Ep. 93: Designer Ana Monroe

Designer / public servant, Ana Monroe, grew up in the south to radio station-owning liberals who taught her to reject the status quo in favor of positive change. While she never did inherit her Panamanian-born mother’s wild, beautiful curls, she did pick up her wide-open ideas about beauty. After graciously rejecting the idea of law school, she embarked on a series of professional adventures that led to her current work as a human-centered design leader at a federal government think tank.

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Ep. 86: Designer of Joy Ingrid Fetell Lee

Designer, researcher and author Ingrid Fetell Lee spent her childhood traveling back and forth between divorced parents, indulging her curiosity during unstructured time, and losing herself in books and her journal. Her professional path routed her through creative writing, market research and industrial design on the way to dedicating her life to the study of joy, and helping people understand the very profound effects our surroundings have on our well-being. It’s powerful and paradigm-shifting work!

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Ep. 83: Experience Designer Kristy Tillman

Experience designer Kristy Tillman was a very studious child, extremely driven academically. Always on the advanced track, she assumed she would one day be a lawyer like Clair Huxtable. Coding and art were background passions until a friend made her aware of design as a profession and she immediately redirected them to the foreground. Having recognized the need and summoned the courage to “invite herself to the table,” she is now Head of Global Experience Design at Slack. Still on the advanced track, obvs.

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Ep. 82: David Schwarz of HUSH Studios

Experience designer David Schwarz grew up “seeking weird things to explore, make and build.” Fast forward to adulthood and he’s still at it. As co-founder of Hush Studios he spends his brain power and energy blending architectural space and digital technology to create installations and experiences that people can inhabit, learn from, play in, and feel things inside of. He arrived via detours in economics and the San Francisco tech boom. It’s not a straight line, or clean story but it’s a fascinating one!

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Ep. 65: Drew Seskunas

Architect and founding partner of experimental design studio The Principals, Drew Seskunas grew up surfing, getting arrested for skateboarding and navigating the social divide between jocks and artists. In high school, a documentary on Frank Lloyd Wright piqued his interest and set him on course to architecture school. Within a decade, he was building a large public project in Berlin while struggling to argue in German. Now, he’s creating interactive and mind-bending environments that shift perspectives.

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Ep. 46: Joe Gebbia

Designer, entrepreneur, and Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia, was known as the “art guy” in grade school when he started his first business selling illustrations of Ninja Turtles. Then, while pursuing dual design degrees, he founded his first legit startup with RISD’s basketball team, The Balls. Now as the leader of innovation and ideation at Airbnb he’s focussed on exploring new attitudes of sharing and trust. Oh, and don’t tell him he can’t do something. He will go to extremes to prove you wrong. Isn’t that so, Professor Jones?

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