2018 National Design Awards in San Francisco: Winners' Panel

welcome to our humble home tonight we get the great privilege to host the cooper-hewitt National Design Awards West Coast celebration and discussion [Applause] you know we we believe in the cooper-hewitt so much they love design they love to teach and they love to learn and if I can teach my own people anything will be to believe in those things among all others we are aligned in our beliefs and what we try to do every single day you are lucky tonight to have Caroline Baumann here to welcome our guests and be your real host tonight I'm just kind of the stand-in so with that I'll give you the Caroline moment so wonderful to see all of you good evening and John and I actually have a tradition which is I put him on the spot every year and say we're doing this again next year right Sean okay that's how we gain sponsors at cooper-hewitt so I wanted to open by telling you a little bit about the last six weeks at cooper-hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum as you know we are part of the Magnificent family of Smithsonian museums and in mid-december I think it was December 15th we opened a show on the third floor of the museum entitled the road ahead really emphasizing the role of design in our future cities and moving people services Goods days later the government shuts down so I am NOT going to go down the negative road tonight and tell you about all the ramifications of the shutdown but rather focus on the positive which lies in the cooper-hewitt dream team we are a medium-sized Museum of 90 people and boy is it ever a family so the government shuts down and the staff that could work that was teleworking met in living rooms in my living room at panco cheese yeah even at a church that's next door to cooper-hewitt that is dedication to design as I look at rookie robber tomorrow so I would really like to acknowledge the team members that are here tonight can you all raise your hands please cooper-hewitt staff [Applause] so here we were shut down but what were they were do they were planning this week on the west coast so they've already been in LA they're now in San Francisco obviously and we go to Seattle tomorrow so thank you all of you for your dedication and very hard work I would also like to acknowledge two cooper-hewitt board members that are with us tonight Margaret Stewart and she'll begin the cooper-hewitt board is 34 people that are incredibly involved with everything that we do and the direction that we're going so I really want to thank both of you and obviously they're very involved since Margaret is our moderator the other thing that we were doing during the shutdown believe it or not was landing the first design exhibition at the World Economic Forum in Davos so a few of us were in Switzerland with a selection of projects from our access possibility exhibition and I cannot tell you how proud I am that leaders of countries would come out of these sessions and see the powerful divine objects designed by and for people with disabilities and one of the 20 projects is in your backyard in Palo Alto the wonderful imagination playground and we actually brought the piece that is a chandelier harp with 24 lasers and as people walk underneath it music is produced and it's been shown and proven that kids with autism are developing much faster when they have this music musical experience in this community experience so know that Palo Alto was part of our show design of course is cooper-hewitt and we're really thrilled to be taking the National Design Awards on the road this is the third year in San Francisco and the crowd grows every year as does our itinerary so this year we're going to Detroit we have been in Boston and la as I mentioned in Seattle so it continues to grow and grow and grow thank you to many of our winners who spent considerable time in the San Francisco school system over the last few days I was particularly moved in the Prescott School in Oakland two days ago which was just incredible where we worked with the kids on protest posters and learning about a career in graphic design and that they too can be graphic designers and so really really powerful programming believe it or not the National Design Awards will be 20 years old this October so I hope many of you can join us for the gala celebration on October 17th 70th 17 new calendar at cooper-hewitt and the exciting element of this year's National Design Awards is we will have an emerging designer award category and that will have a cash prize and it's the very first year so I see many potential emerging designers in the crowd please remember for next year to draw attention to your projects and and let us know so with that I want to pass the mic to Margaret Stewart who has been on the board for two years and she is the youngest of nine children so really knows how to handle a conversation or a conflict or anything else the other thing I love well I love a lot of things about Margaret but every Halloween she dresses up as Ruth Bader herself Ginsburg so she is one of a kind so we're really really happy to honor the National Design Award winners and have Margaret leading us tonight so thank you so much for being here [Applause] thanks so much Caroline it's such a pleasure to be here and to be with this wonderful group of designers and design leaders and National Design Award winners we have so many interesting things to talk about but I think what would be great is to start by having everyone introduce themselves talk about the you know high level the work that they do and then maybe a little bit of the journey that got you into design in the first place I think it's always really interesting to hear how people end up in this really diverse and an interesting you know kind of thing that we call design okay my name is Gayle Anderson and I came in from New York for this and I went to the School of Visual Arts based on poster that I saw in my art room at Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx Paul Davis SVA poster to be good is not enough when you dream of being great and I was like I'm going there and I like they get me and I I picked my college based on a poster which I don't recommend in general but but it worked so I am a graduate I taught there for almost probably thirty years one class at a time over the years and I'm the creative director at the school at visual arts Press in before that was at a company called spot Co designing theater posters and campaigns and there was at Rolling Stone for many years before that but but my my journey was all about wanting to make Partridge Family magazines in Jackson five magazines and and I had my scrapbook and it's like how do you get to do that for a living in through SVA and a book that was in our classroom about careers in commercial art which was what it was called and I thought this is what I want to do and ended up getting to do well I got to meet David Cassidy I've been very fortunate to have gotten to do a lot of fun things over the years so go into design you can meet David Cassidy not anymore see you soon may rest in peace Michael tell us more hello everyone Michael Ellsworth I got my start because I like to go to parties and I like to throw parties so I would throw parties and parties needed posters and flyers and that's how I got into it and it was like come see my terrible band play and people came because the posters are good so years music good no no no you single something for it Michael singer on the guitar I was just like a really bad guitar player but but I kept going with that and promoting things and after a couple failed design studios and now have a design practice in Seattle Washington called civilization and we're a team of nine people and we throw a lot of events along with the studio that we run and I still get to make posters and then invite people to come to parties beautiful thank you my name is Liz Gerber and about 20 years ago I was working right down the street off of Market Street and I was doing I was hanging out with some kids in the Tenderloin we were doing some research and I was like research meets education I was working in a toy company and we're trying to understand what kids like to play with and but the way we were doing it was actually by teaching them about product design and hearing their ideas and hearing what they like to do and I was hanging out with eight you know eight to ten year olds and hearing about their visions for what was fun and anything was possible for them eight to ten and I was so excited that anything was possible for them and their imagination I also was so intrigued by the fact that we could both be doing research and understanding these kids and also be teaching them at the same time so the organization that my students and I started was called is called design for America and it's a national network of students working throughout the country working on projects that they're passionate and that they care about and so it was a real commentary on wanting a national design core wanting to teach all students and kids design and wanting to people that work in their local community in a way was that was impactful so the Tenderloin starting off with the kids in the Tenderloin is that's where I get my start so I'm gonna try to facilitate this conversation we'll try to make it flow pretty organically and if you all also want to ask each other questions that's cool too I think that how many students do we have in the audience today we have decent number of students okay cool welcome it's wonderful that you're here I'm curious because I think that it's always interesting whether you know you're a designer or an aspiring designer or somebody who loves design I bet like almost everyone here at least falls in one of those categories what is your day-to-day like how do you you know what's it what's it what's a typical day for you so I wake up with an eight-year-old jumping on my head and a dog that needs to be walked I'm a mother of two children after I do hours of getting them ready which feels it feels like hours it's actually not hours I show up at my my paid job and witches and maybe you can which is oh so I'm I worked with an incredible team that runs designed for America our executive directors right up here Rebecca brewer she does the day-to-day of design for America and I am I design instructor faculty at Northwestern University so I run a research lab I usually meet up with my students we talk about our research actually is around how to organize large groups of people so it's very related to design for America which is a large group of people and how to empower large groups of people so I meet with them and Rebecca and I will have a meeting about everything brilliant that she's cooked up and I try and say yes as much as possible or let's try it and then and then I usually give a lecture or two that's significantly boring I'm behind a ho diem and then I go home and then the eight-year-old jumps on me again it's like a very end the dog yeah how do you carve out the thinking time so I hate commuting so I don't drive so I schedule it it's so embarrassing I literally have like think time on my calendar how much time I try and get an hour a day I die usually get one second but I try it's a special place you know Thank You Gail I'm really struggling right now with digital versus with versus analog and I feel like I get on my computer I get wait I get late like distracted so I'm working on getting back to analog and you it's all about the notebook about the right notebook yeah the right pen right the right pen who's really picky about their notebooks and pens this is like nerd Ville right here yes exactly what pen do you use cuz that's really why people came to this what is it oh she has it in her pocket oh I love it Gail you're the one fig pen I have several colors and several different leather sleeves for them I know it's it's yeah you let me test drive I let him test drive it and one ting with something what you think it must be really good friend actually drina's panel it drives nice yell may I just during the panel so I think yeah I'll tell you what it's like so in the meantime like you want to talk a little bit about your day to day we could go deep on pens but I also wake up to a child in my face four-year-old no I get I get to the studio I try to get there early for my think time I try to beat everybody there and I have this little ritual where I turn all the lights on and like do the things like the housekeeping but I think while I'm doing that like figure out my day and then I usually write tons of lists and then you do what bullet journaling now bullet journaling chicken scratch bullet journal what do I need to do today and then I just I'm in meetings like most of the day and I try not to be on my phone or try not to email all the time I like try to just be like in the moment and present with their team or with clients or and then I'll take an hour to like email and work on all that stuff then when do you do your creative work always it's a how I feel it's always I feel like the best creativity comes when you're like in the moment with someone in your brainstorming something like listen you know client like how do we solve this problem or what is this problem or what are the opportunities so I try to just be kind of clear-headed in a state of flow yeah and I've noticed like not having my phone around totally yeah sir are we allowed to say that in the Bay Area I'm from Chicago Morton's New York and Seattle okay oh I'm giving the Pens just like money in her pocket nobody's noticing no it's very nice so I wanted to talk a little bit about because I think in in different ways each of you has had you know a big part of your practice as design is service whether it's in teaching or in the work that you do in education and social change again teaching but your entire organization is about empowering people to engage in design and so I'm curious how you feel the role of design and designers may be changing and evolving if at all if it's always been that way or if there's real change in response to you know this really interesting turbulent times that we're living in in this sense that people you know want to see change happen and what role can and should designers play that responsive the professional responsibilities that they need to bring to their craft designers starting out students here are so lucky because there's so much you can do there's so many jobs there's so many opportunities to to do good to just to do and where people know what we do now in a way that they didn't I mean really but better than they did when I was your age so we have a seat at the table you know and that's so it's just an amazing time to be starting out in this profession okay aside so I love that answer and this is when I feel a little uncomfortable because I have a very broad view of design I want designers in Congress iwent them in hospitals I want them in everywhere I'm so proud can we just have a can I do this can I get a round of applause for the number of women we have in Congress right now I'm so excited about that so I you know I twenty years from now I want to be saying we have the most number of designers we've ever had in Congress because I think design and the design approach we take to design and thinking about problem solving is so incredibly important and I'm pretty sure the world would be better off if many people understood and embrace design so everyone maybe is my answer the world and yeah I think that um it's a group I'm sorry ice cream cone ice cream thank you I think that it's an interesting time in general this time of flux and this time of uncertainty but I think as designers we're basically making decisions everything we do is a series of decisions so how we work in the studio and how I like to think about design is that those decisions can be informed by empathy sustainability and meaning so it's when you're thinking about these things through those lenses like thinking about inequality thinking about marginalized voices thinking about how to fight against tyranny think about all of the things that your actions and the consequences of those actions will lead to and sustainability doesn't necessarily have to be environmental sustainability think about something making it to last for as long as it can even if it's a piece of print ephemera think of something that people want to hold on to and put in their cubicle or hang on their wall and meaning it's just being honest and trying to tell the real story and be as truthful as possible in this kind of Post trees era were living in that's what I see design yeah I mean I didn't think about any of that starting out I just you know wanted to make my Partridge Family magazines so the opportunity to have such an impact as a designer is incredible you touched a little bit on this with some kind of like specific examples of what that social impact can look like what are some other examples or you know people or particular you know work that you are admiring right now or even historical work because it's not like this idea of you know design as a positive you know agent for social change is completely new we may be more aware of it but just curious what what designers or particular works inspire you and that's been we're like design history is so fundamental to our practice and we do a lot of curation around that and a lot of programming around that but we have our heroes throughout history and it's like gran fury whose silence equals death campaign that really made a difference it literally saved lives people like tea black almond and collars magazine people at Ken Garland and the first things first manifesto like these aren't new things but these principles can be applied it still is relevant today as they were and Black Panther newspaper keyboard stuff was the aha moment for me when I was younger why was that just it was so smart and it it was more than just something cool you know but it still was something cool the anti-fashion fashion magazine there you go it was amazing yeah it's incredible and taking like this brand and using that resource and that that distribution channel to like impact people on a real real way real connectively I'm gonna I'm gonna call out two designers who are very different kind of designers one is a viewing who's a I don't even know if she'd call herself a designer she's in Chicago and she is writing the first Marvel comic about an african-american female lead character and the I was speaking with her last weekend about how she's thinking about this character and developing this character and writing the story about her and what she does and her powers and I was blown away by a story she said she said she said you know I I don't mean to sound this say this lightly but she said before I started writing this comic she's she's a writer she does quite a bit of work she said I never received death threats I only started receiving death threats once I started writing this comic and she said and she said that was uncomfortable and her and her colleagues said well that's because you're a threat and and she said she really thought about what it meant what that meant and she said yeah you know what she's right I'm a threat because I am defining who the new superhero is for the next generation and I'm defining in my in my understanding of this and I just I was I was so inspired by the care and the thought in which she is giving to designing this character so that's Eve Ewing can I throw out another one please do okay Suzie Y's is over in Oakland and she is Rican sieving schools public schools in Oakland using a design approach and she's not just doing elementary school she's doing high schools she's rethinking how the community works together and I think as a community designer and a service designer she gets the big picture which i think is the real is so needed right now is somebody who thinks systemically and thinks about how the neighborhood interact and how the politics politicians interact and I'm blown away by the work she's doing she started a school called urban Montessori over there that if you get a chance to check it out it it's phenomenal very fun on where is this Auvergne Oakland urban Montessori is what it's called and I'm blown away by the work she's doing yeah um so I'm it would love because you know we spent a little bit of time up front talking about the work that you do but I'm really interested to hear you know ideally from each of you what are the things that you're working on right now that you are most excited about and you know you know in the space of you know social impact or not just really curious to hear what's energizing right you right now it's inspiring you in terms of the work you're doing I'm working on I've worked out a bunch of books over the years with Steve Heller and we started one and I kept sort of making false starts and now I'm obsessed with it book call type speaks about just another type book that it'll for me another type of but it's about expressive type and we spent the day yesterday at the letter form archive o mg who has right I want to show of hands who has not been I'm gonna embarrass you okay go really like Ron leave the session go okay go now I'm sorry Carol it's a shame portion of the panel I am I am a professor so and that just you know that just got me so jazzed about working on the book again really digging in now and the books take a lot of time and you know I make any money and it's just years ago I doing this and and then you come up somebody's using it at a school somebody remembers the book a young person and that's why you do it and I'm still learning and I feel like I'm doing some good with that as with teaching so you just kind of keep going back for more so yeah that field trip yesterday was incredible so we're working on a project through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and that their Discovery Center the cooper-hewitt brought one of their shows designed with the 90% so the Gates Foundation heard we were winners of this award and we're like hey maybe you should do something for the show so their idea was oh we should have like a digital component where guests come in and do something and then it can live on after the exhibit it's like okay real specific create a brief but that was really great because we got to come up with an idea and the idea was to create this web platform that is essentially walked you through the design process in a really simple way so it could be targeted to high school students maybe even elementary school students and you pick a topic a social topic and it shows you how to use the design process and kind of design thinking on how to solve these and you sketch things and upload things and share things and then it also pairs up with case studies that are really powerful examples in the in the exhibition so that's been a really fun project because we get to call all the designers that have made this amazing work and have interviews with them and talk about their process and and then we got to make this like really fun in interface for it because it was like playful how do we get access for this it's gonna be out soon in the next two weeks two or three weeks I'm looking at our interactive director is one of those projects where like huh how can I find an excuse to like talk to all these amazing designers it's a lot of our work [Laughter] justification for what we do my most exciting project is sitting right in front of me she didn't expect me to call out her name this is Connie Connie um he just turn and wave hi this is Connie Connie didn't expect me to say this but what Connie represents as she designed for America's national network of students working extra curricular lis so no grades no pay this is their choice to work on projects in their local community with a social impact and we have 40 different universities across the campus F Studios that number keeps on growing up and increasingly we have more and more alumni of the program and so Connie walked up to me when I was getting my handling my daughter in the back that's gonna say dealing with but that didn't sound very parental anyway her out there I love you I love you babe anyway and Connie walked up and she said I just wanna I want to introduce myself again we met a couple years ago but I want to tell you I'm living in San Francisco and I started the studio at MIT and I just wanted to say hi and to to feel like we are empowering just people throughout that not just the United States throughout the globe and have them come up and connect not just with me but with each other so they have a community that is so powerful and so I think the growth the exponential growth of the the the family and the participants of design for America blows my mind and makes me hopeful that we can reach that number of people we want in Congress and number of people we want in the medical scene in schools etc because they're going everywhere they're going they're not just going into design they're going into all sorts of fields and that just I get goose bumps Thank You Connie thanks for being here I think yeah round of applause for Connie yeah and I think that's so important what you all do with that just design thinking and design process and just thinking about the decisions you make even if they don't become designers it's that it's that fun and that workshop we did on Monday at Prescott it was amazing she has kids fourth and fifth graders like thinking about that thinking about decisions we tell them but the sign about the clean water sign the girl made yes her approach was climate change and pollution it was like let's have a clean planet a very clean planet it's so great really cute really good I mean yeah I was I was thinking about this because a lot of what the work that I'm passionate about a lot of the things that the museum does but I really love the outreach and we do to schools and because I think it's so important for people very early in their lives to understand that they have agency as well I mean society owes them a lot and we need to do better by you know kids all around the world but actually the outcomes will only be great if they are participating in the process and in a sense like citizenship is the original participatory design process right you know voting being an engaged citizen and you know local and and you know in our case you know federal politics and I and I think even if they don't become designers because statistically and most of them alone at least fill something will click around oh I actually have a role to play in this and I can be a part of the solution which I think is really exciting there was a young man and the fourth-grade class that I was with named J who had a yellow Mead sketch pad that he showed me and I was just blown away and like I you know like I I want to keep in touch with this kid I can't obviously be but this kid was amazing and and what he was documenting in his sketchbook and that's so exciting and you know you should do this for a living and so just spending the day and then meeting a kid like that was just so wonderful I think it speaks to and I'm curious your thoughts on this the opportunities as a design community to encourage more diversity in in the design practice and kind of what that contributes to opportunities for social impact because I think it is one of the big challenges certainly in technology but I think more broadly and design if we believe that participation by designers is going to create social change how can we encourage much more diverse community of designers so we host a lecture series every year and it's through the fall to the spring and we kind of market it like a rock show you see one designer the tickets are free it's at the beautifully designed REM koolhaas library in Seattle and you make really good posters now and you get really large tote bags with tons of free stuff in them in Design Within Reach is one of our long-term sponsors thank you give a plug but we have secret themes every year in the last two years our secret theme secret explain who knows like who were curating oh our secret theme has been no white men for the last two years even though we're white men it was yeah so we're trying to champion these voices and show students and young designers and all designers that hey like they don't have to look like a certain anything to be a designer and right now I'm really proud to say not Kim is at our gallery having an opening tonight she's a South Korean designer whose amazing and she's giving a lecture tomorrow and then Ellen Lupton of the cooper-hewitt will wrap up the season and I think Gail's gonna come next year mark no offense to your outfit but when yes I'm gonna make a fashion statement that's going well you're the youngest of nine you can handle this when I started off in design you had to wear like the designer wore black turtleneck and black glasses which I was about to tell that story and then I'm looking at Margaret and realizing that's what she is wearing you're the wrong gender but other otherwise you'd look like it was it was men black I believe I'm the right genderless yeah I'm sorry that was beautiful you and I thought oh that's what designers are and it was really hard getting a start very very hard getting a start and one of the things that I've found that we found in the the founding team of design for America and the the people continues to attract is the large number of in particular women we get and it's it's an it's shown I'm a researcher it's empirically shown that if you focus on the like the cause what you're going for what you're trying to work for you tend to attract more you were tend to attract equal numbers of men and women versus versus more men and I and I just am so immensely proud and again the more we have the more role models we have and the more stories like Connie and keep going back to Connie and and I just think that's so incredibly important to have diverse role models and if you don't have diverse role models it's it's really hard when you're starting out to be inspire inspired and feel like you can be a part I get people reaching out emailing saying that I am a diverse role model because person of color woman and when that happened earlier on I was like well I'm young so I can't be a role model and then Noldor I okay I can embrace this now and I I don't know where we are I don't know where it's really hard to find people of color and women of color yeah so you have to make the extra effort to to to find us but it's worth it so I'm really glad that the jury found you and acknowledged all of you're amazing at this stage and this year that it's still really hard it's ridiculous yeah yeah can we get it can we just get a group foo on that can we do that group boo 1 2 3 oh thank you okay so in just a second we're gonna open up to questions we're gonna open up to questions from all of you there's gonna be some mics around so start queuing up your questions for this illustrious panel I'm curious in terms of whether it's design education or the design industry in general what what are the things that you think we just talked about diversity and I think we would probably all categorize that as something that's holding us back in terms of social impact and the opportunity that design has what else do you think is holding us back that we should be focused on can you say that yeah so I think diversity is like a good example if we had more diversity in design I think that we would be taking on different kinds of problems we could be impacting society in new and different potentially meaningful ways I'm just curious if in like design education or in the way that designers traditionally approaches approach their work are there other things that we should be encouraging people in terms of their responsibilities of how they work I think values I think the value system of design is a big one we talk about it all the time in our studio it's it's we see what some of the students we teach and just people coming through the gallery it's it's like they'll see something like a grand fury or they'll see a protest position and they'll see our work and they're like how do you make money doing that and it's like well there's money but there's value and and I think that's difference and I think that is holding us back in in some ways is our perspective of this and then from an other lens on the other side of the table it's just like devaluing creativity in some ways they're like oh you love what you do you love to be a designer that's like fun do it five more times for free you know and it's that it's that type of thing and it's like you know if I hired a plumber let's say to come to my residence it wouldn't be like oh you're having a great time what you what to fix the sink while you're at it you know so I think it's value and I want my students to be more well-rounded I want them to read the paper they can flip through the paper on the tableau if they want but I I want them to be aware of the world and not just yeah what's right in front of them and what's on Instagram so I so I have it so Gayle I was gonna say Tech again I'm gonna bring up technology I know it's like I'm tempted just in this in this area to say that I think technology is both advancing and holding us back I think it's advancing us because the accessibility of tools and connections to mentors and inspirations and portfolios and you name it is online and then I think it's holding us back because it supports a kind of toxic social comparison that to experience that at any age especially when starting off is too much it's overwhelming if you think you have to be like everybody else that you see then it doesn't I think it's I think it's destructive to young to young designers and I think you know tying to something that you said before I think in particular working in high tech I think if designers can get over the the mythology that any design is neutral yeah that is holding us back like that is I mean there is no such thing as neutrality and design no there's a there's an amazing book that just came out called the politics of design and the author just escaped me but if maybe the authors in the room are you in the room know anybody know the author no they're from oh she knows the name oh you see you at 1:00 yes thank you can you repeat it Ella Rubin painter thank you I might have butchered that pronunciation my gosh she's my student yeah I didn't really former former student in Florence each chapters like one or two pages and it basically is just all all designed as politic political and it shows about how design and visual communication shapes the narrative in the reality of our world and it tries to help unlearn some of these learn things like the map yeah oh my gosh maps and their troubles get us started on maps yes do we already go down we could go deep so I do want to open up questions from all of you and microphones if you have a question just raise your hand and we'll bring a microphone to you got one in the back there and we'll queue up will you home professor Cates dr. Cates professor Cates is about to ask a question everyone to pay attention I'd like to know if liz is planning to run for Congress and if so do you need a campaign manager Barry if it's you I'll do it if it's you I'll do it yes the election of the best campaign posters ever just from this crew here who's on your side well I did run for vice president of my seventh grade class and it was something like now I realize it's totally inappropriate well it was something like Lizzie she'll get busy yeah I know it's bad but at the time it made a lot of sense and I won so their branding works I mean all right what other questions you have this is such an amazing opportunity to tap into this wisdom yeah hi I'm Camilla I work at Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco and I'm not a designer per se but we have a design team who does a lot of like media and accessible design and so we see this word inclusivity and accessibility and diversity thrown around a lot and design specifically and I guess my question is like just for me as someone who is an advocate for the disability community like do you think that that is a trend or do you think that designers have truly taken to heart this sense of like wanting to include people who don't who might experience a experience spaces in different ways or visual media in different ways or etc it's a great question I hope it's not a trend I think it's a trend but it feels really trendy like it does and but I hope it sticks around maybe it's an awakening maybe it's enlightenment and maybe it is you think we're sticking with it you know but I think it's a better design trend than illegible type here's why I think here's why I think we've got going for us I think the reason it's gonna stick around is because it's a numbers game and the population that is growing older and has is experiencing some of these disabilities or different they're differently abled I think they're demanding more and I think right so I do hope that it's I sure hope it's not a trend and I hope that the market is gonna increasingly call for it well and I think that we've learned that when you create assessable design the halo effect is incredible right I think we've learned it's good business to create a sensible business right I'm hoping what I think it does come back to like decision making so if you are gonna make this decision why not include as many people as you can in that decision so hopefully that just sticks and hopefully it is more i I also think we're gonna I think we're gonna realize new things I mean I'm not naive I think we're blind to many things right now just like people used to smoke cigarettes in their car and drive with their babies in baskets I think we're gonna look back at this time and say how in the world did we miss that differently-abled person so I think we're always going to be asking this question got Tim back here yeah and please introduce yourself hi my name is Tim hi Tim hi so there's been a lot of talk about design education and designed for people sort of just learning about design and based on the show of hands in the room I would say maybe like 10 percent were students and so I'm more curious about your advice for people more so in this room that are more versed in design what do they need to be thinking about for the future to make it better ooh I've got one move over it's that simple figure out who's coming behind you and and who you can elevate who's not being noticed and who you can elevate and how you can give them space so that they can have a space at the table because I think the greatest legacy that that mentors can can offer is creating and supporting new young people especially people who don't look exactly like you who didn't go to your exact school etc I think it's a that's the name of the game is move over and elevate someone else I think you have to do things to keep yourself stoked about this and again to bring up that letter from archive yesterday that was just like I forgot how much I loved the type and just you have to have those little moments every now and then that you're you're just absorbing you know and I having those couple of hours there to poke around just what and working on the books with Steve you know even though there's no money or any of that it's just it keeps me fresh it keeps me aware of what's going on in other countries and so Galle how did you find out about letter form press I'm just curious like how do you find places to be inspired that's my question I don't even know how I knew about that but Instagram probably Instagram you probably to add to like I think it's never stop learning and just be childlike we were like kids in a candy store like all week we went to the SF mo I think we went we just went around and we always just try to learn and dig in as much as you can and about to stuff outside to design you like it's like as much as you can like who knows anything that could it spark inspiration at any time you know and I feel like so many people just kind of like look at like other designers or all these things like go look at flowers I don't know and something I think I learned way too late was take a vacation oh yeah oh my gosh I'm just I work I've better work I've got to take a break every now and then and even even coming here for the couple days it's just just to be somewhere else and sleep somewhere else and for me to go up to the country on the weekends sometimes it's it's so energizing so you know whatever it is just carve out a little time to do something fun one last question got it right here they're bringing the mic to you yep it's like the Oprah moment go go go are you gonna give out a free car already stand up and introduce yourself please hi my name is Helen Maria I am California College of the Arts around the corner I guess there's a lot of Design Awards um but this is the only National Design Award and I would love to hear from you guys and what does it mean to have this platform personally and what are you gonna do with it that's a good one okay I actually started a notebook about that at the beginning of the year and a special notebook that I put a leather cover on and and I have a goal of one good thing every month that I'm gonna do in this year so yeah so I sort of I'm trying to come up with a plan and and trying to execute that plan of taking advantage of this opportunity and paying it forward so we were completely shocked when I got the call it was like really this is the time I being pranked like and but it was such an honor and a validation to what we do because we've really chose to work with specific things and not do specific things and it's always a challenge and it's always a hustle and this was just like keep going it was like that like validation to keep going and keep doing what you're doing especially to family and friends that have to deal with the fallout of that but it and going forward what we want to do is just keep expanding and building on what we're doing I mean we want design education and build on our curation and we're actually like wanted explore different mediums like television we have something in the works too about trying to connect design with the larger public the broader public and just like I feel like we're saying this it all sounds so corny but but it's all really true it's you you hit a point where it's about paying it forward and and trying to do some good and it just it feels really good when you do it and and when you see your students here which which I see some tonight and to see how well they're doing it's it's so rewarding so so I do it for the free food I mean that's why I'm here the cheese the cheese the cheese sticks did you try those their current no I would say the way we've used the platform is really to wear a national network and it's really to connect raise awareness of what we're doing and connect our students with talented mentors and government agencies and industries in their local community so it's been an incredible platform for raising awareness and bringing legitimacy to what we were doing there are many years in our process what people thought we were crazy why are you doing this I literally had somebody look at me and said like your apps why why in the hell are you starting a non-profit that was the sum of the first advice I questioned named I don't know what it was that I got and so it was real validation I think that we're onto something I think the other thing is that we're starting to hear about design for China and design for Turkey and so that is really to me that's just so I you know let's go beyond Congress let's go to the Model UN like let's get UN like United Nations let's go for 50% designers there I think that would be amazing so as an outro because that's one of my favorite words an outro yes um I would love to as a way to kind of reflect on the wisdom that you all have collected over the years and developing these amazing careers what's advice that you would give your 16 year old self and I'll start by saying I would tell my 16 year old self you are not nearly as flaky as your family thinks you are and that it's all going to work out [Laughter] stumper what is it stop overthinking everything stop moping around that's why I would say start moving on I would have told myself to get a travel abroad exchange students situation and see more of the world at a younger age absolutely well how do you think that would have I mean is it basically just kind of the obvious like broadening your perspective or what I think in my specific case I grew up in a town of 3,000 people in a cornfield in the middle of America so if I would have went from that straight to Hong Kong I think it would have just reconfigured my brain completely I went from there to Chicago yeah I think mine is similar to Michaels which is get out of Dodge Dodge refers to the place that you're living that is the same old same old when I was 16 I finally remember going to my history teacher and really apologetically asking if it was okay if I missed two weeks of school because my family was going to be had the rail rare privilege of going to our sister city in Russia at the time to deliver medical equipment and I remember I was very apologetic like I know I'm gonna miss this this part in this part and he looked at me and he's like are you kidding you were going to Russia just opened right like you could nobody had been there before from outside and he said you're gonna experience history when you're there do not worry about the two weeks you will miss in class and I think I have found that even as my work gets more and more intense and I have more and more responsibilities saying yes to opportunities that blow my mind and make me and help me think differently is always invaluable so get out of Dodge is my advice to a 16 year old well it's a great note to end on is to remind ourselves to shake things up like take some scary things on we don't quite know if we know how to do it and I think when we get further in our career as Tim was saying it's like it's to challenge yourself never stop learning and it's really inspiring to hear the ways in which you all are doing that and that you've inspired so many other designers in the work that you do so thanks so much congratulations on this huge award and thanks everybody for being here and the wonderful engagement thank you so much thank you thank you

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