What does it mean to be a creative? At the 12th Annual Adobe 99U Conference, we'll unpack our creative identities, explore how to establish purpose, find ways to nurture our talents, and redefine success on our own terms. Join us.
Hear from a diverse group of thinkers and doers in a series of main stage talks over two days. 99U speakers offer pragmatic, real-world insights that transcend creative sectors. 2020 speakers will be announced in January.
Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Lincoln Center is one of the city's premiere arts destinations. The 99U main stage is located at the Diller Scofidio + Renfro-designed Alice Tully Hall, and more programming takes place across Lincoln Center’s striking performance and rehearsal spaces.
The Ace Hotel is 99U's official hospitality partner. A preferred room block is available to registered attendees, and the hotel's cozy lobby doubles as a convivial co-working space. Details on booking will be provided once your 99U ticket has been registered.
Carrying on the age-old tradition of job printing (small batch printing), South Street Seaport Museum is home to Bowne & Co., New York’s oldest operating business under the same name. Bowne & Co. was established by Robert Bowne in 1775, and grew as a financial printer throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1975, Bowne & Co. Inc. partnered with the Seaport Museum to open a 19th-century-style print shop at 209 Water Street in the South Street Seaport Historic District. Today, the Bowne Printing office preserves the tools of traditions of 19th-century printing for future generations.
Adobe Color is a creative community where artists create and share color themes and inspiration. Color themes can be used in Adobe desktop and mobile apps through Creative Cloud Libraries or the Adobe Color service. Everything works together for a smooth creative workflow. Creative Cloud brings together the world’s best creative apps for desktop and mobile, plus more connected ways of creating and sharing.
About Pantone: Pantone provides a universal language of color that enables color-critical decisions through every stage of the workflow for brands and manufacturers. More than 10 million designers and producers around the world rely on Pantone products and services to help define, communicate and control color from inspiration to realization – leveraging advanced X-Rite technology to achieve color consistency across various materials and finishes for graphics, fashion, and product design.
Located in the heart of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Art Library is home to over 41,000 sketchbooks from over 130 different countries. Participants of the project order blank sketchbooks, choose a theme, fill them up and connect their books online with search terms, an artist bio and other unique content. Every single sketchbook that is sent back to us is cataloged and placed on our shelves for visitors to view. That means you, as a visitor of Brooklyn Art Library, can search for just about anything you can think of, from the thousands of search terms our participants have logged. One of our librarians will then pull the book down for you and allow you to hold and flip through it.
Shake Shack is a critically acclaimed, modern-day “roadside” burger stand known for its 100% all-natural Angus beef burgers, chicken sandwiches, griddled flat-top dogs (no hormones or antibiotics – ever), fresh-made frozen custard, crispy crinkle cut fries, and more. A fun and lively community gathering place with widespread appeal, Shake Shack has earned a cult-like following around the world
Pentagram is the world’s largest independently owned design studio. Founded in 1972, the firm works from offices in New York, London, Austin, and Berlin, and is run by 23 partners, a group of friends who are all leaders in their individual creative fields. Pentagram specializes in different areas of graphic design, industrial design, and architecture, producing brand identities, publications, environments, products, and digital media. Clients of the New York office include American Express, the Public Theater, the High Line, Cooper Hewitt, Shake Shack, Saturday Night Live, Mastercard, Verizon, The Wing, The New School, and Hudson Yards, among many others.
R/GA is the company that creates transformation at speed. An innovation leader for more than 40 years, R/GA has expanded and evolved to offer business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation through its award-winning consulting, ventures, technology, design, marketing communications, and IP practices. Its work spans web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development, and innovation consulting.
NeueHouse is a home for new ideas, people, conversations, and experiences. Designed to inspire the creative mindset, cultivate curiosity, and provoke new ways of thinking, NeueHouse brings together the most creative minds in contemporary culture and commerce. A creative system driven to push culture forward.
Join Herman Miller for a happy hour and exhibition of work by 10 artists, including Mike Perry and Jing Wei, as each examines their distinct ideas of the “ideal workspace” based on the purpose, character, and activities of their work.
About Herman Miller: Herman Miller has been a pioneer in problem-solving, authentic, and authored design for over 110 years. By partnering with talented designers from all over, they make beautiful and useful furnishings to enhance the experience at home, at work, and out in the world. Herman Miller manufacturing facilities use the best, most sustainable materials and follow world-class lean practices to ensure quality as they continue to uphold their commitment to executing original design to the highest standards of excellence and craft. All of this fresh thinking combined with a century of know-how has resulted in a portfolio unrivaled in its diversity, utility, and appeal.
Inclusive design has flourished over the past decades, helping to bridge the gap between assumptions and realities about designing for diverse groups of people. But it’s not always clear what it means – even as its relevance to the products, services, and experiences around us continue to grow.
In this session, you’ll hear from a studio that pioneered inclusive design and how they’re evolving their approach to meet the challenges of today. Inclusive design goes beyond output and outcomes to describe a way of working. This practice helps each designer continually listen, learn, and adjust their individual lenses and biases to navigate the world around us, and bring the full spectrum of diversity into the design process; whether that’s expressed in ability, language, culture, gender, age, or other human differences.
Stephanie redesigned the fertility experience as a single woman at the center which has been featured by FastCo Design, Good Morning America and highlighted by Fortune’s Broadsheet. John designed a personalized voice assistant for a woman living with progressive MS for BBC Two’s groundbreaking docuseries The Big Life Fix. Drawing on these experiences, Stephanie and John will share the meaningful outcomes created by leveraging inclusive design tools and processes.
About Smart Design: Smart Design is a strategic design company that helps people live better and work smarter. As technology and business become more complex, they use design as a tool to humanize products, services, and experiences through deep research, insights and design strategies. Founded in 1980, Smart has studios in New York and London and clients all over the world.
Many companies aspire to put creativity at the center of their practice, but may not yet know how to bring designers into the process and foster effective collaboration.
Process is crucial when multi-disciplinary teams work together: How might designers and creative directors take on leadership positions? How might they work best with their company’s marketing, sales, or operations factions?
In this master class led by DLW Creative Labs, you’ll learn about the ten core human skills that are instrumental to our creative future, based on a wide array of Future of Work reports and thinking. Then, they’ll take a deeper dive into two of these areas to explain specific processes and actions you can implement in your own company and teams.
About DLW Creative Labs: DESIGN/LIFE/WORK is a multi-disciplinary program co-founded by Shana Dressler and Brian Quinn that provides interactive educational workshops and retreats to help companies and creative professionals reskill and upskill their current wheelhouse of capabilities for the 21st Century workforce. Shana Dressler previously led an incubator for design entrepreneurs at Google and produced a four-month on the Future of Work for AIGA/NY. Brian Quinn is an experiential producer who has curated Northside Festival, Social Media Week, CreativeMornings FieldTrips, and a wide range of creative experiences for brands.
This workshop is a mix of hands-on activities and thought-provoking discussion about the creation, use and impact of models that fuel Augmented Intelligence (AI). You’ll get the opportunity to create your own (analog) algorithm. You’ll also get an introduction to how IDEO integrates data science as a creative discipline and integral part of human-centered design. By the end of the session, you will have a framework for creating your own personal ethics code when it comes to data, design and AI incorporating ethics principles IDEO created to help individuals, designers and companies navigate the thorny ethical waters of developing intelligent products and services.
About IDEO: IDEO is a design company known for its human-centered, interdisciplinary approach. As early leaders in the practice of design thinking, they create positive impact through design by applying their creative skills and mindsets, and by teaching others to do the same. IDEO helps clients and customers around the world build the capacity and outcomes required to navigate today’s complexity and lead their markets. As problem solvers, they drive change, build new ventures, and design digital and tangible experiences for a broad range of business, social and governmental sectors through co-creation with our clients. As teachers, they help individuals, teams and organizations cultivate the confidence they need to step into the future with optimism and creativity.
What happens when you invite creativity and design into the boardrooms of some of the world’s most important organizations? Join R/GA’s Saneel Radia and Mike Rigby as they unpack how innovation requires not only a focus on designing more compelling brands, but on designing better business models too. In this master class, you’ll learn how R/GA has helped organizations re-invent themselves by putting creativity first -- from designing a radical new digital-first bank to serve the under-banked in Brazil to inventing a new business model for a revolutionary green chemistry company that will reduce our dependence on petrochemicals. You’ll also learn how brand design has evolved in the connected age, and the role of creativity and design in cultivating organizational innovation.
About R/GA: An innovation leader for more than 40 years, R/GA has expanded and evolved to offer business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation to clients through its award-winning consulting, ventures, technology, design, marketing communications, and IP practices. The company has more than 2,000 employees globally, whose work spans web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development, and innovation consulting.
An innovation leader for more than 40 years, R/GA has expanded and evolved to offer business transformation, experience transformation, and marketing transformation to clients through its award-winning consulting, ventures, technology, design, marketing communications, and IP practices. The firm’s work spans web, mobile, and social communications, retail and e-commerce, product innovation, brand development, and innovation consulting.
Hosted by: Paige Bennett, Design Research Manager, Dropbox
As creatives, we want to produce effective work, but too often, we start projects with a deluge of information that hasn’t been thoughtfully parsed or presented.
The Design Research team at Dropbox was formed to fix this problem, and uncover critical user insights. As designers, traditional research reports fell short as a vehicle to gather buy-in for their work, so the team began looking to other mediums to bring their work to life. Today, their insights are essential in driving company strategy.
In this master class, Dropbox’s Design Research Manager, Paige Bennett, will discuss how any creative -- whether or not they have ‘research’ in their title -- can wield their own findings to get buy-in from stakeholders and do better, more informed work. Attendees will walk away with new tools, ideas, and approaches to bring to their next big project.
About Dropbox: Dropbox’s mission is to unleash the world’s creative energy by designing a more enlightened way of working. Most “productivity tools” drain creative energy. They constantly ping, distract, and disrupt your team’s flow. And none of them connect, so you spend your days switching between apps, tracking down feedback. It’s busywork, not the meaningful stuff. Dropbox wants to change this, so they're building a better way to stay in flow and bring your team’s best ideas to life.
Hosted by: Christina Amini, Executive Publishing Director, Chronicle Books
Join publishing executive and editor Christina Amini to dive deep into how collaboration works (and when it doesn’t). Over the last 20 years, Amini has worked on more than 500 projects as an editor at Chronicle Books, and has overseen thousands more as the publishing director for art, food, and lifestyle publishing. Amini will share how authentic relationships lead to great results and how our creative work can bring us deeper into our relationships. As she sees it, creativity happens in the context of collaborative relationships. So, in this masterclass, you will learn to build collaborative capital by identifying the key ingredients, fundamental questions, and your own must-have tools for collaborative practice. Because your awesome work, whatever it may be, has the power to make the world bigger and more connected.
About Christina Amini: Christina Amini is the Executive Publishing Director of Art, Food, and Lifestyle Publishing at renowned independent publisher Chronicle Books. She is happy to be a professional collaborator and creator—bringing new ideas to fruition every season, as well as overseeing the publishing of more than 100 books and gift products every year. She has written for Salon.com, Readymade Magazine, and the San Francisco Chronicle magazine, and is the author of Before the Mortgage (Simon & Schuster). She is also the steward of artist Susan O’Malley’s work, the Chair of Diversity and Inclusion at her children’s school, and a museum guide at SFMOMA.
Hosted by: Anton Repponen, Designer / Co-Founder, Anton & Irene
Irene Pereyra, Designer / Co-Founder, Anton & Irene
It’s one thing to be able to create compelling, innovative creative work, it’s another to effectively present it to stakeholders. The skill of ‘selling’ is essential: all the talent, experience, and expertise in the world won't matter if your client buys the wrong design or your SVP waters down the right one.This workshop will help you to work persuasively with colleagues at all levels, from clients to creative directors to budget directors to investors to C-level executives. Through practical tips and tricks and hands-on experiments, you’ll learn how to build the confidence needed to present your ideas convincingly.
About Anton & Irene: Anton Repponen and Irene Pereyra climbed their way from junior designers to founders of their own studio, the Brooklyn-based Anton & Irene. Their portfolio includes projects for Karim Rashid, Spotify, Zumtobel, The Met, Nickelodeon, BBC, Balenciaga, Wacom, National Geographic, USA Today, and Red Bull, as well as self-initiated projects like an interactive documentary on co-living and an analog wristwatch.
Almost every month, Anton & Irene deliver workshops and lectures in various corners of the world. The studio has won more than a dozen prestigious awards from the Webbys, Emmys, Red Dot, .NET, and Cannes Lions.
The Great Contentment: Build a Career & Life You Love
Hosted by: Tina Essmaker, Creative Coach
Feeling burned out or discontent with work, going through a big transition, or wondering what’s next for your career? In this session, creative coach Tina Essmaker will lead you through a series of exercises from her practice to help you kickstart your creativity, realign your career, and build a meaningful foundation for your future. You’ll explore your values and strengths, your unique contributions, rethink the way you work, and leave with a plan to take action toward a more meaningful career and life.
About Tina Essmaker: Tina Essmaker is a New York City-based coach, writer, and speaker. An expert in the creative landscape with more than ten years of experience, Tina’s coaching practice draws on her formal education as a social worker, years of researching and interviewing creatives as Editor in Chief of The Great Discontent magazine, and her training in the coaching framework.
Personable and practical, Tina’s approach is rooted in helping individuals and teams across creative industries take action toward their goals.
Experiences that blend the digital and physical worlds are changing the way we think about marketing, design, and culture. In this hands-on workshop, concept-driven design firm HUSH will lead attendees through a creation of this kind of blended experience: an audio/visual tapestry driven by real-world data.
Participants will leave with a better picture of how to approach digital/physical projects, and an actionable way to harness the power of data.
About HUSH: HUSH is a concept-driven design firm. They integrate digital technology and physical environments to create powerful brand experiences for their clients' customers, employees, and partners.
Hosted by: Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer, COLLINS
At any given moment, there are multiple, parallel futures fighting for dominance – emerging from science fiction, political parties, corporate visions, counter cultures, and more. But in all cases, they need design to compete and thrive.
Brian Collins, Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, will present a new brand and design operating system based on more than a decade of research working with some of the world's leading brands including Chobani, Dropbox, Equinox, Instagram, Microsoft, Nike, and Spotify.
Leveraging brand beliefs, company capabilities, and marketplace wants, this approach reimagines how an organization can use design to re-connect with people’s hope and make a leap into the future.
About Brian Collins: Brian Collins is a designer and educator. He is Chief Creative Officer of COLLINS, the strategy & experience design firm in San Francisco and New York. The firm was named by Forbes as a company transforming the future of brand building. Their work has been covered by TheNew York Times, Rolling Stone, Businessweek and The Wall Street Journal. In a survey of global companies, COLLINS was named one of “50 Places Creative People Would Kill To Work For” along with Disney, Tesla, Pixar and NASA. They were just named to the 2019 Ad Age A-List.
Brian has been a professor at the School of Visual Arts since 2001. He was made Distinguished Alumnus of the Massachusetts College of Art in 2004 and received an Honorary Doctorate from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California in 2008. Fast Company named him American Master of Design and he was recently honored with the Claude Shannon Luminary Award from Nokia/Bell Labs.
What does it mean to truly listen? To train yourself to hear what you’re not yet hearing?
Design thinking has inspired many people (particularly those who don’t self-conceive as "creatives") to recognize their creativity and to generate ideas and solutions at high volume and velocity—a "creative exhale" of sorts.
This session will guide participants to cultivate their "creative inhale"—or deep listening—by attending to the information being received and defining the challenges each of us has set out to solve.
SYPartners President Jessica Orkin and Managing Creative Director Rie Nørregaard are masters of different disciplines (strategy for Jessica, design for Rie), but are bound by their practices of deep listening to tune into richer, less obvious information from the world: the energy of a room, the connections between people, the voices that are missing in a conversation, and the ideas that jolt and jar rather than easily fit in.
During this interactive session, Rie and Jessica also will draw on work they’ve done at SYPartners for clients including Starbucks and Eileen Fisher, where deep listening has sparked surprising new solutions to existing challenges.
About SYPartners: SYPartners is a consultancy that helps leaders, teams, and organizations build the capability to transform into more vibrant versions of themselves—so they can grow with purpose, and have a positive impact in the world. For 25 years, we’ve partnered with executives in some of the world’s most influential organizations to help design their futures, including Starbucks, BlackRock, IBM, Apple, Nike, and Obama Foundation.
SYPartners is based in New York and San Francisco, and is a founding member of kyu, a collective of best-in-class creative firms.
Hosted by: Jamal Dauda, Global Head of Music, WeTransfer Karen van de Kraats, Senior Designer, WeTransfer
You know what nobody asked for? Another tech company blundering into ‘content marketing’ with a blog-by-numbers. So when WeTransfer decided to launch storytelling site WePresent in 2018, they were determined to do things differently. They wanted to rethink not just the types of stories told, but the way they told them. Content and design worked together from the very start, and things got weird (in a good way).
In this master class, WeTransfer Senior Designer Karen van de Kraats and Global Head of Music Jamal Dauda will get real about the mistakes they made and the lessons learned when launching and shaping WePresent. Plus, they’ll share their principles and process to ensure your own content and design teams build each other up and bring out the best in what we all care about: the work itself.
About WeTransfer: WeTransfer makes beautifully obvious tools to get your ideas moving. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent, mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer', quick slide-making tool Paste, immersive sketching app Paper, and the original web platform with 43 million monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.
Tim Brown is the current chair (and former CEO and president) of IDEO. Ranked independently among the ten most innovative companies in the world, IDEO is the global consultancy that contributed to such standard-setting innovations as the first mouse for Apple and the Palm V. Today, IDEO applies its human-centered approach to drive innovation and growth for the world's leading businesses, as well as for government, education, health care, and social sectors.
Tim advises senior executives and boards of Fortune 100 companies and has led strategic client relationships with such corporations as Microsoft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, and Steelcase.
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Tim Brown: Engage With the Unknown
In this conversation with Courtney E. Martin, IDEO’s Tim Brown discusses the arc of his career, and how creative industries have evolved, from the early socialization of design thinking to the changing relationship between design and engineering to the urgent challenge of design ethics.
Ashley C. Ford is a writer, podcaster and educator who lives in Brooklyn. She is writing a memoir entitled Somebody’s Daughter, which will be published by Flatiron Books under the imprint An Oprah Book. Ford is working on a collection of interviews (B-Side Chats) with her husband, Kelly Stacy.
She was also the host of the first season of Audible.Com's literary interview series, Authorized. She has been named among Forbes Magazine's 30 Under 30 in Media (2017), Brooklyn Magazine's Brooklyn 100 (2016), and Time Out New York's New Yorkers of The Year (2017).
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Ashley C. Ford: Imagination Is a Creative Superpower
In her inspiring 99U talk, writer Ashley C. Ford explains how significant life experiences opened up her ability to expect things she didn’t previously think were possible for herself and others. The lack of imagination, Ashley tells us, is what holds us back as humans. But nurturing the superpower of imagination within yourself opens up endless possibilities for your work, life, and impact on other people.
This workshop by creative studio DKNG will cover the essential steps founders Dan Kuhlken and Nathan Goldman take with every new project—from concept development, team brainstorming, providing constructive criticism and feedback, art direction, composition, adding layers of meaning, to final execution—all of which they approach as a collaborative process. Workshop participants will team up in pairs to follow a design brief using the concept of play and construction as a gateway to explore DKNG’s collaborative creative process. Taking each other’s strengths and weaknesses into consideration, each pair will learn to work as a team, leaning on each other’s unique skillsets to build a collaborative project.
Pick this session if you’re interested in: Creative Teams, Productivity, Client Work, Graphic Design
About DKNG: DKNG is a full-service graphic design and illustration studio catering primarily to the entertainment industry.
Hosted by: Jonah Fay-Hurvitz, Strategy Director, Red Antler Emily Heyward, Partner, Red Antler
Join Red Antler, the brand company behind successes like Casper, Allbirds, Brandless, and Birchbox, for a deep dive into their philosophy on how branding applies to the world of startups. Connect with other participants to create the building blocks of a new brand, including a name, a consumer insight, and the inputs for brand strategy. Who knows, you might be inspired to launch the business you create together.
Pick this session if you’re interested in: Branding, Entrepreneurship, Startups, Marketing
About Red Antler: Red Antler is a brand company based in Brooklyn that partners with startups and businesses that challenge what is and define what’s next, like Casper, Allbirds, Brandless, and Birchbox. Red Antler unites every step of the experience, from strategy and visual design to digital and activation, creating brands that excite the world.
Hosted by: Brian Buirge, Co-founder, Designer, Head Janitor, GFDA Jason Richburg, Director of Strategy and Curriculum, GFDA Jason Bacher, Co-founder, Designer, Chief Handyman, GFDA
An uncomfortably fun workshop with questionable but successful results.
Risk is the lifeblood of the creative process. You can talk about it, you can tweet about it, you can read about it—but all the book learnin’ in the world can’t replace live, hands-on experience. In GFDA's intensive workshop, participants get down and dirty with provocative exercises that embrace ambiguity, encourage experimentation, and look at ideas like the Fresh Prince said: flipped-turned upside down (or something like that anyways). Learning to accept risk means charging forward when the outcome is uncertain, and it’s a necessary component of creative problem solving. Easy, safe, and expected can rarely be innovative, long-lived, and thought-provoking. Creativity is valuable precisely because its products are unexpected.
GFDA's exercises demonstrate the value of taking chances while teaching that success is not left to chance alone. Participants learn that creativity isn’t magic, it’s a process. That it isn’t a moment, it’s a work ethic. That it doesn’t come from a lone genius, but a well-liquored team.
Pick this session if you’re interested in: Creative Thinking, Leadership, Entrepreneurship
About GFDA: Good F***ing Design Advice is known for its 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 born 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 across the globe, and in products with tough-love motivational messages.
Natasha Jen is an award-winning designer and educator. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, she was invited to join Pentagram’s New York office as partner in 2012. In 2014 she was acclaimed by Wired magazine as one of nine 'Designers Who Matter'.
Jen’s work is recognized for its innovative use of graphic, digital, and spatial interventions that challenge conventional notions of media and cultural contexts. Her work is immediately recognizable, encompassing brand identity systems, printed matters, exhibition design, digital interfaces, signage and way-finding systems, and architecture. Her clients, past and present, include Harvard x Design, Phaidon, Kate Spade, Chanel, Nike, First Round Capital, MIT, and the Metropolitan Museum, to name just a few. Pentagram made headlines in 2016 for their bold brand work on Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Jen has earned a variety of awards and appeared in a number of publications, including Wired, Fast Company,Kinfolk, Print, Creative Review, Metropolis, Flaunt, and China Art and Design. She was one of the winners of Art Directors Club Young Guns, for which she also served as a judge in 2007 and 2011.She has been a guest critic at Yale University School of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, and Maryland Institute College of Art; and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Storefront for Art & Architecture and AIGA's New York Chapter.
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Natasha Jen: Design Thinking Is Bullsh*t
If Google Image search is your sole barometer, “design thinking uses just one tool: 3M Post-Its,” says Pentagram partner Natasha Jen. “Why did we end up with a single medium? Charles and Ray Eames worked in a complete lack of Post-It stickies. They learned by doing.” In her provocative 99U talk, Jen lobbies for the “Crit” over the “Post-It” when it comes to moving design forward.
Ian Spalter is Head of Design at Instagram, where he leads the team responsible for all things design ranging from cross-platform app experiences to brand & identity. Ian was previously a Senior UX Manager at YouTube, and prior to that, Director of UX and Design at Foursquare. Ian also spent four years at R/GA where he oversaw design development projects such as the Nike+ Fuelband and Nike Running, Basketball, and Training products. Spalter was born and raised in New Rochelle, New York and graduated from Hampshire College.
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Ian Spalter: Why Designers Should Work Like Comedians
Big data has never been bigger, but Instagram’s Ian Spalter warns that while data “can inspire” it “will not save you”. Spalter has found unlikely inspiration from the process of professional comedians: the ability to take raw data and contextualize, iterate, and most importantly, understand the difference between “good laughs” and “bad laughs”.
Debbie Millman is a designer, author, educator and brand strategist. She is the host of the award-winning podcast ‘Design Matters’, the world’s first podcast on design; Chair of the world’s first Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts; the editorial and creative director of Print Magazine and President Emeritus of AIGA. She is the author of six books on design and branding.
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Debbie Millman: Anything Worthwhile Takes Time
Overnight success is rare, and often comes at the expense of valuable learnings. From early-career false starts to her sleeper hit podcast Design Matters, Debbie Millman isn’t afraid to be frank about the incredible patience that good work requires.
Christoph Niemann is an illustrator, artist, and author. His work has appeared on the covers of The New Yorker, Time, Wired, The New York Times Magazine and American Illustration, and has won awards from AIGA, the Art Directors Club, and The Lead Awards. His corporate clients include Google, Amtrak, Herman Miller, and The Museum of Modern Art. He is a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale.
Since July 2008, Niemann has been writing and illustrating the whimsical Abstract City, a New York Times blog, renamed Abstract Sunday in 2011, when the blog’s home became The New York Times Magazine. For his column he draws and writes essays about politics, the economy, art, and modern life. He has drawn live from the Venice Art Biennale, the Olympic Games in London, the 2012 Republican Convention, and he has drawn the New York City Marathon — while actually running it.
Niemann is the author of many books, most recently Abstract City. His latest project is an interactive, animated app called Petting Zoo. In 2010, he was inducted into the Art Directors Club Hall Of Fame. His artworks have been subject to numerous exhibitions, most recently at Gallery Max Hetzler in Berlin.
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Christoph Niemann: How to Overcome the 3 Fears Every Creative Faces
Illustrator Christoph Niemann shares his three biggest fears: the fear of not being good enough, the fear that our work will be irrelevant, and the fear of running out of ideas.
Paola Antonelli’s work investigates design’s influence on everyday experience, often including overlooked objects and practices, and combining design, architecture, art, science, and technology. In addition to her role as Senior Curator of Architecture and Design at MoMA, Paola was appointed director of a new Research and Development initiative in 2012. She lectures frequently at high-level global conferences and coordinates cultural discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos. A true interdisciplinary, energetic, and generous cultural thinker, Paola was recently rated as one of the top one hundred most powerful people in the world of art by Art Review.
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Paola Antonelli: Rejection Is a Sign You’re Onto Something New
In her 99U talk, Paola shares why failure and rejection are two feelings creative people should not only become familiar with, but should learn to embrace. "[Our work] can be weapons to really help people understand how to be better citizens," she said. "But only if we will be allowed to do exhibitions that shock, disgust, and sometimes, even fail."
Stefan Sagmeister formed the New York-based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993 and has since designed for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO and the Guggenheim Museum. Having been nominated five times for the Grammies, he finally won one for the Talking Heads boxed set. He also earned practically every important international design award.
In 2008, a comprehensive book titled Things I Have Learned in My Life So Far was published by Abrams. Solo shows on Sagmeister Inc's work have been mounted in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Tokyo, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, Seoul and Miami. He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Art in New York and lectures extensively on all continents.
A native of Austria, he received his MFA from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and, as a Fulbright Scholar, a master's degree from Pratt Institute in New York.
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Stefan Sagmeister: Don’t Take Creativity For Granted
Outlining the creative process for his short films, designer Stefan Sagmeister tells us to embrace the surprises that come with executing a creative endeavor.
John Maeda is an American executive spearheading a new convergence across the design and technology industries. He joined Automattic in 2016 as Global Head of Computational Design + Inclusion and previously served as Design Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB), a world-leading venture capital firm.
An internationally recognized speaker and author, his books include The Laws of Simplicity, Creative Code, and Redesigning Leadership. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering + Computer Science from MIT, an MBA from Arizona State U, and a PhD from University of Tsukuba in Japan. He has appeared as a speaker all over the world, from Davos to Beijing to São Paulo to New York, and his talks for TED.com have received cumulative views of over 2 million to date.
Maeda serves on the Board of Directors for wireless hi-fi innovator Sonos and the global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy. Prior to his work in industry, Maeda was a tenured research professor at the MIT Media Laboratory and 16th President of the Rhode Island School of Design.
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John Maeda: Designing Inclusive Teams and Products
The prolific John Maeda—whose career has spanned Cooper Hewitt, MIT, and KPCB—now leads computational design and inclusion at Automattic. In this conversation with Adobe VP of Design Jamie Myrold, Maeda shares his insights from a long and varied career on the history and current state of diversity and inclusion in the design industry.
For the past two decades, Keith Yamashita has worked alongside CEOs and their leadership teams to define — and then attain — greatness for their institutions. He has worked with leaders at Apple, IBM, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, Nike, and Gap, among others.
Keith founded, and currently serves as chairman of, SYPartners — a firm steeped in the belief that transformation of individuals, teams, and institutions requires equal parts empathy, aspiration, and a bravery to act. The firm fuses systems thinking and creativity to help organizations in times of seismic change: the formulation of a new business strategy, a merger or acquisition, the rise of a new CEO, the evolution of a brand, the return-to-greatness journeys after an industry shock.
In 2011, SYPartners launched a sister company called Unstuck — dedicated to taking the 20 years of knowledge the firm has gained about transformation and bringing it to everyday people. The first offering is an iPad-based app that helps people find a way forward, when they don't know how to go forward. Slated for release in 2012, SYPartners' next offering will be a suite of collaborative tools focused on helping managers and teams perform at their best.
From 2009 to 2011, Keith served as The Charles and Ray Eames Brand Fellow at IBM — a post dedicated to driving IBM's growth and greatness as an institution and enabling IBMers to perform at their best. He is an author and essayist on leadership and design, having published in the Harvard Business Review and several journals. He has lectured at the Yale School of Management, Stanford Business School, and the Jack F. Welch Leadership Center. He holds an MA in organizational behavior and a BA in quantitative economics from Stanford University.
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Keith Yamashita: The 3 Habits of Great Creative Teams
Great teams don't happen by accident, they require a diligent and mindful effort to cultivate the specific habits that lead to success.
Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past decade studying vulnerability, courage, worthiness, and shame. Brené is a nationally renowned speaker and has won numerous teaching awards, including the College's Outstanding Faculty Award. Her groundbreaking work has been featured on PBS, NPR, CNN, and has appeared in The Washington Post, Psychology Today, and many other national media outlets.
Brené is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (2012). She is also the author of The Gifts of Imperfection (2010), and I Thought It Was Just Me (2007).
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Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count
One of the most underrated parts of the creative process is remaining vulnerable says New York Times bestselling author Brenè Brown in this moving 99U talk.
Seth Godin is the author of 17 books that have been bestsellers around the world and have been translated into more than 35 languages. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip, and Purple Cow. In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth is founder of squidoo.com, a fast growing, easy to use website. His blog (which you can find by typing "seth" into Google) is one of the most popular in the world. Before his work as a writer and blogger, Godin was Vice President of Direct Marketing at Yahoo!, a job he got after selling them his pioneering 1990s online startup, Yoyodyne. In 2013, Godin was inducted into the Direct Marketing Hall of Fame, one of three chosen for this honor.
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Seth Godin: Quieting the Lizard Brain
Bestselling author Seth Godin argues that we must quiet our fearful "lizard brains" to avoid sabotaging projects just before we finally finish them.