Somebody's got to do it.
Work is often bemoaned as the bane of human existence, a futile and unpleasant waste of one's days. And yes, this holds true for many a dull occupation. This is precisely why I am a designer. Despite the cautionary tales of friends and the good advice of those who urged the pursuit of safer careers, I have stayed the path of a designer and creator.
Of course, being a designer has its moments of banal details and pure terror. But at its core, design work is about solving problems and overcoming challenges.
...Challenges that require real thought, real creativity, and real inspiration. Knowing the power and value of design drives me to pick clients who want to make an impact and pursue projects that pose real challenges. And so, I've been lucky to work on projects for cutting edge companies and organizations, defined numerous brands from napkin sketches, redefined apparel companies, created experiences that have made people laugh, and made some cry.
Looking back, it's been tremendously rewarding. Looking forward there will be challenges, but somebody's got to do it.
An app for giving.
The flower app was conceived as a project to support the people we love through tough times, even if we can't be there in person. Utilizing the ease of mobile tech and the power of social networks, Flower makes it easy for people to send gifts and support to those those in need with a user friendly app that brings users together through a simple, engaging tool to give and receive messages, media, and physical gifts.
The introduction to the Dogpatch Technology team, our design chemistry, and the personal stories of the founders, made me recognize of the importance of the Flower project. I was brought in as UX/UI designer to facilitate the build of Flower from early sketches and basic graphics to a mature, shippable iOS application, and what would become an 18 month project.
Millions of people in the United States experience
personally and emotionally challenging events. The stress created by cancer diagnosis, terminal illness, and loss turn worlds upside-down. Those suffering often feel isolated, and often their own support networks are left unable to help due to geographic or emotional distance.
The app concept was conceived based on the trying personal experiences of the founders. Their insight into the complexity of navigating a family member's illness and resulting logistical and personal stressors was the cornerstone of the project. Validating and challenging their assumptions was put to the test through rigorous user testing of a large user group.
I engaged heavily with both the user research team and their findings, making it a priority to understand user needs and their emotional drivers. Working closely with the data from research and the personal experiences of the founders, as well as the feedback of the engineering team of I was instrumental in developing user experience flows and UI through low and high fidelity prototypes.
Building a platform
An application is not an island. In addition to my role in the development of user experience, I was tasked to break ground on development of brand and brand guidelines, creation of web, social, podcast, video and print media.
After 16 short months, the Flower app shipped. A launch in the Apple iTunes store was made possible through the determination, hard work, and numerous late nights of the entire team. The project continues to grow and evolve.
Elevating men's activewear.
Olivers apparel started as a single style...
Starting with a single pair of men's athletic shorts, the Olivers brand was launched on Kickstarter and became one of the platforms most successful projects. With that success, the brand and its community of customers were an embodiment of the industry's shift to the direct-to-consumer model. It became rapidly apparent that there was opportunity to grow, necessitating the development of new products, experiences, and stories.
My background in the cycling and outdoor community + 9 years of work in activewear found a perfect partner in Olivers apparel. An introduction to Oliver's founder began a design relationship that continues to this day and kicked off the evolution of the Olivers brand. From a single style project, I helped guide the creation of a complete men's collection that is uniquely tailored to fit the style and technical needs of Oliver's active, adventurous customer.
The apparel industry is a demanding space that requires knowledge of the textile supply chain, design, and manufacturing. Starting from In developing Olivers it was crucial to bring in core industry stakeholders, build a foundation of processes, drive brand, and drive product development through design, customer and market research.
Ideas to illustration
Translating customer data acquired from Kickstarter in combination with industry trend forecasts, I worked to define style and design cues that embody the Olivers brand and serve the needs of Olivers customer. I generated numerous rounds of fashion illustrations that helped capture Olivers silhouette, fabrication targets, and core design elements.
Paper to prototype
After careful evolution and evaluation of illustrated concepts, I helped push designs to factory-ready technical illustrations. One of my core competencies is in the translation of fabrication, pattern-making, manufacturing, and style inputs to develop ultra-detailed technical guidelines, guaranteeing optimal factory understanding and quality end product.
Moving to market
The old "build it and they will come" mentality in fashion is becoming decidedly obsolete. The Olivers team were well aware of the need to build story and social marketing vehicles to communicate new product releases. I worked closely with the marketing team and founders to tell the technical and design story as well as ideate on new marketing concepts and events.
Three years on, Olivers is a growing company that has a devoted community of customers. The reach of marketing and the quality of every product launch has garnered accolades from key media and style bloggers.
Showcasing the future of making.
Is the tagline of Autodesk Corp. - The Bay Area based software company is one of the world's leading developers of 3D design tools for the architectural, product, and manufacturing industries. From Smartphones, to automobiles, to skyscrapers, the tools developed by Autodesk are the key to futuristic and fantastic projects around the world. Below, The Hackrod partnership is a perfect example of how Autodesk's tools have facilitated the development of an AI generated, 3D printed automotive chassis, fitted with sensors and optimized with generative design software could help redefine how Automobiles are designed and built in the not-so-distant future.
I began working with Autodesk in 2015 to develop stories and exhibits that communicated best-in-class uses of their software. My experience with innovation programs and manufacturing + my skills in design found an ideal place in Autodesk's brand experience team. I worked with industry partners and the global exhibit team to build the experiences and physical exhibits to tell compelling stories to the public and Autodesk's core customers.
Autodesk pushes the boundaries of software development and design tools. It is essential to engage industry experts and influencers, and educate them on the benefits of Autodesk's tools, driving adoption and continued subscriptions. Autodesk's team focuses on exhibits and experiences for key internal conferences, such as AU (Autodesk University) traveling exhibits, as-well-as a busy global events calendar.
Highlighting the potential and impact of Autodesk's tools requires a deft design touch and a combination of models, media, and environments. I worked closely with brand, and copywriting teams to design exhibit elements and build storytelling devices as varied as video reels, 3D printed models, and illustrations to communicate the Hackrod story.
In my 14 months working with Autodesk, I helped to push messaging and design conventions to the next level across events, exhibits and experiences.
Autodesk and the Briggs Automotive Corporation have been long-term technology partners. Briggs, the developer of one of the fasted road-going cars in the world leverages Autodesk technologies and tools throughout the design and manufacturing of the "Mono" and ultralight single seat sports car. Seeing the car on main stage keynote events inspired me to reach out to BAC and suggest an exhibit scheme featuring their car. Months later, BAC came back with a prompt. Design the livery of a bespoke Autodesk Mono.
I love cars and consider automotive design to be high art. I approached the project by referencing the historic "Art Cars" from BMW, where influential artists like Calder, Warhol, and Koons have all taken their turn at painting the latest from the brand. I saw the opportunity to elevate BAC's mono to the same level by applying the same "Art Car" thinking.
Fusing Autodesk's tools with the BAC design was an anchor for the design. Numerous studies and concepts were created, but the final selection was a perfect fusion of art and technology. Sweeping Autodesk airflow simulations of the Mono pour color and excitement over the skin of the Mono.
Where previously the Mono's simulations had only existed as screen images used in digital spaces, transposing this language into flat physical artwork was the challenge. Applying Autodesk brand cues and achieving the complex line-art with wrap and foil treatments was explored. image: courtesy Autodesk
Render to paint
The final decision was to employ the skills of BAC's incredible paint shop in what was described as the most complex paint project they had ever undertaken. image: courtesy Autodesk
The Autodesk Mono is now a mobile embodiment of cutting edge automotive design and a perfect exhibit of Autodesk's technologies. It makes its home at Autodesk's Birmingham Advanced manufacturing facility and makes appearances at global design and manufacturing events. image: courtesy Autodesk
"Brevity is the soul of wit" so I've kept this selection small. For more work examples and inquiries regarding other projects, please feel free to contact me.