DesignThinkers Toronto 2019

 

DesignThinkers, Canada’s premier conference for visual communicators, is a must attend for any informed, forward-thinking creative, communications or marketing professional or team. The inspiring event, now in its 20th year, breeds change agents who become drivers of innovation. Sessions teach delegates how to create effective communications by exploring cutting-edge innovation, the latest technology, demographic and ethnographic trends, strategic management techniques, cognitive theory and much more.

 

DesignThinkers Toronto 2019

Date: October 24 & 25, 2019

Location: Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

 

Early Bird Pricing for the Conference ends October 7, 2019!

 

Confirmed Speakers

  • Nick DenBoer

    Nick DenBoer

    Video Artist

    Nick is a video artist who has developed a unique brand of VFX comedy, combining video remix and animation techniques to create surreal and often absurd videos. Nick honed his skills working as a writer and bit creator for Conan O’Brien producing and remixing popular culture segments for the show. His groundbreaking short film “The Chickening” (a poultry-infused remix of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”) graced the screens of TIFF and Sundance. Nick’s unmistakable style has found a home in many productions. He has directed and produced ads for Old Spice and KFC, music videos and tour visuals for deadmau5 & Flying Lotus, countless TV shows, films, web and VR projects. Nick has carved out a career through remixing and repurposing existing footage to produce new and sometimes ridiculous creations.

     

    Sponsored by Z by HP

    Z by HP logo

  • Greg Durrell is a partner at Hulse & Durrell, a Vancouver-based design firm that develops brands, products and films for ambitious organizations that want to make a lasting impact. Durrell and his partner Ben Hulse began working together in 2007 on the Vancouver 2010 Olympic & Paralympic Games design team, and went on to lead a comprehensive rebrand of the Canadian Olympic Team in 2011. Between 2012-2018, Durrell directed and produced a feature-length documentary called Design Canada, documenting how 1960s graphic design shaped the identity of a nation. Following a sold-out show (650 people) at the Hot Docs theatre in Toronto, the film toured over 50 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Moscow and Zurich. Design Canada debuted at #1 on iTunes Documentaries in January 2019.
  • Studio Dumbar (part of Dept) is an award winning international agency with a Dutch heritage, specialising in visual branding.

    Liza is directly involved with all main projects such as the visual identity for the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, NGO Alzheimer Nederland and Transavia airlines. She is an MA Design graduate from the Royal College of Art, London. Before joining Studio Dumbar she worked for Pentagram London for several years. Liza gives lectures and workshops around the world and is regularly invited as a jury member. As of 2018 she has been elected member into the prestigious design association AGI, Alliance Graphique Internationale.

    Merijn is involved in the complete design process, from strategy to implementation and guiding other designers in the team. Some of his most noted projects are the visual identities for Big Mile, the Royal Cabinet of Paintings Mauritshuis and The National Museum of Antiquities. Merijn holds a bachelor of Arts from the Willem de Kooning Academy and a bachelor in Communication from Hogeschool InHolland. Besides working at Studio Dumbar Merijn is co-owner of technolabel Float Records.
  • Verònica Fuerte

    Verònica Fuerte

    Founder & Creative Director of Hey Studio
    Verònica Fuerte is a designer and illustrator from Barcelona. After earning a degree in Graphic Design from ELISAVA and a MA in Typeface Design from EINA she worked for several design studios in Barcelona. In 2007 she founded her own studio, Hey, which has grown steadily since. She received the ADC Young Guns 7 award and her work has appeared in prestigious media such as It’s nice that, DesignBoom, Communication Arts and AIGA. Verònica also teaches in several different universities in Barcelona and frequently speaks at international conferences.
  • Maria Giudice

    Maria Giudice

    CEO & Founder of Hot Studio
    Innovator, artist, protagonist, activist, and positive provocateur, Maria has pursued a vision of intelligent, elegant, people-centered design throughout her professional life. Her grasp of the pragmatic, the authentic, and the essential have kept her at the forefront of design and business for over 30 years. Under Maria’s leadership, Hot Studio, the award-winning experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. In 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio, where Maria worked as a Director of Product Design.

    From 2015 to 2017, Maria led a global team of designers as Autodesk’s first VP of Experience Design. Notable awards and recognition for Hot Studio include a nomination for the National Design Award. In 2012 Maria was recognized as an AIGA Design Fellow for making significant contributions in the design community and by raising the standards of excellence in practice. Maria’s third book, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, is available in several languages. She speaks at conferences all over the world. Today, Maria consults with individuals and organizations who wish to grow and expand their design practices. Maria serves on several Boards and is a Trustee at California College of the Arts. Maria is a mom to two amazing teenagers, and in her spare time, can marry people as an ordained Minister for the Universal Life Church.

  • Sagi Haviv is a partner and designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv, the firm responsible for many of the most famous logos of all time, including those for Mobil Oil, Chase bank, PBS, NBC, Showtime Networks, NYU, National Geographic, and Barneys New York. The firm most recently designed the new logo for Animal Planet.

    Among the over 60 identity programs he has designed are the logos for the US Open Tennis Championships, Leonard Bernstein at 100, Harvard University Press, Conservation International, and LA Reid’s Hitco Entertainment.

    Sagi joined the firm in 2003 after graduating from The Cooper Union School of Art. He is a go-to expert on the process of effective logo design for Bloomberg Businessweek, PBS, Fast Company, and NBC’s Meet The Press. He speaks about logo design around the world, including for TEDx, the AIGA, the HOW Design Conference, the Brand New Conference, Princeton University, the Onassis Foundation, the American Advertising Federation, and Columbia Business School, amongst many others. He teaches Visual Identity Design at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

    Sagi is coauthor of Identify: Basic Principles of Identity Design in the Iconic Trademarks of Chermayeff & Geismar (Print Publishers, 2011) and Identity: Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv (Standards Manual, May, 2018).

  • Blake Howard

    Blake Howard

    Co-founder and Creative Director at Matchstic

     

    Blake Howard is Co-Founder and Creative Director at Matchstic, an Atlanta-based brand identity firm.

    Born and raised in Nashville, Blake graduated from University of Tennessee with a degree in graphic design and then set out for Atlanta to pursue opportunity in the big city of the South. At 22, he did just that, starting a design firm on the principles of doing great work and valuing people, too. With Craig Johnson, he co-founded Matchstic in 2003. Since then, Blake has led teams through hundreds of brand initiatives across the globe, for organizations including Coca-Cola, Chick-fil-A, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, MailChimp, the City of Atlanta and the Center for Disease Control, Blake’s work has appeared in Fast Company, HOW, Print, The Atlantic’s CityLab, UnderConsideration’s Brand New blog, and the fourth and fifth editions of Alina Wheeler’s Designing Brand Identity. He’s spoken on branding, leadership and courage across North America and recently launched The Creative Rising, a podcast on tenacity and resilience in the creative industry. A believer in all things Atlanta and the creative community, Blake organizes the Atlanta chapter of CreativeMornings, a free breakfast lecture series that has accumulated close to 15,000 members and gathers more than 400 attendees each month.

     

  • Natasha is an award-winning designer, an educator, and a partner at Pentagram. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she joined Pentagram’s New York office in 2012.

    A three-time National Design Award nominee, Natasha’s work is recognized for its innovative use of graphic, verbal, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts. Her work is immediately recognizable, encompassing brand identity systems, packaging, exhibition design, digital interfaces, signage and wayfinding systems, print and architecture.

    Natasha is a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and is a guest critic at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Yale University School of Art, Cooper Union, Rhode Island School of Design, and Maryland Institute College of Art.
  • Adam J. Kurtz

    Adam J. Kurtz

    Artist & Author
    Adam J. Kurtz (aka ADAMJK) is an artist and author whose illustrative work is rooted in honesty, humor and a little darkness. His books including 1 Page at a Time have been translated into over a dozen languages and his “very personal” work for clients like Facebook and Urban Outfitters has been featured in the New Yorker, VICE, Adweek and more. His latest book, Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives is a handwritten essay collection that digs into the emotional realities of being any type of modern day creative person.
  • Jeremy Leslie leads magCulture, dividing his time between designing, writing, curating and retailing. He’s a passionate advocate for editorial design, which he sees as an ever-changing discipline that has always adapted to new contexts. He has written several books about magazine design and the magCulture online Journal is a key source of news and opinion on the subject, celebrating in particular the independent sector. He curates the annual ModMag conferences in London and New York, and opened the magCulture shop in 2015, selling a unique selection of 500 magazines from across the world. He was awarded the British Society of Magazine Editors’ Mark Boxer Award, for services to the magazine industry, in 2018.
  • Matt Luckhurst

    Matt Luckhurst

    Founder and Executive Creative Director of The New Company

     

    Matt leads all creative work at The New Company, from strategy to execution. He is originally from Vancouver, BC and attended the Alberta College of Arts in Calgary, Alberta. He also holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Previous to The New Company he was the Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS and Design Lead at Airbnb. His past clients include Nike, Dropbox, Mailchimp, Airbnb, Instagram, Everlane and others. His recognitions include Cannes Lions, The One Show, The Type Directors Club and ADC Young Guns.
  • Rebeca Méndez

    Rebeca Méndez

    Professor at UCLA Design, Principal at Rebeca Méndez Studio

     

     

    Rebeca Méndez is an artist, designer, and professor at UCLA, Design Media Arts, where she is founder and director of the CounterForce Lab, a research and fieldwork studio for art, design and environment. Her research and practice investigate design and media art in public space, critical approaches to public identities and landscape, and artistic projects based on field investigation methods. Méndez’s diverse works develop within science, design and art through immersive installations, sound, video, photography, book arts, and drawing, with focus on post-humanism, eco-feminism, anthropocene and environmental justice.

    She has received significant recognition including her recent inclusion into the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the 2017 Medal of AIGA, and the 2012 National Design Award in Communication Design. Solo exhibitions: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum, Nevada Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca, Mexico. Group exhibitions: 55th Venice Biennial, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, El Paso Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Méndez is known for her career-long commitment to ‘design and art as a social force,’ and her interests and initiatives are a bridge between art, design and science, and demonstrate a commitment to the environment and a sustainable future.

  • David Nuff RGD

    David Nuff RGD

    Principal at Nuff

     

    Nuff has a hard time colouring inside the lines. His work blurs the lines between commerce and culture, art and design. For clients, he works on brand identities, digital products, murals and publications. Independently and as part of a collective, he designs interactive installations like 2017’s Shard, a giant, icy light crystal that responds to sound and motion. He is exploring spatial design and interaction paradigms at Ryerson University’s Design Fabrication Zone and developing his artistic practice as part of the 2018–19 Akin Studio Program at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Toronto.
  • Susanna Nygren Barrett

    Susanna Nygren Barrett

    Creative director and co-founder of The Studio

     

    Originally from Canada, Susanna Nygren Barrett studied fine art and graphic design in Vancouver and later completed a Masters Program at Yale University in Switzerland where she studied under the graphic design legend Paul Rand and renowned Swiss designer Armin Hofmann. After working as a designer at multi-disciplinary design company Karo Design in Vancouver, she moved to New York City where she was a designer and creative lead for the design firm Liska + Associates. In 2000 she moved to Stockholm and became a partner and creative director at the design and branding firm BVD, leading creative teams to develop brand strategy and design for clients within identity, packaging and retail concepts. Currently Susanna is the creative director and co-founder of the Stockholm design firm, The Studio, leading strategic design and branding assignments for clients both locally and internationally. She is a guest lecturer and holds workshops at various design schools, has been recognized with numerous design awards as well as sat on the jury of local and international design
    awards over the years. Coming from a creative family, Susanna has always been engaged in both music and art which provides continual inspiration for her work.
  • Jason Pamental

    Jason Pamental

    Typographer, Web Designer and Author
    Jason spends much of his time working with clients to establish their typographic systems and digital strategy, helping design and development teams works smarter and faster, and running workshops about all of the above. He is a seasoned design and user experience strategy leader with over 20 years’ experience on the web in both creative and technical roles. Clients range from type industry giants, Ivy League and High Tech, to the NFL and America’s Cup. He also researches and writes on typography for the web: he’s author of Responsive Typography from O’Reilly, articles for .Net MagazinePRINT MagazineHOWMonotype.com, and frequent podcast guest. Author of online courses for Aquent’s Gymnasium platform and Frontend Masters. He’s an experienced speaker and workshop leader, having presented at over 50 national and international conferences. WEBS
  • Tina Roth Eisenberg

    Tina Roth Eisenberg

    Founder/CEO of CreativeMornings
    Tina Roth Eisenberg is a Swiss born, raised and trained graphic designer. In 1999 she came to NYC for a 3 month design internship and never left. Over the past 13 years Tina started numerous side projects that have organically turned into businesses: a creative co-working community called FRIENDS, a global, monthly lecture series called CreativeMornings, a simple to-do app called TeuxDeux and Tattly, a high-end temporary tattoo shop. She lives in Fort Greene, Brooklyn, with her two kids Ella and Tilo who are teaching her the art of making slime and building forts. Tina is often referred to as Swissmiss after her popular blog. She likes that.
  • Josh Silverman

    Josh Silverman

    Designer, entrepreneur, educator, advisor, optimist

     

    For 25 years, Josh Silverman has created successful relationships through design. He speaks and hosts workshops globally, teaches and guest critiques nationally, and is always connecting people and communities. Currently, he is consulting in design operations for Salesforce and Blend, and advising startups. Most recently, he advised and designed for the portfolio of companies with Sequoia Design Lab, served as Twitter’s first hire in design operations, and was one of the founding designers of the IBM Cloud Garage. In 1997 he founded Schwadesign, a lean, holacratic-model business, where he managed diverse teams and scaled the business for 18 years. Together, their work was recognized by The Wall Street Journal, Rebrand.com, The Boston Globe, and more. His wide range of clients have included startups (iRobot, Buildium, Trinity Pharma), educational institutions (MIT, Harvard Medical School, Brown University), global corporations (UBS, Wells Fargo, Accenture), cities (Providence, RI, and Bethesda, MD), non-profits (American Heart Association, Friends of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute), and many more.
  • Hamish and Jesse are currently Partners at the design consultancy, Order. Previously, in 2014, they co-founded Standards Manual, an independent publishing imprint focusing on the preservation of graphic design history. They both also worked at the New York office of Pentagram Design under partner Michael Bierut as associate partners.

    Hamish holds a Bachelor of Design (Communication Design) degree with Honors from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT University), Melbourne, Australia.

    Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, Jesse is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Art, Architecture, & Planning DAAP), School of Design.
  • Eric Snowden

    Eric Snowden

    Senior Director of Design, Digital Media at Adobe

    Talk: How to run a healthy design team

    Eric Snowden manages a multidisciplinary team of designers responsible for the Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud applications and services at Adobe. His responsibilities span Digital Video & Audio, Digital Imaging, Design & Web, Documents, Mobile, and Services across web, desktop, and mobile surfaces. Most recently, Eric was Director of Design at Adobe for the suite of Creative Cloud Mobile apps, and was Head of Mobile for Behance. In the past he’s worked for Atlantic Records, Parsons School for Design, Warner Music Group, Adobe, Enderson Ranch Arts Center, and for the photographer Lynn Goldsmith.

  • Yurko Gutsulyak RGD

    Art Director & Graphic Designer at Gutsulyak.Studio
    In 2005, Yurko Gutsulyak RGD and his sister launched Gutsulyak.Studio in Kyiv, Ukraine and they quickly earned national recognition as a leading design boutique. Gutsulyak.Studio placed third in the Ukrainian creativity ranking behind two international advertising network agencies. Yurko’s work has received some of the most prestigious design awards including Red Dot, European Design Awards, Epica Awards, Pentawards, Dieline Awards and Communication Arts. His work has been exhibited in design museums in France, Germany, China, Poland and Mexico. In 2017, Yurko moved to Toronto and Gutsulyak.Studio continues to work on both continents.
  • Michelle Hopgood was the in-house graphic designer for 10 years at the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. At MPI, Michelle focused on tailoring graphic design to effectively convey information and brand identity. She specialized in the function, perception, and contextualization of visual information by the audience and created a visual identity for the Institute through infographics, data visualization, and design. In 2017, Michelle and research collaborators were the recipients of RGD’s In-House Design Award with Distinction for the MPI’s Persona Project. She earned her Bachelors of Design from OCAD University and her Masters in Information, specializing in Knowledge and Information Management, from the University of Toronto. Communicating data and parsing down complex concepts is what gets Michelle up in the morning!
  • Jenna Niven & David DeCheser

    Group Creative Director & Executive Creative Director at R/GA

    As a creative director focusing on emerging technology, Jenna has worked with dozens of Fortune 500 clients to deliver innovative and creative solutions that connect and engage with their various audiences. Over the past 14 years she has worked to bridge the gap between data science, engineering and creatives. And with a degree in AI programming, she has focused on integrating AI into the entire creative process from research, to ideation, to product/service design – creating an AI design framework along the way.

     

    David partners with clients to bring innovative products and services to market. With nearly two decades of experience in digital, he’s worked with leading global brands including LEGO, Marvel, ESPN, Mailchimp, Volvo, Michael Kors, Google and Fossil. His work has garnered wide-ranging accolades from Cannes Lions, ADC, D&AD, CLIO, The One Show and a Grand CLIO and Best of Show for the IxDA Awards. He graduated from Rutgers University with a self-designed interdisciplinary major that combined Design, Art and Computer Science.

  • Cey Adams

    Visual Artist, Graphic Designer and Author
    Cey Adams emerged from the downtown graffiti movement to exhibit alongside artists Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. He served as Creative Director for Def Jam Recordings, where he co-founded the label’s in-house design firm, creating identities, album covers, logos and campaigns for Run DMC, Beastie Boys, LL Cool J, Notorious B.I.G., Maroon 5, Jay-Z and more. He co-authored DEFinition: The Art and Design of Hip-Hop, and designed the book Def Jam Recordings: The First 25 Years of the Last Great Record Label.
  • Collin Whitehead

    Head of Brand & UX Writing at Dropbox
    Collin Whitehead’s team at Dropbox defines, guides, makes and manages creative for the Dropbox brand. Since joining Dropbox, Collin has led the creative process for the recent overhaul of the visual identity system, voice and tone, brand campaign and new company mission. Previously, he was an Executive Producer at West Studios working with startups to build and launch their brands. Collin’s roots are in advertising where he got his start at Goodby Silverstein & Partners. He has been a guest lecturer and speaker from Berkeley to Cannes and has won several awards.
  • All north of the 45th parallel, primarily headquartered in the city of North Bay, Ontario, Laura Piché RGD’s 35 year career has been a healthy tossed salad of experiences that has fed her relentless curiosity. Her career spectrum includes offset and screen printing; Professor for the Graphic Design and Television Broadcasting programs at Canadore College; Creative Director for the internationally syndicated comic strip, “For Better or For Worse”; graphic designer for the CBC TV mini-series featuring “The Kids in the Hall”; Assistant Art Director for Canadian film; a dabble with freelance, and currently Manager of Global Marketing for Redpath Mining Contractors and Engineers.
  • Jenn & Ken Visocky O’Grady

    Authors, Designers, and Educators

     

    Jenn Visocky O’Grady is a professor at Cleveland State University, where, for more than two decades, she has dedicated herself to providing access and opportunity to a diverse group of aspiring creatives. She has also served on the national board of directors for AIGA, and was recently recognized as an AIGA Fellow. Ken Visocky O’Grady is a professor and coordinator of the graduate program at the School of Visual Communication Design at Kent State University. His coursework focuses on design thinking and research-driven design practices. He has served on the AIGA Design Educators Community (DEC) steering committee. The couple have co-authored internationally distributed books: Design CurrencyThe Information Design Handbook, and A Designer’s Research Manual.
  • Jayson Oertel

    Social Strategist at Adobe
    Jayson Oertel leads global social strategy for Adobe’s professional film and video, Hollywood and Adobe Stock segments. He has a passion for both Internet technology & audience behaviors and has a firm grounding in the social media/influencer marketing landscape. Prior to joining Adobe, Jayson worked with studios, TV networks and streaming services conceptualizing and executing integrated marketing and influencer campaigns for clients such as 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, Disney, Warner Bros, Universal, HBO and Bravo. Jayson was also an early employee of MySpace where he worked directly with brands and entertainment properties to successfully integrate the idea of “social networking” into their traditional marketing & advertising campaigns.
  • Ben Fry

    Owner and principal of Fathom Information Design
    Ben Fry is Owner of Fathom, an award-winning studio in Boston focused on making complex data more understandable, accessible and usable. He holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Media Laboratory and teaches at MIT as a Lecturer. Ben develops “Processing” — the programming environment he co-created used by artists, engineers, scientists and students all over the world. His work can be found in museums (MoMA, Whitney, Cooper Hewitt), films (Minority Report, The Hulk), research labs (Harvard, Stanford, MIT) and Fathom’s client portfolios including Nike, Samsung and Mayo Clinic. In 2011, Fry visited the White House to receive the National Design Award for Interaction Design.
  • Berkeley Poole oversees and drives the creative for Tokyo Smoke, Van der Pop, Doja and Maitri. Her role and responsibilities include store design, brand collateral and retail experience for the Tokyo Smoke stores, e-commerce for each of the brands, ad campaigns, photo direction, product, packaging, social presence and more. Berkeley graduated from York University in Toronto and Bauhaus University in Germany before taking on roles at Barneys New York, V Magazine, Visionaire, Laired + Partners (working on Karl Lagerfeld and Calvin Klein) and MTV.
  • Meena Kothandaraman

    Founding member and Customer Service Strategist at twig+fish
    With almost 30 years of experience, Meena Kothandaraman has consulted to emphasize the strategic value and positioning of qualitative research in the design of product, space and service. Meena applies a credible, structured and transparent approach to integrating human stories and anecdotes into mainstream processes. Apart from her core consulting practice, she has been a key contributor and lecturer in the Bentley University Human Factors and Information Design graduate program. She also holds an M.S. in Information Resources Management from Syracuse University and a B.Com. in MIS from the University of Ottawa, Canada.
  • Dr Natasha Grand works with places and helps them define and communicate their identity, to inspire the feeling of belonging among both residents and visitors. Natasha directs INSTID (Institute for Identity) that she co-founded in 2009. INSTID specializes in ‘hard cases’: places that few have heard of, and whose residents have low confidence, if much love, for their place. Over 10 years, INSTID has run projects for a combined population of 20 million people. With its experience and method, INSTID has become one of the core experts in the international place branding field, as well as helped popularize place branding among civil servants and the public worldwide. Natasha received her PhD from London School of Economics in 2006 for a thesis on modern national ideologies.
  • Jay Wall RGD

    Principal and CD at RallyRally
    Jay is the founder of RallyRally, a Toronto-based design studio dedicated to social change. RallyRally works with forward-thinking organizations on causes ranging from climate action to human rights advocacy to equitable urban planning. Since establishing the studio in 2011, Jay has led the creation of brand identities, publications, websites and campaigns with organizations such as UNICEF, Evergreen and the City of Toronto. His work has appeared in Adbusters and his team has been recognized with three So(cial) Good Design Awards from RGD. Jay grew up in the woods of northern Ontario before moving to Toronto for design school. He eventually fell in love with the big city, where he loves biking through laneways and imagining the possibilities.
  • Lana Z Porter

    Creative Director, R&D at The New York Times
    Lana Z Porter is a multidisciplinary designer and artist who works at the intersection of storytelling and emerging technology. She is the creative director of the R&D team at The New York Times and the founder of Somersault, a design and content studio based at NEW INC, the New Museum’s art, design, and technology incubator. She holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Design Interactions from the Royal College of Art.
  • Lauren Hom

    Lettering Artist, owner Hom Sweet Hom studio

    Lauren is a hand lettering artist with a business brain. Starting out in the advertising industry, she leveraged a few clever passion projects into a thriving hand lettering career creating work for clients like Google, Starbucks, YouTube and TIME Magazine. She is also author of Daily Dishonesty: The Beautiful Little Lies We Tell Ourselves Every Day. She was raised in Los Angeles, studied in New York, and now runs her studio, Hom Sweet Hom, out of Detroit. Lauren’s motto is, and will always be, “Work hard, snack often.”

  • McLean Donnelly

    CEO at The Makery
    Prior to founding The Makery, McLean was the Vice President of User Experience Design for Shutterstock and previously, he worked as a design leader for Expedia. He earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Opus School of Business and a Bachelors of Arts from Gettysburg College.
  • Brian Collins

    Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS

     

     

    Brian is Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, the independent experience design company in San Francisco and New York City. They were named by Forbes as one of the companies reshaping the future of brand building. Over his career, Brian and his team have won every major creative award. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, Businessweek, Creativity, Fortune, NBC News, ABC News and Fast Company, which named Brian an American Master of Design. Their clients include Target, Mailchimp, Nike, Coca-Cola, Spotify, Dropbox and the Exploratorium Museum. Under his leadership, COLLINS was added to Working Not Working’s annual list of Companies Creatives Would Kill To Work For Full-Time. They were also placed on Ad Age’s 2019 A-List and were named the first Design Agency of the Year in 2019. Brian is a Distinguished Alumna of The Massachusetts College of Art & Design.
  • Ti Chang

    Industrial Designer and Co-Founder of CRAVE
    Ti Chang is an industrial designer and entrepreneur passionate about designing for women. Her design-centric luxury vibrator company, Crave, is the leading brand for women’s pleasure found in mainstream retail stores. Ti leads the concept and design for the company’s full line of products which has won numerous awards including Red Dot, IDEA and Good Design. Ti understands how products can deeply influence user experience. Crave’s blend of heightened aesthetic, technology and manufacturing savvy is helping to bring pleasure products out of the dark shadows of stigma and into mainstream conversations.
  • Cap Watkins

    CXO at Primary
    Cap Watkins is CXO at Primary, where he’s responsible for Design, Product and People (oh my!). In the recent past, he was a professional leadership coach and organizational consultant at Practical Works, helping senior contributors, first-time managers and managers-of-managers grow and evolve in their roles. Previously, he was VP of Design at BuzzFeed, where he managed Product Design, and also did various stints managing Brand Design, the IT Department and Branded Content Operations. He started and ran programs like Hack Week, Manager Dens (support groups for managers) and even the annual and midyear review processes for their Technology team. Before BuzzFeed, he worked with design teams at Etsy and Amazon, and was the first designer at a handful of startups that didn’t quite make it… He believes in cross-functional, collaborative teams, who share goals and accountability across disciplines. He writes and speaks about managing teams, and always loves chatting about products and product development.