UPDATE: SamataMason just changed their name today, August 17th, the day before the show to smbolic. I can’t wait to talk about this!
This week on DesignChat we’re speaking to 2 of the partners from SamataMason, a heavily decorated design firm in West Dundee Illinois. If that name sounds familiar, its because I say it every week on the show. SamataMason is where I broadcast from, and they have been great supporters of DesignChat and what we are trying to accomplish. Dave Mason and Kevin Krueger are going to take us through the history of their shop, and also what motivated them to start one of the most intriguing design conferences today, Cusp. I was lucky enough to attend and do a live show from Cusp last year, and I’m excited to say that I’ve been asked back! Follow me on Twitter to hear more announcements about who I’ll be interviewing.
Dave Mason was born in England and raised in Canada, where he formed his own design firm in 1984. He and co-founders Greg and Pat Samata formed Chicago/Vancouver-based SamataMason Inc. in 1995. His strategy and design work for clients such as Sesame Workshop, Swiss Army Brands, TRW, Broderbund Software and QLT has been honored in hundreds of national and international competitions and publications. He has served as a guest speaker at design industry functions and schools and has served as a juror for design competitions across North America and in Asia. Dave has also co-founded a number of successful business ventures including OpinionLab, Inc., the leader in web-based VoC (voice of customer) intelligence systems, Cusp Conference LLC, which produces an annual conference about “the design of everything,” and documentary producer NoisemakerFilms.
Dave Mason was recently awarded FGDC status as a Fellow of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada—GDC’s highest honour.
An Ohio University graduate, Kevin was a designer at Herman Miller before joining SamataMason in 1996. Kevin’s worked for a diverse range of clients such as the PGA Tour, Whirlpool, Devon Energy, International Truck, and Motorola. His print and interactive work has been honored internationally in numerous competitions and publications including AIGA Communication Graphics, The Art Directors Club, The Type Directors Club, Communication Arts, Applied Arts, International ARC Awards, Graphis and How Magazine. A former Chicago Chapter board member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), he is a frequent lecturer at design schools and organizations, and has served as a juror for numerous design competitions. Kevin is also a co-founder of Cusp Conference LLC, which produces an annual conference about “the design of everything”.
The BARREL ROOF of the SamataMason office has eight large skylights; glass walls divide working spaces. Gutters were removed and replaced by lanes in the center gallery of this renovated bowling alley.
Cambridge Solutions Ltd., client
Golin Harris, client
Evan’s Life Foundation, client
Stephen Wilkes Photography, client
Motorola, Inc., client
Sesame Workshop, client
An EVAN’S LIFE FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT combined translucent paper with photos of grant recipients to portray the variety of children aided by the organization.
EVAN’S LIFE FOUNDATION’S “One Boy” campaign depicts a day-in-the-life account of a typical child the foundation supports.
Cusp is a conference about ‘the design of everything,’ bringing together thinkers, innovators, performers, skeptics, believers, visionaries and explorers from the arts, sciences, technology, business and design. Cusp Conference is for anyone who believes that the best way to predict the future is to design it.
Cusp Conference is a magnet for the design-centric, but a significant percentage of attendees do not describe themselves as ‘designers.’ They describe themselves as business people, entrepreneurs, educators, policy-makers, physicians, consultants, students and managers.
Cusp attendees have included people from the worlds of: advertising, architecture / planning, broadcasting, construction / tech- nical services, consumer electronics, consumer finance, corporate communications, education, equity management, filmmak- ing, furniture, graphic design, industrial design, international tax law, journalism / writing, learning technology, manufacturing, medicine, not-for-profit, technology, philanthropy, public relations, public transportation, publishing, printing, research, web devel- opment, web analytics, and a whole bunch of high school students.
Cusp Conference 2010 presenters and special guests to date include:
Sean Adams • Graphic designer / AdamsMorioka Designer
Natalia Allen • Design Futurist / member Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business
Sakchin Bessette • Multimedia designer / founder of Moment Factory
Maggie Breslin • Designer / SPARC Lab at Mayo Clinic Rap troubadour
Baba Brinkman • Rap troubadour
Josh Elder • Cartoonist / comics in the classroom advocate
Randy Fielding • Architect / FieldingNair / school design leader
Whitney Hopkins • Product designer / Smart Design, member of the Biomimicry Guild
Michelle Kaufmann • Architect / sustainable design leader
Noreen Morioka • Graphic designer / AdamsMorioka
Dr Jay Parkinson • Doctor / designer
Diana Rhoten • Education innovator / co-founder / STARTL
Amy Krouse Rosenthal • Author / filmmaker
Diego Stocco • Sound designer
Tim Will • Social entrepreneur / founder of Foothills Direct / winner of The Purpose Prize
Richard Saul Wurman • Author / designer / founder of TED Conferences
And more to come!