Studio Sessions are afternoon breakouts during the 99U Conference, hosted by creative organizations across the city. The intimate, informal sessions are an opportunity to acquire new skills, and learn about the inner workings of our host companies. One Thursday session and one Friday session are included with your 99U ticket, but advance registration is required.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION HAS CLOSED FOR STUDIO SESSIONS. If you haven't registered for a Studio Session on one or both days of 99U, please see our team at the Information Desk at Alice Tully Hall after you pick up your badge; we'll be happy to assist you.
Adobe Times Square: 1540 Broadway, 17th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
In the world of digital expression, GIFs and emoji are quickly losing ground to stickers, a medium that’s been hugely popular on mobile apps in Asia, and finally having a come-up among Westerners. (Case in point: stickers featuring icons like Hello Kitty and hotdogs are the centerpiece of Apple’s latest iOS 10 ad campaign.)
In this session, Adobe Creative Resident Syd Weiler (creator of runaway Facebook sticker hit ‘Trash Doves’) will talk you through the top sticker distribution channels, and share what sets the most popular sticker packs from brands and independent creators apart. Attendees will try their hand at creating their own mini-pack of stickers to wield in their next group text.
Hosted by: Syd Weiler, Creative Resident
About the Adobe Creative Residency: The Adobe Creative Residency empowers talented individuals to spend a year focusing on personal creative projects, while sharing their experience and process with the creative community.
aruliden: 30 West 24th Street, 9th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Product is brand, brand is product. Join the founders of aruliden at their studio to discuss how industrial design plays a key role in communicating the core values, equity and purpose of a brand. They will discuss what it means for a diverse range of clients from Fortune 100 to start ups and walk through how brand is integrated in the industrial design process and is critical to success and innovation.
Hosted by: Rinat Aruh & Johan Liden, Co-founders
About aruliden: aruliden is a New York City-based award-winning innovation design and brand creation agency. Representing a diverse range of clients in the luxury, lifestyle and tech industries, aruliden was co-founded by Rinat Aruh and Johan Liden in 2006, to merge the gap between industrial design and brand. They are also the founders of “Tools at Schools,” an early education initiative which partners schools and corporations to help students understand the value of design as a problem-solving tool in our everyday world. Johan and Rinat are faculty at SVA.
Opera Learning Center at Lincoln Center: 165 West 65th Street, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Have you ever reached the end of your work day having no idea where it went and feeling like you’ve made little-to-no progress? This workshop is an introduction to Capes Coaching’s unique approach to goal setting and time management for creatives.
Participants will get tools for setting powerful goals and taking strategic steps toward creating the career they desire, as well as gain the focus needed to move forward with their goals in a proactive, manageable way. Plus, get tips and advice on how to stay committed to your schedule in this age of constant distractions. This session will help you examine the structure of how you manage your time and explore effective ways to create the circumstances in which to do your most creative and productive work.
Hosted by: Betsy Capes, Founder
About Capes Coaching: Capes Coaching empowers creative professionals by providing them with the knowledge, tools, and support they need to take control of their careers. Their clients learn about goal setting, strategic planning, marketing, and networking.
Kaplan Penthouse, Rose Building: 165 West 65th Street, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
‘Design Sprints’ are a team approach to executing highly creative work, quickly. From reimagining retail experiences to revamping employee onboarding programs to designing new customer welcome kits, the Design Gym has helped organizations of all shapes and sizes to shift how they both see and solve their problems with the design sprint methodology.
This session will explore the design sprint concept and what types of challenges they’re best for, before a hands-on workshop that will help you bring this approach to your biggest challenges (and plan a sprint that you can test with your team back at the office).
The session is hosted by the high-energy, collaborative instigators at The Design Gym and welcomes all levels of awareness to design thinking – whether you’re new and curious or a seasoned vet, we promise you’ll walk away thinking about your work in new ways.
Hosted by: Jason Cha, Director of Training & Culture Strategy
About The Design Gym: The Design Gym empowers diverse groups of people to come together and solve the most meaningful problems in the most creative ways. They do this using a common language of design thinking, a problem solving process built around principles of empathy, creativity and collaboration. Grounded in the belief that diverse collaboration can change the world, The Design Gym has partnered with an eclectic set of clients including Acumen, Capital One, Marriott, NYC Department of Education, Porsche, TED, Etsy, and the Rockefeller Foundation.
Dropbox: 50 West 23rd Street, 4th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Modern creative teams are made up of a fluid workforce: freelancers, vendors, agencies, and cross-functional in-house teams collaborating across the globe. Dropbox believes that a transparent process is the key to keeping teams in sync and bringing the best ideas to life. In this interactive session, creative leaders from Dropbox will share how they launch products using an open design process — and how you and your team can transition to this new way of working. Whether you’re a designer, marketer, or someone who manages creative teams, you’ll come away with new ideas and insights to improve your own process.
Hosted by: Aaron Robbs, Brand Studio Creative Director & Collin Whitehead, Head of Brand Studio
About Dropbox: Dropbox keeps more than 500 million registered users on the same page with easy-to-use collaboration tools and the fastest, most-reliable file sync platform. From the smallest business to the largest enterprise, we make teamwork better.
Film Society of Lincoln Center Amphitheater: 144 West 65th Street, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
In this intensive workshop, participants are thrown into a series of exercises and drills that encourage experimentation, play, and risk-taking. Sitting and paste-eating are kept to a minimum. The workshop is designed to help individuals break through their creative ruts to arrive at fresh ideas and innovations regardless of their role or position.
Hosted by: Jason Bacher & Brian Buirge, Co-founders
About GFDA: Good Fucking Design Advice are known for their colorful, design-based approach to products and experiences that challenge the thinking, discipline, and passion of creatives and entrepreneurs. GFDA believes that the true value of creative work is borne from uncertainty, that innovative ideas come from the scrapes and cuts earned in exploring uncharted territory, and that risk is the shortest path to growth. This perspective reflects their story, sense of humor (or lack thereof), business savvy, and passion for design—all of which they share in talks and workshops delivered across the globe and products with tough-love motivational messages owned by everyone from Jony Ive to Cheryl Strayed.
Material ConneXion at SANDOW: 1271 Sixth Avenue, 17th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Material ConneXion isn’t your typical design consultancy: they help clients like Adidas and BMW create the products of tomorrow through innovative uses of physical materials. They maintain the world’s largest subscription-based materials library with locations across the globe, where their customers can get hands-on with materials that will eventually become their next best-selling sneaker or bluetooth speaker.
In this session, Dr. Andrew Dent, Executive Vice President of Research, will discuss materials and their influence as they relate to the research and client work that the Material ConneXion team does on a daily basis. The session will include a tour of the Material ConneXion library, and a comprehensive show-and-tell with materials recently added to the library and database.
Hosted by: Dr. Andrew Dent, Executive Vice President of Research
About Material ConneXion: Material ConneXion, a SANDOW company, is a global materials and innovation consultancy that helps clients create the products and services of tomorrow through smart materials and design thinking. Material ConneXion is the trusted advisor to Fortune 500 companies, as well as forward-thinking agencies and government entities seeking a creative, competitive or sustainable edge. With locations in Bangkok, Bilbao, Daegu, Milan, New York, Skövde, and Tokyo, Material ConneXion’s international network of specialists provides a global, cross-industry perspective on materials, design, new product development, sustainability, and innovation. Material ConneXion maintains the world’s largest subscription-based materials library with thousands of innovative materials and processes—an indispensable asset to a wide audience of users. The consulting division, ThinkLAB, works with clients to strategically incorporate trends, service, and innovation into their business models and products.
Parsons Making Center: 2 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Parsons School of Design faculty Wendy Fok leads participants on a journey that will inspire innovative approaches to the design of systems, services, and businesses. Participants will together discuss the challenges and opportunities inherent in creating products, systems, and services that are socially, environmentally, and economically sustainable, and explore the many processes and tools available for creative problem solving through prototyping. This workshop is crafted to respond to the diversity of models for practice within art and design fields, business models both conventional and alternative, and provide relevant takeaways to leaders in a variety of fields. As an architect, creative director, founder, and artist, Fok has been summoning the powers of cross-pollination and creative strategy in both her professional and personal work for decades and is looking forward to hosting you in The New School’s top-of-the-line Parsons Making Center.
Hosted by: Wendy Fok, Assistant Professor of Integrated Design
About Parsons: Parsons School of Design, founded in 1896, is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.
Founded in 1919, The New School was born out of principles of academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. Committed to social engagement, The New School today remains in the vanguard of innovation in higher education, with more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students challenging the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The New School welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and calendar of lectures, screenings, readings, and concerts. Through its online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.
Hauser Patron Lounge at Alice Tully Hall: 1941 Broadway, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
The average worker wastes more than 40 hours every month in unproductive meetings, and executives find the majority of their meetings are a waste of time. After years of coaching teams at both Fortune 500s and Silicon Valley startups, NOBL has found that the most impactful first step is helping teams more effectively manage their time together. By ensuring that the right meetings are taking place and that those meetings are run efficiently, you can free up valuable time for more meaningful work.
Hosted by: Bree Groff, CEO & Jenny Cavaioli, Director of Partnerships & Client Services
About NOBL: NOBL is an organizational design firm, unleashing the potential of leaders, teams, and their cultures.
Postlight: 101 Fifth Ave, 10th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Postlight is a digital product studio focused on building world-class design experiences. One of the ways the Postlight team generates big, new ideas is through a process they’ve dubbed the ‘IdeaJam’. The concept is simple: build small breakout teams and then race the clock to brainstorm strategy, sketch wireframes, and pitch ideas. IdeaJams yield surprisingly great new product strategies in just a few intense, exhilarating hours. In this session, you’ll learn how the Postlight team thinks and works, and participate in a mini-IdeaJam with your fellow 99U delegates. (Introverts, have no fear—IdeaJams are 100% designed to overcome shyness.)
Hosted by: Rich Ziade, Co-founder, Chris LoSacco, Managing Partner, Matt Quintanilla, Director of Product Design & Jeremy Mack, Director of Engineering
About Postlight: Postlight is a team of creative people working together to design and build great digital products.
Shake Shack: 24 Union Square East, 5th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
From local collaborations to international advertisements, Shake Shack’s icons and logos are essential to its recognition as a beloved brand. Join art director Cathie Urushibata and her team as they talk through the history of Shake Shack’s branding and icon use to design print, digital, and editorial marketing materials and collateral for local, national and international markets.
In this session, you’ll learn how branding and design helps to communicate and connect with customers across different markets.
Hosted by: Cathie Urushibata, Art Director
About Shake Shack: Shake Shack is a modern day “roadside” burger stand. With its fresh, simple, high-quality food at a great value, Shake Shack is a fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal. Since the original Shack opened in 2004 in NYC’s Madison Square Park, the company has opened multiple locations in 16 states and the District of Columbia, as well as international locations including London, Istanbul, Dubai, Tokyo, Moscow, and more.
Spotify: 45 West 18th Street, 7th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
At Spotify, product development decisions are informed by insights from data of all sizes. Data scientists and user researchers work together to uncover the what and why behind users’ behaviors, motivations and needs. Come learn how.
You’ll hear from a data scientist who runs stats on data from millions users to understand what users do. And you’ll hear from a user researcher who interviews a handful of users at a time to understand why. Finally, you’ll learn about the power that comes from combining these data from different scales.
At the end of this session, you’ll walk away with some tactics on how to apply these methods to your work.
Hosted by: Tatiana Gabor, Product Insights Manager & Caitlin Tan, User Researcher
About Spotify: Spotify brings you the right music for every moment – on computers, mobiles, tablets, home entertainment systems, cars, gaming consoles and more. Just search for music you love, or let Spotify play you something great. Create and listen to your playlists for free or subscribe to Premium for on-demand access at the highest audio quality – with zero ads.
SYPartners: 395 Hudson Street, 8th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
How are we able to not aid and abet bias, but ask questions and open up new possibilities for connection? This interactive session will invite participants to interrogate their biases in a variety of scenarios we encounter daily as designers: sketching, designing type, meeting and experience design, and more.
Hosted by: Rie Norregaard, Managing Creative Director
About SYPartners: SYPartners is transformation consultant based in New York and San Francisco. They help individuals, leaders, teams, and organizations become the best versions of themselves, so they can create massive positive impact in business and society.
UCB Training Center: 520 Eighth Avenue, 9th Floor, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Improvisation isn’t just for comedy clubs—the tenets of this on-the-spot entertainment form are perfect for powering up communication and collaboration within your team. New York City’s famed Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre will unpack the improviser’s approach to creative leadership in this highly interactive workshop, that’ll lead you through improv exercises and real-life scenarios. By the end of the session, you’ll practice how to suspend judgments, invest in others’ ideas, and find new opportunities in the unexpected to boost the creative capabilities of your whole team.
Please note: this session also takes place on Thursday, June 8
Hosted by: Chelsea Clarke, Senior Performer and Instructor
About UCB: The Upright Citizens Brigade Improvisational and Sketch Comedy Training Center is the only accredited improv and sketch comedy school in the country. Our highly trained faculty represents the best writers and performers working in comedy today. Over the last 15 years, the Upright Citizens Brigade (Matt Besser, Amy Poehler, Ian Roberts, and Matt Walsh) have developed a unique unified curriculum that is constantly updated and improved by the best improvisers in the world.
With facilities in New York and Los Angeles, the UCB Training Center offers comedy courses seven days a week at convenient times and locations. In cooperation with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre students have a chance to perform and learn from current alumni in a popular venue. UCB Training Center teachers and alumni include writers and performers for Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Broad City, Key & Peele, Silicon Valley, Veep, Atlanta, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The Daily Show, Inside Amy Schumer, Master of None, Drunk History, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and many other hit television shows and movies.
Film Society of Lincoln Center, Gilman Theater: 144 West 65th Street, Manhattan Friday, June 9: 11:45am - 2:15pm
Walk into any company brainstorm and it will sound like people are speaking different languages—designers tend to communicate in ways that their sales and marketing counterpart don’t understand and vice versa. And it creates an inevitable tension, especially at the beginning of the idea generation phase when concepts are imaginative abstracts, that bogs down the entire iteration process.
That’s why the team from Verdes has created the 500-page dictionary, The Brownie’s Guide to Expertly Defined Ideas, that teaches designers how to communicate in a way that their business peers understand and ultimately extracts subjectivity, streamlines communication, and reduces time spent on group projects.
Hosted by: Greg Matson, Partner & Henry Kaye, Head of Research and Insights
About Verdes: Verdes grew out of the creative agency Mother New York to become its own office that focuses on the emerging role of utility in culture. Two year in and the company counts PUMA, Spotify, eBay and Twitter as clients. Created initially as an internal tool, it has applied the Brownie’s process and workshops across all of its clients to great success. The Brownie’s Guide to Expertly Defined Ideas is currently available on Amazon and other online retailers.