Design Thinkers, part 1

DAY 1, November 6

Christopher Rouleau was our reporter on the scene of the recent Design Thinkers conference in Toronto and conducted an interview with Ellen Lupton that will appear in a future issue of the magazine. Below, he shares his conference notes — those fleeting gems and snippets of ideas that one takes away from such a conference. Visit his blog for more.

Andrew Deitchmann

CEO & Co-founder, Mother NYC

"A Well-Designed Idea"

  • "have fun and make a living – in that order"
    novelty is NOT sustainable
  • always work with good people
  • big ideas vs. rich ideas (rich is better)
  • don't be intimidated by the big players
  • Make the complex simple & joyous!

Todd Waterbury

Executive Creative Director & Senior VP of Marketing, Target

"Belief to Behaviour"

  • language is what you believe
  • 21st century literacy = coding
  • diversity – best when one field of interest informs the other (and vice versa)
  • discipline fuels the best creative thinking
  • de-familiarize the ordinary
  • best ideas & experiences = the inevitable + the unexpected
  • Choice is abundant, attention is scarce

Aaron Draplin

Founder, Draplin Design Co.

"Tall Tales from a Large Man"

  • was told "you're not going to make a living in design"

  • "defy the f*cking odds"
  • interested in "creating things for regular people"
  • still surprised he "got away with it..."
  • "don't forget the power of your mouse finger" to help the community organizations
  • on success Field Notes: "You can do this."
  • design as trade, not trend
  • go junking – inspiration waits in a world of "dead things"
  • on worrying: "Get cosmic." – think about the bigger picture and what's really important. At a universal scale, "we have no idea what's going on." Chill out.

Debbie Millman

President, Design Division, Sterling Brands
Design Matters podcast

"On Rejection, or How the Worst Moments of Your Life Can Turn Out to Be the Best"

  • get past your fears and work through the discomfort
  • one closed door opens another – opportunity is everywhere
  • every time designers get together, there is opportunity to grow

Paula Scher

Partner, Pentagram

"All Design is Social"

  • P L A Y ! ! !