Earlier this month, I attended Design Driven #15 hosted by FirstMark, an early stage venture capital firm based in New York City. I’m appreciative to them and The New School for hosting this monthly event. They invite incredible people in the industry with inspiring messages. This is a new segment on the blog, “event recap,” where I summarize the event and give my reflections on what I learned. Before March escapes, I want to recap on this event because it was full of great presentations.

1. Driving Innovation and Brand Through Design
By Mauro Porcini, Chief Design Officer for PepsiCo
This presentation was easily my favorite and most memorable. He articulated his points well and spoke in a tone that conveyed urgency and passion. I was inspired by his presentation because I felt the intense love he has for design. I especially resonated with him when he said that “if you don’t [find roadblocks], you’re not innovating.”

2. Grit Over Genius: An Iterative Approach to Product Design
By Lesley Fleishman, Design Director for Work & Co
Lesley presented on the work that she and her team did with Virgin America’s website. I’m impressed with what they accomplished. They were in for a huge project when their mission was not only about redesigning the interface but the whole process of flying from start to finish. This goes to show that just because everyone else in the industry is doing the same thing doesn’t mean you should as well. In fact, it should be the opposite.

3. 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Designing Office Products
By Jeff Miller, Vice President of Design for Poppin
My biggest takeaway was actually the part about how people perceive color. This company uses bold and bright colors to make office products more stylish and fun while also trimming it down to the functional fundamentals so being able to recognize color is essential. Color is critical in design and if certain shades aren’t on point, the product can communicate a completely different message.

4. The Shared Tenets of Strong Relationships and Design
By Jon Troutman, Chief Creative Officer for Canary
Jon led his presentation on this product by comparing aspects of design to a strong and healthy relationship. Similar to a relationship, design is about the journey over the final product. Design, as Jon says, is about turning users into lovers, “but not in a creepy way.” People shouldn’t just use a product but also become emotionally attached to it and really need it.

I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment of Design Driven. It will be on Tuesday, April 12th at The New School on 66 West 12th Street, New York, NY 10011. Did you attend this event? If so, what did you think of it? Which was your favorite presentation? What are you expecting next month at Design Driven #16? Leave it all in the comments below.

EDIT AS OF APRIL 10, 2016: The event venue has been changed to the offices of Oscar Health on 295 Lafayette Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012. It is not being held at The New School.

Cheers,

Riri