Archive for the ‘Announcement’ Category

Re-Launch Kick-Off With Aaron Muñoz

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Ryan retakes the mic

Episode 123

This is the first show that will share the behind the scenes work it takes get DesignChat back up and running. The full podcast officially relaunches in February of 2016, but I wanted to share what is happening behind the scenes as we build up to that moment. I surprised my good friend, Aaron Muñoz by tricking him into recording with me. He almost made me delete it, but I convinced him he would get top billing. Follow Aaron on Twitter – he’s a smart designer.

After he calmed down, I was able to get his perspective on what it was like to discover the show and what it meant to him. Aaron shared some interesting things. For beginners, he didn’t know there was a website. Oh man, we’re doing something wrong, and I think I know what it is. We need more content. Ok, don’t panic, I’m not going to fill the site with clickbait. I truly want this to be a pure safe haven for anyone who is interested in discussing design. We’re just not sure how we’re going to do that yet.

Subscribe to us on iTunes to get all the latest shows downloaded first!

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Here’s a collection of shows where we talked to people who worked with or for advertising agencies. Enjoy!!!


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We’re excited to send TWO of our fans to Cusp!

You have a chance (a few, actually) to win a ticket to this year’s Cusp Conference,
September 19th & 20th in Chicago.

This year’s conference features 22+ speakers ranging from authors to surgical roboticists, humanitarians to marine engineers. Cusp Conference is about the design of everything. It’s about broad thinking. It’s about getting people out of the world they know and immersing them in a flood of ideas that ultimately help break down barriers and connect unknown dots. And it’s about finding ideas and relevance in unexpected places.

This year we’re trying out a new way to raffle off these tickets. Today through Sept. 7th, you can enter the drawing through a few different avenues. Tweet about it, post it on facebook, design a banner. The more you do, the greater your chance of hanging out with some of todays top design thinkers. Below are ways to enter, get creative and have fun.

Follow the instructions below and good luck!
UPDATE 1: We’ll be adding new ways to gain points every day, so check back often!
UPDATE 2: You all are very smart. No one wants to tweet about it so they have an advantage for themselves. So, we’re upping the point value – tweeting about it, which you can do once a day is now worth 5 points. This change is retroactive, so if you’ve already tweeted – you get 5 points per day-tweeted instead of 1. Thats a total of 40 more points if you start today! Please use the hashtags #Cusp2012 and #DesignChat.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please Note:
1) This is only a ticket to Cusp. You will be responsible for getting there from wherever you live.
2) The tweet about it option below can be done once per day.
3) If you win, we’ll contact you to confirm your information and get you registered. If for any reason you can not attend, the ticket will be given to a runner up.


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Something wonderful happened – my wife and I had our first child. When I found out that we were going to be parents, my first reaction was, ”Cool, this should be fun!” I had all of the blissful ignorance a first-time parent should have.

Then all of the necessary/unnecessary baby accouterment started appearing at my house. Piles 3 feet high of clothes, toys and wipe warmers seemingly grew up from the floorboards. One might think I’d glow with warmth at the idea. I didn’t. I had a slow-motion freak out.

I stopped returning phone calls, broke promises, ditched all freelance projects and focused all energies inward. Most of the time I was in denial that I was on sabbatical at all. When asked, I would tell people, “I’ll start shows again real soon.” It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t what happened either.

I’ve always been over-hopeful about how much time I could spend working on the DesignChat. Some days I would daydream about quitting my job, and just making a run for it. I would jump off the ledge, and hope for the best in making this experience profitable. My ideas and hopes were bigger than my gumption, so I would over-promise and under-deliver. Then I completely fell off the face of the interwebs. Sorry ’bout that.

But now that our son is here, and we’re starting to assume a normal routine again – I’m going resume publishing old shows and scheduling new ones. So scroll down and say hi to Sam, and then get ready for some more DesignChat goodness!


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To celebrate my third year doing Cusp Conference, I’m giving away 2 tickets to this year’s BIG EVENT.

All you have to do is tweet with the three hashtags #DESIGNCHAT #CUSP11 and #WIN.

Its that simple! Tell everyone you know! 2 lucky winners will be selected TONIGHT, September 7th at 845pm CST during the live show. Both winners will be responsible for getting themselves to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago on September 28th and 29th. Each individual ticket is worth $1750.
To see some of the past speakers, check out their Youtube channel:

I’ll be there interviewing some of the speakers and attendees, and doing a live broadcast for DesignChat. I can not wait – I look forward to this all year. For more details, go to

What is Cusp?

It’s a conference about the design of everything.

What’s the Cusp experience?

In the words of one attendee, Cusp was “inspirational, funny, thought-provoking, eye-opening, informative, inspirational, fascinating, humbling, soothing, shocking, awesome, inspirational, unbelievable, wise, touching, smart, healthy, honest, confusing, inspirational, affirming, creative and just friggin’ amazing. Did I mention inspirational?”
The Cusp experience is different for every individual, but it’s essentially two full days of mind-expanding, soul-feeding getaway, powered by 26 presenters/special guests and 285 attendees.
Basically we get 300+ smart, energized, creative, inspiring, talented people into a room, get them talking to each other, then wait to see what happens. And usually a lot happens.

What’s the ROI on attending Cusp?

We love this question. What’s the ROI of putting on pants before you go to work? Cusp is about investing in yourself. The return on that investment is up to you.

What kind of people are going to be in the Cusp 2011 audience?

We get asked for demographics for the Cusp audience all the time, but since we don’t ask people who register how old they are or what their income level is we really have no idea.

We do know that the unifying traits of Cusp attendees seem to be:

Curiosity – our attended tend to be pretty broad thinkers
Design savvy – our attendees may not be designers themselves, but they tend to be very clued in to the power of design
Attractiveness – everyone who attends just seems to be incredibly good looking. Go figure.


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SEEK is a one-day design conference that has been organized by the students of Northern Illinois University for ten years. The event is run by the Visual Communication program at NIU. In the past, SEEK has played host to widely recognized designers including Paula Scher, Kyle Cooper, Chip Kidd, Joshua Davis and in the past year, Jakob Trollbäck and Massimo Vignelli.

This conference provides an excellent opportunity for students to learn and interact with professionals from the field in which they plan to enter. This year, to make SEEK even more engaging, interview-style presentations will be added to keynote and breakout presentations. There will also be workshop presentations as an added opportunity for the students who attend SEEK.

This year, SEEK invites Pentagram’s new partner, Eddie Opara as the featured keynote speaker. Also presenting are designers: Sara Aye of IA Collaborative; Nils Bunde and Dian Sourelis of Brainforest; Kevin McConkey of Grip Design; Justin Ahrens of Rule 29; Matt Toler of Lynch2; Mitch Rice of Three Communication Design; Lance Rutter of Legendre+Rutter; John Harris of a5; Camm Rowland of Digital Kitchen.


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On the heels of the Cusp Conference, it’s business as usual at DesignChat this week; fantastic guest, amazing work, sprinkle in some beers and hilarity shall ensue. Tomorrow, Wednesday September 29th at 8pmCST join us as we welcome the mystifying typographic talent that is called Jessica Hische. Her Drop Caps will stupify you. Her public digital sharing mechanism will webify you. Once you’re finished being webified, here are some pixels to drool on:


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Design Matters
Design Matters, hosted by AIGA National President and recent DesignChat guest, Debbie Millman, will begin it’s sixth season… TODAY! This afternoon at 3pm Eastern, Design Matters will welcome design legend, Massimo Vignelli to kick off it’s 6th season.

As described by Debbie Millman, “Design Matters began in February of 2005 with an idea and a telephone line. I thought it would be a great way to ask my heroes everything I wanted to know about their lives and their thoughts and their careers without seeming stalker-y. In the process, I gleaned the most magnificent view of some of the greatest design thinkers and practitioners of our time. I realized the opportunity to share the brilliance of my guests with an audience I never expected was the gift of a lifetime.”

Massimo Vignelli is the founder of Vignelli Associates in New York and formerly of Unimark. He is responsible for some of the most recognizable design projects of all time. Some of his most famous projects include the 1972 New York subway map and the American Airlines corporate identity system.
Go here to tune in

American Airlines Identity

1972 NYC Subway Map

Bloomingdales Identity


Design Matters
Debbie Millman
Vignelli Associates


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LIVE on tonights show we will pick a tweet at random and announce the winner! So you still have a chance! All you have to do is tweet this: @designchat I want to #WIN a ticket to #Cusp10.


NOTE: You must be able to get to Chicago for the conference on September 22nd-23rd. Upon arrival to the conference, you’ll have a ticket waiting for you. Go to for more info.

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.


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We’re super proud to announce that DesignChat has become an official media sponsor of Cusp Conference. Yes, we agree – this is amazing. Cause to celebrate, even. How are we going to celebrate this momentous occasion, you ask?

We’re sending one of our fans to CUSP!

WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?! It means that you have a chance (if you live near Chicago, and are free on September 22nd and 23rd) to attend this two-day fantastmagorical design-gasm. After attending last year I was raving about this experience for months using every over-the-top expression I could think of. Here’s how they describe it:

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.

19 presenters who are all amazing people who have accomplished spectacular feats. Creator of TED, Richard Saul Wurman tops off a list of inspirational speakers who will fill you with enough energy to take on the entire universe.

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!

Between September 8th and 15th, tweet @designchat using the hashtags #WIN and #Cusp10. One winner will be chosen at random, and the winner will be announced live on the show, Wednesday, September 15th. We will then contact the winner, confirm their location and availability, and their ticket will be waiting at the check-in desk at the MCA on September 22nd. HOW COOL IS THAT?

Here’s an example of a winning tweet: @designchat I want to #WIN a ticket to #Cusp10!

We know you’re as excited as we are to go to Cusp, so wet your appetite with one of my favorite speakers from last year, cartoonist Linda Barry.


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Filmmaker Gary Hustwit, has announced the subject of his third design documentary. Urbanized will focus on the design of cities and the issues of urban planning. The film will complete what Hustwit has referred to as his “design trilogy,” joining 2007’s Helvetica and 2009’s Objectified. The film is said to feature top architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers. Cinematographer, Luke Geissbuhler, who worked on the previous two films, will rejoin Hustwit so stunning visuals can be expected. The film is currently in production and is set to premiere sometime in 2011.

For more information on the film:
Official Website –
Gary Hustwit on Twitter – @Gary_Hustwit

If you haven’t seen the previous two films check them out at their official sites.