive product design and brand development agency, aruliden, Johan Liden actively interprets design through the lens of both a product and brand cycle to develop products that speak for themselves with a cohesive language at every touch point.

Originally from Sweden, Johan began his career in the US working with brands such as Nike, BMW, Herman Miller, Microsoft, and Toshiba at fuseproject. His design work has been widely recognized by museums, design competitions and media, including work in the permanent collection of the San Francisco MoMA and TIME magazine recognition of the ‘Best Inventions of 2001’ for a hydrogen powered scooter. He has contributed to more than 50 patents across multiple industries, continuously driving product innovation no matter the product category.

Fernando Music
Managing Director, Partners & Spade
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Fernando Music is a brand and marketing veteran working in NYC. Past and current clients include: The Highline, Sonos, Google, Etsy, Whole Foods Market and The Next Big Small Brand Contest.

Schooled as an architect, experienced as a designer, Fernando built a career with a strong conviction that starting with a good brief, taking big swings, and stretching the conventional bounds of what can be achieved are almost always rewarded.

Fernando lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two sons.

Mary Nittolo
President and CCO, the STUDIO
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In 1988, Mary founded the STUDIO, after working at a boutique design company and as Director of The Publications/ Marketing Department of The Brooklyn Museum. the STUDIO is a digital production and animation company that unites the talents of directors, designers, artists, animators, programmers and visual effects artisans to interpret projects in a variety of media, creating the images that brands and marketers need to reach their audiences.

She has judged the AICP creative awards for 4 consecutive years. In 2014 and 2015 she judged the ADCOLOR, Ad of the Year awards and presented the Creative Awards at ADCOLOR.

She has lectured on several Diversity Panels and represented the New York Digital Arts Community in an Eyes on New York Segment at FMX Animation Festival, Stuttgart, Germany. She has participated in 2 webinars for the American Advertising Federation as a thought leader in the supplier diversity community.

In 2012, she received National Minority Business Council’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In 2013, she received the Presidents’ Award from The WPO (Women’s Presidents’ Organization

In 2014, she received Smart CEO BRAVA Award for woman entrepreneurs.

In 2015, she received the first ever Women in Animation Award from ASIFA

Neil Sadler
Global Creative Director, Johnson & Johnson
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Neil Sadler’s currently is Senior Director, 360 Brand at the Johnson & Johnson Global Strategic Design Office in New York. Since joining in 2007 at J&J, he has been the Global Creative Director across Consumer Healthcare, Nutritional and OTC brands on the business leadership team defining breakthrough brand experiences but also leading the in-store and retail strategy team. The Global Strategic Design Office brings to life many people-centered touch points across digital, packaging or retail for a portfolio of brands such as Acuvue, DePuy, LISTERINE, Splenda and TYLENOL.

Prior to joining J&J, he cofounded the award-winning design studio at LA Metro – one of the nation’s largest transportation agencies to move millions, everyday. Their projects, ranging from wayfinding systems, schedules, maps to vehicle identity graphics and advertising campaigns that promote ridership, have been honored with more than 80 awards. This mix of consistent design standards, commonsense approaches to complex information, and engaging communications strategies has made LA Metro a standout in the public sector for embracing design and the capabilities of in-house teams. This rebrand resulted in a dramatic increase in ridership and an impact on street culture which The New York Times calls “sleek-with curb [and sex] appeal”.

Neil began his career at the multi-disciplinary firm, Imagination in London before moving to San Francisco to develop global systems for identity, print and wayfinding for both institutional and corporate clients at Landor and MetaDesign.


Aki Shelton
Executive Creative Director, Moving Brands
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Aki’s impeccable design sensibility and expertise in crafting brand experiences have led to her partnering with some of the world’s best known businesses to craft identities, in-store experiences and communications. As Executive Creative Director at Moving Brands, Aki has supported its global growth, leading studios in San Francisco, New York, and Tokyo. Before joining Moving Brands, Aki was a creative director at Apple.

Jacob Silverman
Author and Freelance Journalist
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The Walls Come Down

Jacob Silverman is the author of Terms of Service: Social Media and the Price of Constant Connection. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, The New Republic, and many other publications. He is a contributing editor for The Baffler, and he is also on the board of Deep Vellum, a new publisher of international literature. He lives in New York.

The Walls Come Down

With the collapsing distinctions between editorial and advertising, the unbundling of content and traditional distribution channels, the rise of massive platforms filtering information for everyone, how do we distinguish between a newspaper article about an oil spill and the sponsored content paid to appear next to it? How can designers and users add context and meaning when algorithms are the ultimate decision makers?

Christopher Simmons
Principal/Creative Director, MINE™
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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.”

Lisa Smith
Head of Design + Creative Director, Wolff Olins
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Taking over our lives, to changing our lives

Lisa is an award-winning Creative Director with expertise across a variety of design disciplines, from branding, print and advertising to exhibition design. After joining Wolff Olins in 2011, Lisa led the firms’ creative team in the execution of the highly acclaimed re-brand of USA Today garnering a coveted Silver Lion at the 2013 Cannes Lions Awards as well as a Fast Company Innovation by Design Award. Lisa has worked across a range of categories that includes fashion, retail, hospitality, museums, law, healthcare and technology, for clients like Expedia, Microsoft, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wildlife Conservation Society, Nixon Peabody and Getty Images.

Before joining Wolff Olins, Lisa built her experience working for world-class clients. She spent five years with design consultancy Browns in London where she delivered award-winning work for Channel 4 — one of the UK’s top broadcasters — and worked on engagements for internationally renowned fashion designer Dries Van Noten, D&AD (Design & Art Direction), Magnum photographers Susan Meiselas and Bruce Gilden, and illustrator/artist Paul Davis.

Following Brown’s, Lisa worked for 2 years at the V&A, London’s largest museum of art and design where she helped develop and execute an end-to-end identity for the museum, including exhibition design. After relocating to New York 8 years ago, she joined Marque Creative where her clients included The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., Victor Alfaro, The Nolitan Hotel and Haunch of Venison.

Taking over our lives, to changing our lives

We’re in a time of digital insanity, where our mobile devices are causing addictive behavior, total lack of human interaction and missing out on the simplest life moments. Whether you blame that on our busy hectic lives or the rise of social media we are heads down looking at our small screens. Now they have our attention power is in the peoples hands literally, where they are helping save lives, connecting us to the world, contributing to the economic development in deprived areas, helping find jobs and so much more. Designers have never had more challenging and important role to play in this world.


David Schwarz
Partner, HUSH
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David Schwarz is an award-winning creative leader and founding partner of HUSH, a design agency. He’s spent his career designing brand experiences that integrate content, interactivity, architecture and technology. After graduating from Art Center College of Design, he worked for notable creative studios, interactive agencies and design firms in Los Angeles and New York. Since founding HUSH, he has developed numerous projects across sport, luxury, beauty, technology and entertainment categories, most notably: Nike, Sonos, Equinox, Estee Lauder, Google, Ted Baker, Esquire, among others.

Schwarz has been featured in numerous publications like Creativity, AdWeek, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, FWA, The Hub and IdN. He’s spoken at conferences and panels for AIGA, The One Show, SEGD, SXSW, AdWeek, Cannes Lions, FITC, Seattle Interactive Conference, New, Inc., Event Design Summit, Columbia School of Architecture, Digital Dumbo, as well as judged numerous competitions.

Laetitia Wolff,
design consultant/cultural engineer,
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Laetitia Wolff is a design curator, creative strategist and author, a cultural producer interested in building bridges between design and the city. Her work focuses on creating community-centered projects that generate new discourses and experiences around design’s potential as a tool for change and investigation. She joined the NY chapter of AIGA to direct Design/Relief, a creative placemaking program and now leads other civic initiatives, such as Identity Design Action: East New York. She headed the nonprofit startup desigNYC as its first executive director following her 2010 launch of expoTENtial, an urban intervention platform that investigated design’s strategies to address pressing environmental issues. In 2013 she co-curated “EmpathiCITY, Making our City Together” for the 8th edition of the Saint-Etienne International Design Biennale which activated the UNESCO Creative Cities network. In 2014 she produced for the City of Montreal “Unsitely!,” an international colloquium that explored design’s potential in addressing the negative impact of construction sites. She is an instructor in the SVA’s Impact! Design for Social Change summer program. Formerly the editor-in-chief of Surface and Graphis magazines, and a frequent contributor to design titles, Wolff is the author of the award-winning monograph on French graphic master Massin and of the seminal Real Photo Postcards.

We’ve started announcing speakers and session leaders. Check back for additions.


Feedback from past RE:DESIGN/CD attendees

“I wanted to thank you for having me at your amazing event… The quality of conversation surpassed that which I have experienced at all other conferences. The conference has left a lasting impression on me…”

“Congratulations on a stellar event… Everything about the event—the content, format, people—was everything we hoped for and more. The entire experience was perfection… I feel that what we have learned will help us for years to come… Consider us diehard fans.”

“I loved the interaction and the size. Perfect for getting to know people. I think i was able to meet 80-90% of everyone who attended.”