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Design As Strategy

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Design As Strategy
February 23–24, 2011
Los Angeles, California

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A Fine Line: How Design Strategies Are Shaping the Future of Business
by Hartmut Esslinger

Living with Complexity
by Donald Norman



Topics include:
• Design thinking
• User interaction
• Strategy of design
• Human factors
• Design for mobile media
• Meaning and design
• Interface design
• Making data understandable
• Ethnographic/cultural influences
• New media
• Lessons from biology

conference overview
Design is a differentiator, a point of view, and a driver of new ideas. It’s a core component of future competitive edge for enterprises. Those who can out-imagine and out-create their peers in all aspects of an organizational persona will have the advantage. Design is strategy, more than ever.

Design is all about asking questions in addition to playing the role of problem solver. Design needs to become deeply embedded in process, where innovation and counterintuitive thinking appear at every step. Those who design will need to engage at each stage of the development life cycle, from organizational structure and management culture to product development and customer experience.

Our biggest challenge will be finding ways to encompass multiple points of view. The perspectives of systems thinking, integrative and design thinking, sustainability, finance, and entrepreneurship will all be needed to deal with a world in which markets are rapidly globalizing. Interdisciplinary approaches that take into account differences in background, culture, and age will help increase the likelihood that the end results of design go further than we initially could have imagined.

Design lessons are everywhere around us—biology, physics, society, and art—and the Internet has fostered a fabulous culture of innovation. Still, we have many more lessons to learn. How will architects and engineers incorporate these lessons into future products? What of automated design: how far can machines take us? In the beginning and in the end, design will inform strategy.

At this conference, we will rethink the nature and goals of design principles and the design process, how they apply to strategic thinking, and what they mean to organizational goals. We’ll explore what good design can accomplish and how we can go about it. Are there design principles that we can apply across a variety of enterprises? What does the design process involve? Can we, by design, make design a strategy? What are the secrets to design that relate and synergize humans and machines? Will we see “personalized design,” akin to personalized manufacturing? Can we draw inspiration from biological principles when developing new products? From organizations to organisms and beyond, design will have profound consequences. In many ways, design is the strategy.

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Partial list of speakers

Ms. Rebecca Allen, Director, Nokia Research Center Hollywood
Dr. Maria Bezaitis, Director, People and Practices Research Lab, Intel Research
Ms. Eve Blossom, Founder, Lulan Artisans
Dr. Hartmut Esslinger, Founder and frog Fellow, frog design
Mr. Frank Gehry, Architect, Gehry Partners
Dr. Mark Hansen, Professor of Statistics, University of California, Los Angeles
Dr. Sangbae Kim, Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, MIT
Mr. Alan Labb, Associate Dean of Technology, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Mr. Frank Nuovo, Founder, Design Studio Nuovo
Mr. Aza Raskin, Founder, Massive Health
Mr. Casey Reas, Professor, Design | Media Arts, University of California, Los Angeles
Mr. Nathan Shedroff, Chair, MBA in Design Strategy, California College of the Arts
Mr. Juhan Sonin, Creative Director, Involution Studios
Mr. James Spindler, Chief Creative Officer, @radical.media
Dr. John Underkoffler, Chief Scientist, Oblong Industries
Mr. Symon Whitehorn, Director of Design Strategy, Eastman Kodak Company

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