Ep. 85: Clever Extra - Voices of Impact in the Design Ecosystem

In this special Clever Extra, taped live at a Be Original Americas event in Los Angeles, we conducted 6 lightning round interviews with leaders in different areas of design and architecture. Our central question of the night: How is original design and authentic voices important to the growth and ecosystem of your industry? Our guests included Gegg Buchbinder, Elena Manferdini, Bret Englander, Amanda Dameron and Barbara Bouza. Have a listen and join the conversation with us on social media.

Read More

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.

Read More

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!

Read More

Ep. 81: Zoë Pawlak

Artist and designer Zoë Pawlak knew in childhood that life in suburbia wasn’t the whole picture, so she saved her babysitting money to spend some time in Chile with relatives. The experience opened the door to fine art and after studying painting in high school and college, a pregnancy dictated she must put her skills to work professionally. Successful in her painting, she is now making a name as a rug designer also. With 2 ½ years of sobriety going for her she is joyful and fully present. What a gift!

Read More

Ep. 80: Pablo Pardo

Lighting designer Pablo Pardo was born in Venezuela 3 minutes after his identical twin brother, making him the youngest of 5. His father’s work as a civil engineer took them to Chile until age 7, and then to Ohio. Making remote control airplanes in Dad’s workshop revved up his curiosity and he followed it directly into industrial design. (So did his twin and a sister, that’s 3 in one family!) After some time in both automotive and toy design he found his love of light and he’s been glowing ever since.

Read More

Ep. 78: Victor Lytvinenko of Raleigh Denim Workshop

Jeansmith and co-founder of Raleigh Denim Workshop, Victor Lytvinenko, was born with tons of energy and curiosity. As he grew it led to playing soccer, building small engines, and digging deep into whatever was capturing his attention - woodworking, cooking, wine-making... until he found a sewing machine and became obsessed with making the perfect pair of jeans. Together with his now-wife Sarah Yarborough, they perfected the pants and went on to build a brand deeply committed to craftsmanship. Cult following ensued.

Read More

Ep. 77: Jessica Hische

Graphic designer, illustrator and lettering artist, Jessica Hische forged her fierce independence during a tough chapter in childhood. She knew from a young age that she wanted to be an artist, but it necessitated a school transfer to pursue that dream. With candor and self-awareness, she’s forthcoming about the challenging aspects of her work, as well as the triumphs. Her new children’s book is a sweet and encouraging embrace of bravery.

Read More

Ep. 76: Todd Oldham

Everyone’s most beloved DIY hero, fashion designer, and creative maverick Todd Oldham grew up experimenting at the family craft table and stabbing his sister (volunteer fit model) with pins. A self-described little weirdo, he learned early on to eschew the arbitrary boundaries that society uses to stratify and separate. He values process over outcome and honors his curiosity while staying committed to excellence. This has earned him brand permission and a ton of wisdom for living a full, creative life.

Read More

Ep. 75: Lauren Makk

Interior designer and TV personality Lauren Makk grew up in the south, fluffing other people’s pillows, painting murals on train cars under cover of darkness, and rolling with her car crew Ill-usion. As a little girl, Julia Sugarbaker on TV’s Designing Women was Lauren’s career role model. Years later, she is also a designer on TV! She’s made her mark on Trading Spaces, FABLife, and Home Made Simple. She’s building an empire, leaving a legacy, and dreaming of giving the White House a “Makk-over.”

Read More

Ep. 74: Aaron Draplin

Graphic designer Aaron Draplin was born in Michigan and raised on LEGO bricks, pizza nights, punk rock & snowboarding. He spent early adulthood rolling with the “crusty undercurrent of fuckheads” that lives to snowboard before he ventured to Minneapolis to study design amongst the ghosts of his musical heroes. He’s seen some high-falutin’ stuff at the museum, but the steelyard is where it’s at. He’s all about working hard, making a shit whack of money, taking care of his people, and having some fun along the way.

Read More