Design in Motion: This is a Living Document.
Professional Interests and Mission
Creating interesting and useful solutions: Leveraging the many facets of design, I aim to work with teams to design and implement solutions which positively impact our society - Be it solving complex business challenges, answering social or ecological needs or working on initiatives simply aimed to provide happiness and beauty for people in their daily lives. I imagine these answers taking the form of products, experiences and processes combining an array of mediums that may include both digital and physical components.
For a diverse range of needs: Maybe in January I'm creating an app which addresses a competitive opportunity at a large organization. In July I'm working through an experience design problem for a bank whose customers are dismayed by the loan process. October comes along and perhaps I'm thinking though how to re-design city green space which addresses civic, social and economic concerns...
And to inspire and be inspired: Achieving these goals is valuable in itself, but who I do it with is just as important. I thrive on surrounding myself and working toward solutions with people who constantly challenge my comfort level and inspire me to look at our world and accepted norms differently on a daily basis. I hope that the work that I do does the same for everyone around me as well.
Diverse Background, Unique Perspectives
As an undergraduate, I studied biology...Plant Science to be exact. I have a B.S. in Plant Biology. Genetics, Physiology, Population Biology...all of that stuff. I studied in labs, greenhouses, the woods...and classrooms. Deciding to enter industry instead of research, graduating I took my first job at a biotechnology company in California and next at a pharmaceutical company in New York.
Then I redesigned my career.
Feeling unfulfilled with work that I was doing and a general lack of personal inspiration, I walked away from the biopharma industry seeking to be exposed to other challenges and to surround myself with a more diverse set of personality types...
Spending 1 full year away from the 9-5, I systematically identified my personal core values, determined the paths I could take to satisfy these values and achieve a greater sense of fulfillment and then submersed myself in these realms through research, Meetups, classes, conferences and most importantly, lots of after work coffee meetings. My central challenge was this: "How do I leverage my past experiences to provide immediate value to a team and at the same time fulfill a critical portion of my core values and be exposed to opportunities to continuously explore and learn?"
It didn't take long for me to gravitate toward design. After all, design satisfies most of what I value in thinking. Involving parts creative, analytical, rational we use various design thinking to solve most any challenge the world throws at us. Design solves problems, optimizes current states, relieves frustration. Design is about improvement - It makes stuff better.
I've been around a diverse range of disciplines, organizations, teams and people. I value my perspectives and I seek to continue to shape them.
The Here and Now: Product Person, Designer, Thinker
My official title is "Product Owner" for McKinsey Digital Labs, a design group that solves design oriented challenges for McKinsey's clients and the Firm itself. My teammates are incredibly talented and severely passionate people coming from a range of backgrounds - Visual and Experience designers, developers and business leaders - and we ideate and implement digital solutions for a wide range of challenges. The Product Owner role is flexible and I've created solutions ranging from prototypes to a fully functional platform, seeing the iterative product arc (which is still being written) from opportunity identification, ideation, buy vs. build analysis, agile product build, MVP release, user adoption and feedback and planning for subsequent releases. Design plays a central role in everything I do and it is the foundation of every solution we create.
On the horizon...
Product development is only one relation to design that gets me going. I plan to add to these experiences and explore challenges in the realms service design, experience design, product design and areas which may not exist yet.