DesignThinkers Vancouver 2017
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 18th year, breeds change agents who become drivers of innovation. DesignThinkers 2017 reveals the perspectives of visionaries from a range of communications-related disciplines including design, user experience, advertising, branding, consumer engagement, film, social media and entrepreneurship. 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.


When: May 30 - 31, 2017

Where: Vancouver Playhouse Theatre


To register, visit:




  • FLY PORTER: Use code RGD017 when booking online at

    New bookings only. Book by January 29, 2017. Travel between March 1 and 31, 2017. 15% discount is available for base fares (with the exception of the lowest class fare during a public seat sale) and does not apply to fees, taxes or surcharges. 

    Discount is not applicable between February 16-21, March 10-12 and 17-19, 2017. Up to 21 day advance purchase required. Select destinations may be excluded from the advertised discount. This offer may not be available for the entire travel period. Discount is not applicable on itineraries that include a partner airline flight segment.

    The promo code is intended for use by DesignThinkers delegates and organizers and is not meant for distribution outside of authorized channels. Porter’s fare rules and conditions apply. For any questions regarding Porter’s services or any pre-travel concerns, contact us at 1-888-619-8622.

  • Members (includes RGD & GDC Members)

    Designated Member: RGD, Prov RGD & CGD - 1 Day - $265 (after Mar 31 - $295)
    Designated Member: RGD, Prov RGD & CGD - 2 Days - $365 (after Mar 31 - $395)

    Affiliate Member of RGD / GDC Member - 1 Day - $335 (after Mar 31 - $ 365)
    Affiliate Member of RGD / GDC Member - 2 Days - $465 (after Mar 31 - $495)

    Student RGD / GDC Student Member - 1 Day - $120 (after Mar 31 $150)
    Student RGD / GDC Student Member - 2 Days - $195 (after Mar 31 $225)



    Non-Member - 1 Day - $445 (after Mar 31 - $475)
    Non-Member - 2 Days - $620 (after Mar 31 - $650)

    Group Member Registration* - 1 Day - $385 (after Mar 31 - $425)
    Group Member Registration* - 2 Days - $535 (after Mar 31 - $575)

    ** A Group Member Registration is a Non-Member attending DesignThinkers as part of a group of 3 or more individuals from the same company/organization.

  • Air Canada

    Air Canada is offering instant online registration and a 10% discount on eligible fares for travel to and from DesignThinkers Vancouver. Wi-Fi and comfortable, leather seating is available.


    To book a flight, visit and enter promo code QJWAE9X1 in the search panel.


    VIA Rail

    DesignThinkers delegates can save 10% traveling to the conference with VIA Rail Canada.


    This discount applies for bookings between May 22nd, 2017 to June 3rd, 2017 from all destinations, and all fare categories, with the exception of the Escape fare and the Prestige Fare on the Canadian (Toronto to Vancouver train).


    Book by phone at 1-888-VIA-RAIL using the corporate rate code 13427 or click here or ici to get full details and have the discount automatically applied to your purchase.

  • The Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
    645 Howe St, Vancouver, BC


    Guestrooms: $209 + tax (single or double occupancy)


    Email or

    Specify Group Affiliation: DesignThinkers


  • Casey Caplowe

    Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of GOOD

    GOOD is a platform for individuals, businesses and non-profits to get together to push the world forward in positive ways. GOOD promotes sustainability, prosperity, productivity and creativity through its magazine, website, videos and live events. Since GOOD began in 2006, Casey has helped to build and shape the look, feel, and voice of the brand and all of its creations. Under his direction, GOOD’s products have been widely recognized and acclaimed, in particular the captivating infographics that makes information fun and relevant, have been widely acclaimed. He speaks widely on GOOD with a specific focus on design and collaboration.

  • Scott Dadich

    Editor in Chief at WIRED

    Talk: The Wrong Theory

    Scott Dadich became Editor in Chief of WIRED in 2012. His appointment marked his return to WIRED, where he was creative director from 2006 until 2010 and led the brand to an unprecedented three consecutive National Magazine Awards for design. He also oversaw the development of WIRED’s groundbreaking iPad app, which became a model for the industry. In 2010, Condé Nast named him VP of Editorial Platforms and Design, a role he filled until being named Editor in Chief. Under his leadership, WIRED has collaborated with some of the world’s sharpest minds. Scott worked closely with President Obama on WIRED’s November 2016 issue—the first time a sitting president has guest-edited a major publication. 


    Talk: The Wrong Theory
    The evolution of technology design has brought more seamless experiences, more delightful products. Boxy, beige desktop machines gave way to shapely, colourful iMacs, giving way to sleek, sexy laptops, followed by smartphones. Beautifully-designed tech is more powerful and more accessible than ever before. It is also incredibly generic. Smartphones are all gleaming black glass with handsomely-cambered edges and clean, sans serif typefaces in their software. Designers adhere to rules that create sleek sophistication but the result is generic and boring. We need a shift in perspective, which Scott calls “The Wrong Theory”. In this provocative presentation, Scott argues that the future of design centres on decisions that run counter to what is now widely-accepted convention.

  • Vince Frost

    Founder and Executive Creative Director of Frost*collective, Sydney.

    Talk: Design Your Life: ONE + ONE = THREE

    Before starting Frost* Design in London in 1994, Vince Frost was the youngest Associate Director at Pentagram. In 2004, he relocated to Sydney and, as Executive Creative Director of Frost*collective, has lead a wide range of projects for clients such as Deutsche Bank, Qantas, Frasers Property and the Sydney Opera House. Vince is an Executive Committee member of D&AD, a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale, Switzerland) and an Honorary Fellow of ISTD (International Society of Typographic Designers, London). He has received numerous creative awards from D&AD, Art Directors Club (New York and Tokyo), The Society of Publication Designers New York and AGDA Australia. Vince’s second book, Design Your Life®, was published by Penguin in 2014 and is available for purchase at


    Talk: Design Your Life: ONE + ONE = THREE

    "If my design process can bring value to me as a person, perhaps it can bring value to others. Or, more radically, bring others to recognize their own value.”Over the past 25 years, Vince has built a thriving design practice, earning the respect of his peers and numerous repeat clients. But his private life was a mess. He was designing and redesigning everyone but himself. In this talk, Vince literally takes pages out of his book, outlining 15 principles that can be used to make personal change for the better. 


  • Ralph V. Gilles

    Head of Design, FCA - Global 

    Since first joining Chrysler in 1992 as a designer, Ralph has put his extensive academic background in industrial design and business administration to use, holding various positions within the company. Prior to being appointed Head of Design in 2015, he has served as Senior VP - Product Design and President and CEO - Motorsports, FCA - North America; President and CEO - SRT Brand and President and CEO - Dodge brand for FCA US LLC. He serves as the executive sponsor of the Chrysler African American Network (CAAN) in addition to playing a supporting role with The Chrysler Global Diversity Council. He has earned numerous awards, including the Automotive Hall of Fame Young Leadership & Excellence Award, the Black Engineer of the Year President’s Award and the N’Digo Foundation N’Design Award.

  • Maria Giudice

    VP, Experience Design at Autodesk

    Talk: Remaking the Making Company


    Innovator, artist, protagonist and positive provocateur, Maria Giudice 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 25 years. Under Maria’s leadership, Hot Studio, the experience design firm she founded in 1997, grew into a full-service creative agency with an impressive list of Fortune 500 clients. Hot Studio was nominated for a National Design Award in 2013. In March 2013, Facebook acquired the talent behind Hot Studio. In 2015, she joined Autodesk as VP, Experience Design. Her third book, Rise of the DEO: Leadership by Design, is published by New Riders. Maria is an AIGA Design Fellow. She has spoken at conferences all over the world and currently serves as an adjunct professor and trustee at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.


    Talk: Remaking the Making Company

    Not that long ago new technologies were magical, and we were so happy when they just worked. Today we expect much more; we assume, demand even, that digital experiences don’t just work really well but are simple, intuitive and fun to use. This means companies need to stop thinking about technology to consider the holistic experiences of their customers. In 2015, Maria joined Autodesk as design leader and change agent, to help transform the 34-year-old company from one that was technology-centered to one that is experience-centered. In this talk Maria, shares her work in progress and some of the lessons she’s learned along the way.

  • Timothy Goodman

    Designer, Illustrator & Art director

    Talk: The Difference Between Being Cute & Being Creepy Is One Emoji - Making Work & Love on the Internet 

    Timothy Goodman runs his own studio in New York City. His clients include Airbnb, Google, Adobe, Ford, J.Crew, MoMA, Samsung, Target, The New Yorker and The New York Times. He has received awards from most major design and illustration publications. Timothy co-created the blog and book 40 Days of Dating with Jessica Walsh, that has received over 15 million unique visitors and whose film rights were optioned to Warner Bros. Their second social experiment, 12 Kinds of Kindness, was featured in The New York Times and NPR. His writing series “Memories of a Girl I Never Knew” has exhibited at the concept store Colette in Paris, France. His second book, Sharpie Art Workshop, came out last year.


    Talk: The Difference Between Being Cute & Being Creepy Is One Emoji - Making Work & Love on the Internet 

    Like many designers, Timothy is held down by rules and parameters that constantly stifle him. So how does he get his own sensibilities and his own voice into his work? Five years ago, he decided to redirect his design career and push himself into new, scary, unexpected territory through drawing, writing and personal projects on the Internet. He made a decision to approach graphic design as a practice, not as a profession. Join Timothy as he talks about where he’s been, where he’s at now and how he’s constantly trying to redefine what it means to work in this industry.

  • Tinker Hatfield

    Vice President, Design & Special Projects, Nike, Inc.

    Legendary Nike shoe designer, Tinker has received global recognition for imagination and innovation largely through his collaborations with Michael Jordan for the Air Jordan line. In addition to continuing to work with Michael Jordan, Tinker creates specialized Nike athletic products for champion athletes including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece. He also dedicates his time to mentoring Nike designers to build the Nike of the future. He has written for Harvard Business Review in addition to appearing in The New York Times and The Washington Post, among many other publications. In 1998, Fortune named Tinker one of the 100 Most Influential Designers of the Century

  • Chip Kidd

    Award-Winning Graphic Designer and Writer

    Talk: Can you Really?

    Chip Kidd's groundbreaking book jacket designs for Alfred A. Knopf have elevated the form for close to three decades. He’s worked with hundreds of writers, including John Updike, Katharine Hepburn, Cormac McCarthy, Henry Louis Gates Jr., James Ellroy, Karen Russell, Michael Crichton, David Sedaris, Sharon Olds, Orhan Pamuk, Paul Simon, Neil Gaiman, and Haruki Murakami. His first novel, The Cheese Monkeys, was a national bestseller. His most recent book, Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, is the first book to teach graphic design to children and has over 60,000 copies in print. As an editor and art director for Pantheon Graphic novels, he’s worked with and published some of the very best cartoonists in the world, including Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes, David Mazzucchelli, Charles Burns, Michael Cho, and Alex Ross. He is the recipient of the National Design Award for Communications, and his TED Talks has been viewed over 3 million times.


    Talk: Can you Really?

    His TED Talks has been viewed over 3 million times and his presentations are famously outrageous and hilarious. In Vancouver, award-winning graphic designer and best-selling author, Chip asks: 'Can You Really?' In which he ponders the never-ending questions: Can you really do THAT? But HOW? And WHY? And will you need a dropcloth?? Or just a towel? Hmmmmm.


  • Emily Lessard

    Chief Creative Officer of Bellweather
    Previously, Emily Lessard was the Creative Director at NYC & Company, the advertising and marketing agency for New York City. Here she led the company-wide rebrand—from look and feel, to voice and imagery—in web, advertising, and print. Other key projects included the relaunch of; a city-wide icon set—made collaboratively with New York City agencies; and creation of the enormously popular “See Your City” brand. Her work has been published in AdWeek, Creative Review, Fast Company, It’s Nice That, The New York Times, Print Magazine, and others. 



    • Min Lew

      Partner, Creative Director and Managing Director at Base

      Along with her team at Base, Min Lew works from the standpoint that truly iconic brands are born from a personality-first strategy. That by focusing on the human aspects of a brand, deeper, more personal connections can be made between people and companies. In her role as a designer, brand strategist and manager, she has helped to build personality-driven brands for an eclectic range of clients that include MoMA, JFK Terminal 4, Meatpacking District, Neuehouse, Kiki de Montparnasse, Coca-Cola, Gagosian Gallery, Puma, Milk, Museum of Sex, L'Oreal, Le Pain Quotidien, Pantone, Wellesley College, Kanye West, and more.


      A graduate of Yale University's MFA program, Min is an adjunct professor at the School of Visual Arts and a guest critic at Parsons School of Design. Next to passionately building brands and Base, she is a regular speaker at industry conferences and previously served as a board member of AIGA/NY. Her work has been featured in and has contributed her thoughts on design and branding to publications that include The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, The Wall Street Journal, Adweek, Creativity, Creative Review, Surface, Fast Company, and others.

    • Craig Mod

      Writer and Photographer

      Talk: Thinking Outside the Book

      Craig Mod splits his time between the mountains of Japan and New York City. His is the co-author of the books Koya Bound: Eight days on the Kumano Kodo, and Art Space Tokyo: An Intimate Guide to the Tokyo Artworld. His essay collection, Bokura no Jidai no Hon (The Books of our Generation), was published in Japanese (2014) and Korean (2015). He is a MacDowell and VCCA writing fellow, and Techfellow award recipient. His writing has appeared in The Atlantic, California Sunday Magazine, Aeon Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, New Scientist, Contents Magazine, Codex Journal of Typography and other publications. Every six years he reviews a camera. 


      Talk: Thinking Outside the Book
      For years, Craig has been producing and collecting “books” manipulated and reimagined by artists (both in form and content). Here he shows some of the best examples of innovative book design — physical and digital. He demonstrates how how artists are building off of and subverting the idea of the book to help us reconsider archives, printing and fine art collections. He reminds us what makes the book so powerful as an object, looking beyond its physical edges. And finally he considers its future; the printed book isn’t going away. We’ve only begun to scratch the surface (thanks to digital innovations like print on demand) of how designers can re-imagine these canvasses, sculptures even, for our thoughts and ideas.
    • Matthew Prior

      Creative Director of EA SPORTS Fifa Franchise

      In his 14 years at EA, Matt Prior has developed FIFA on a multitude of technology platforms. He has been the creative force behind many of the key innovations that have helped FIFA become not only the biggest sports title in all of video games but also one of the biggest entertainment titles in the world. The most significant of all his contributions is creating the original concept and design for the wildly successful Ultimate Team mode which has become the most popular feature in the game. More recently he creatively lead the development of ‘The Journey’, a cinematic narrative mode, a first for the franchise and one which has already become a huge success.

    • Alex Schleifer

      VP of Design at Airbnb

      Alex Schleifer leads the user experience, design research, content and design operations teams at Airbnb. As a teenager he co-founded Sideshow, which produced award-winning digital work for a variety of global clients. In 2011 they were acquired by Say Media, where he became Head of Design, helping them to redefine digital publishing. During this time, he also co-founded UX Magazine, which quickly became an authority on user experience design. Alex is passionate about creating beautiful, engaging digital products that change the way we tell stories and make connections.
    • Dana Tanamachi

      Creative Director at Tanamachi Studio & Tanamachi Goods

      Dana Tanamachi is a lettering artist and designer who enjoys living a quiet life and working with her hands. In 2009, an impromptu chalk installation for a Brooklyn housewarming party landed Dana her first commission for Google and set the popular chalk-lettering trend—and her career—in motion. After working under design icon Louise Fili, she opened Tanamachi Studio, a boutique design studio specializing in custom typography and illustration for editorial, lifestyle, food, and fashion brands. She has been commissioned globally by clients such as Nike, USPS, Penguin Books, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and West Elm. Dana’s first of three exclusive product collections with Target hit stores nationwide in 2013 and her book DIY Type (Potter Style) was released in 2014.


      In 2015 she relocated from Brooklyn to Seattle and debuted Tanamachi Goods, a line of beautifully hand-drawn print and gift products reflecting her personal aesthetic and featuring mediums beyond chalk.

    • Cap Watkins

      VP of Design at Buzzfeed

      Talk: Everything I Know

      Cap Watkins is a product designer, blogger, conference speaker and podcast guest living in Brooklyn, NY. As the first-ever VP of Design at BuzzFeed, he’s been tasked with making the company as smart about design as it is about social media. Previously, Cap was lead designer at both Zoosk and Formspring; UX designer at Amazon; and senior product design manager at Etsy, where he grew their design team and united the company’s very different products under a cohesive vision. Cap believes in thoughtful, holistic design solutions that get out of the way and empower people to accomplish more.


      Talk: Everything I Know

      Having been a Creative Writing major, Product Designer, Design Manager and now VP of Design, VP of IT and Product Manager, Cap wasn't exactly sure what he should talk about. So he will talk about everything! Namely, the most important lessons he’s learned so far in his zig-zaggy career. From great communication and collaboration strategies, to how to grow your career, Cap's gif-filled talk will offer valuable advice for everyone, regardless of your experience level or area of specialty.


    • Ellen Wong and Mark Beechy

      Executive Creative Directors at RED Interactive.

      Talk: Regret-proof Your Future: The Benefits of Prioritizing Relationships Over Your Book



      Ellen Wong and Mark Beechy are the Executive Creative Directors at RED Interactive Agency. Mark focuses primarily on the creative strategy while collaborating with multiple disciplines in order to assist our clients in understanding why, when and how they should approach digital. Ellen is responsible for providing the creative vision on select accounts, as well as managing the creative discipline across the Experience Design, Brands & Campaigns and Digital Advertising departments. Together they oversee the larger creative team at RED. They have worked for clients that include Adidas, Disney, ESPN, Ford, LEGO, Ferrari and Virgin Galactic.

      Talk: Regret-proof Your Future: The Benefits of Prioritizing Relationships Over Your Book
      The creative team dynamic has shifted. The evolution of the modern agency and a focus on the entire customer experience has caused the “creative team” to balloon, incorporating many more people and specialties. In our industry today you need large, multi-faceted teams. These two ECDs argue you also need a single creative partner. Ellen and Mark have been creative partners for 10 years, across 3 agencies. Here, they share 10 lessons learned, which will change the way you think about growth, fulfillment and success at work.