Archive of Soapboxes

Dollar Shave Club and Unilever win big — what about the customers?

on July 27th, 2016 in Brand and Business, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Everyone is talking about the $1 Billion dollar buyout of Dollar Shave Club by Unilever in terms of disruption and startup success. I can’t help but wonder what’s in it for customers.

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Lessons from Mad Men: Bigger is not always better

on April 29th, 2015 in Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

As Mad Men winds down, we find our beloved anti-hero, Don Draper, losing his agency. Over ten years in television time we’ve watched him pull rabbit after rabbit out of his fedora to stay ahead of mergers and takeovers. (Not to mention contracts.) Despite a last-ditch effort, this time there…

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Are you ready for the design-led revolution?

on January 19th, 2015 in Art, Design, and Architecture, Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Over the past year I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with the sustainability team at Autodesk to envision their support for the design-led revolution. Haven’t heard of it? You may not know the DLR moniker, but you’ve seen revolutionary design in action. From affordable prosthetics to solar robotics, high-impact solutions are…

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Small Giants

on March 15th, 2013 in Brand and Business, Sustainability and Social Value by | 2 Comments

The book Small Giants resonated with me in a way few business books ever have. Author Bo Burlingham defines small giants as “companies that choose to be great instead of big”, an idea near and dear to my heart. As a young designer in Chicago, my employers and clients were…

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Living economies

on November 7th, 2012 in Brand and Business, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Friday I attended a talk by Hunter Lovins at California College of the Arts. She briefly touched on a point of view about globalization that struck me: You can’t have a living economy without a local economy — otherwise, you have an economy that is either killing or dying. Think…

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On Being Unreasonable

on March 14th, 2010 in Art, Design, and Architecture, Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Friday I gave a brief speech at a Designers Accord town hall event “Design Change, Change Design” hosted at California College of the Arts and organized by Design Strategy MBA students Ahmed Riaz, Elysa Soffer, and Mike Funk. My talk was geared at designers who want to work towards social…

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Tone Deaf

on April 10th, 2009 in Brand and Business, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Recently I was astonished to see this Sherwin Williams logo, which I assumed old signage. Seriously, who in the world would think this logo is a good idea? I was wrong. This very old mark — which, to its credit, looks decades newer than its pre-1900 origins — is in…

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Do the Right Thing

on August 15th, 2008 in Brand and Business, My Work and Articles, Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

I believe in supporting companies that make a commitment to doing good, both as a designer and a customer. Whether or not they always succeed, understanding that business should also be socially and environmentally responsible is a big step towards where we need to be. Although the real trick is…

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Defining Art

on July 10th, 2008 in Art, Design, and Architecture by | Comments Off

Last weekend there was a highly critical article about the Chihuly exhibit at the De Young that really got my back up. The money quote: “The history of art is a history of ideas, not just of valuable property. Chihuly has no place in it, and the de Young disserves…

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Michelle Bachelet

on June 22nd, 2008 in Sustainability and Social Value by | Comments Off

Recently Michelle Bachelet, the first female president of Chile, visited California to sign an alternative energy pact and afterwards she spoke at UC Berkeley. I was disappointed that we heard very little about the renewable energy agreement at the speech. Evidently that discussion happened up at the Berkeley Labs and…

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