Yesterday I had the privilege of attending the INTERSECTION Thought Leadership Summit at the Soho House in Chicago. Each panel was lead by various CEOs and business leaders, such as Jason Fried (CEO of Basecamp) and Charles Adler (Co-founder of Kickstarter), who discussed topics in design, such designing the workplace and rethinking the design process.
I started the day at the “Design in the Workplace” panel. The conversation was focused around how the design of a company’s workplace effects employees productivity. One particular trend in design has been significantly influenced by the culture in Silicon Valley. The desire to create a light-hearted environment for employees to be able to take time out of their day to relax.
Jason Fried explained that this idea of a “fun” atmosphere eventually wears off. What it really comes down to is the employees' mentality. Whether or not they come to work with the creative mindset and believe in the company’s goals.
Lunch was held at the Belt Room, there I was able to talk to a handful of staff members at the New York-based design/lifestyle magazine, SURFACE.
Shortly after I attended the “Rethinking the Design Process” panel. Dean Di Simone (Othr) and Scott Wilson (MNML) talked about the issue with competitors taking a hold of the marketplace with cheaper knock-offs of original designs. Dean Di Simone boiled it down to the wants of the buyer. If a consumer wants to buy a cheaper version then they simply weren't willing to invest in the beliefs and values of the original company and its products.
Overall I was able to step away from the day with a better understanding of how these leader’s think about design and its influence on different aspects of technology and company efficient. It also gave me a lot to think about in regards to my own design journey. I'm excited to dive deeper into fundamental design and what I can bring to the table.