MEX Design Talk-logo

MEX Design Talk

Technology Podcasts >

More Information


Automotive experience; Sam Livingstone, Director, Car Design Research

From debuting concept cars in computer games to re-imagining autonomous vehicles as luxurious overnight sleeping cabins, Sam Livingstone has been advising the automotive industry on customer-led design strategy for over 20 years. He talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the opportunities for vehicle manufacturers to embrace digital experience design, the potential for re-imagining car brands and the nuances of understanding the next generation's attitudes to mobility. The conversation...


Fostering the global creative economy; Fiona Myles, Kin Branding

Fiona Myles runs her own agency, Kin Branding, working at the intersection of brand strategy and design thinking. In addition, she works all over the world delivering workshops and education programmes to foster a design-led, creative economy with organisations like Nesta and the British Council. She shares the story of her career with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, touching on everything from user-centred design to the nuances of encouraging entrepreneurs to embrace design in different...


Experience thinking; Tedde van Gelderen, Akendi

Tedde van Gelderen, founder of design agency Akendi and author of the book Experience Thinking, shares the story of his career journey with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski. From client-side roles with Philips and Nortel, to founding and selling an earlier agency business, Tedde talks about the career experiences which informed his book. The conversation turns to the cultural challenges when companies evolve from product-driven to service-driven relationships with customers and touches on what...


Rethinking smartphones; Jo Barnard, Morrama

Jo Barnard is founder of the London-based design agency Morrama. She talks to Marek Pawlowski about the journey she's been on since founding the business four years ago. The conversation turns to the development of Morrama's beautifully considered smartphone concepts, part of a hybrid client and internal project which focuses on changing users' relationship with their phones through better industrial design. Along the way, Jo and Marek talk about the challenges of growing an agency, keeping...


Leadership research; Lidia Oshlyansky, Design Lead, Spotify

Lidia Oshlyansky has led numerous user experience teams in media and tech companies, including for Google's emerging markets research and now for growth opportunities at Spotify. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the nuances of successful field trips, her move from agency- to client-side and the challenges of building communities of practice in large organisations. The discussion ranges from her early path into the field to future ambitions for a return to designing hardware....


Laura Forlano, Associate Professor, IIT Institute of Design

Laura Forlano's diverse work as a writer, teacher and consultant bridges social sciences, design and emerging technology. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the wide range of projects she's involved with, from a book imagining what the Bauhaus might look like if it was practicing today through to the impact of autonomous vehicles on urban architecture. The conversation touches on techniques for communicating futuristic design ambitions to the practical challenges in encouraging...


Omar Bakhshi, Design Director, Smart Design

Omar Bakhshi sits down to share the story of his career, from tinkering with electronics as a child to the strategic projects he now leads at Smart Design for some of the world's largest companies. Marek and Omar reflect on how the challenges faced in designing digital experiences have changed since 12 years ago, when Omar first spoke at MEX, and the biggest problem was getting people to use the internet on their mobiles. The conversation dives into the nuances of future skills, Omar's dream...


Hampus Jakobsson, Venture Partner, BlueYard; Faster to next

Before becoming a prolific angel investor and partner at the thesis-driven VC firm BlueYard, Hampus Jakobsson helped co-found TAT, one of the most influential companies in mobile user experience. He talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the motivations and challenges of building user interfaces for some of the world's largest device manufacturers, as well as the decision to sell TAT to Blackberry. The conversation ranges from the unique virtues of Malmo in Sweden as a hub for creative...


Lifelong learning; Rachel Liu, Lead Service Designer, Pearson

Rachel Liu traces her path as a service designer to an early interest in making and a degree in computer science. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the evolution of her career, including the nuances of conducting complex user research in countries like China. The conversation touches on the way education in China has changed since Rachel's earlier talk at the MEX/16 conference and goes on to explore skills Rachel is honing in herself and others to progress the practice of...


Deep experience; Scott Weiss, VP Product Design, Babbel

Scott Weiss' career in user experience has its origins in the late 1980s, when he served an internship at Apple in the days of System 6 and 7. He went on to write one of the reference books on mobile user experience, 'Handheld Usability'. Today he leads product design for the language learning app Babel. He's seen the evolution of experience-led design from a wide range of angles, including founding his own New York-based design agency, working client-side for successful start-ups like...


Seeking reality; Amy Daroukakis, Director of Cultural Insights, Adjust Your Set

Amy Daroukakis has spent her career helping others to see the deeper reality behind users’ lives. Through travel, observation and research she is constantly on the look out for emerging trends. Her work has included time in-house at one of the world’s largest retailers and in a variety of agency roles working with clients from fashion to financial services. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about her techniques and tools, as well as the path that led her into this area. Get in touch...


UX in the machine economy; Kerstin Eichmann, Managing Director, Innogy Innovation

As machines of all kinds become active participants in the economy, how will user experience strategy evolve to shape this new class of digital interactions? Kerstin Eichmann, managing director at Innogy Innovation, is working at the cutting edge of this challenge, helping one of Germany's oldest and largest energy companies imagine the future role it could play in users' lives. The conversation ranges from Kerstin's thoughts on how autonomous machines may exchange value with each other to...


Onika Simon; troublemaking, reality checks & innovation under pressure

How does a journey that begins with a degree in philosophy - and a chance conversation with a librarian - lead to a surprise move from Manchester to New York, one of the advertising industry's foremost fellowship programmes and a career-long interest in understanding customer behaviour? Onika Simon shares her story, including awards, working with Cisco and now a new direction where she's trying to make the most of everything she's learned along the way. Get in touch with feedback and...


Design-led start-up; Gil Kahana, co-founder & CEO, ChattyFeet

Gil Kahana is one of a growing number of designers launching their own start-ups. He shares the story with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, tracing the arc from falling in love with user-centred design at the BBC in the mid-2000s to working agency-side for clients in a wide range of industries. Gil goes on to explain how he has tried to embed user-centricity in his product company, ChattyFeet, and hopes to scale the customer-led approach as his business expands - bringing a little fun to...


Sofia Svanteson, co-founder & CEO, Elsa Science; founder & chairman, Ocean; Health by design

Sofia Svanteson shares how founding and growing her own design agency has helped to shape Elsa, her new life sciences venture which aims to support rheumatoid patients in achieving meaningful self-care. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about cultural influences on the early interface design projects which helped establish her agency, Ocean Observations, as one of the pioneers of digital experience design and looks ahead to the challenges in turning data into meaning in healthcare...


Innovating fast & big; Massimo Mercuri, Director of Digital Innovation, AkzoNobel

What does innovation look like at a 300 year old paint and materials company with 40,000 employees? Massimo Mercuri, Director of Digital Innovation at AkzoNobel, sits down for a chat with MEX founder Marek Pawlowski, exploring everything from creative workshop methods to cutting edge experiments with wearables, biometrics and performance analysis on the high seas. Crucially, they talk about how to keep forward thinking activities grounded in the reality of customers' lives and the role of...


Life of a design agency; Warren Hutchison, Founder, Else London

Warren Hutchison, founder of London-based agency Else, talks to Marek Pawlowski about what it means to create, grow and nurture your own design studio. The conversation ranges from Warren's early forays into digital design in the mid-90s to working client-side for the likes of Universal Music and Marek and Warren get deep into the importance of attracting and retaining talented designers, the M&A landscape as design agencies are acquired by big professional services firms and how...


Mobile context; Eric Kim, VP Design & co-founder, Modo Labs

Eric Kim, VP of Design and co-founder at Modo Labs talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about the challenges of growing a design team within a mobile UX-focused start-up. The conversation roams from Eric's early interest in architecture and how things work, then into graphic design and on to working with early web technologies. The discussion turns to Eric's role as a co-founder with a design background and how this has played an important part in shaping the culture of the company. Get in...


Co-creation; Maarten Pieters, Philips Lighting

Maarten Pieters talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about his work driving co-creation design activities at Philips Lighting, one of the pioneers of smart home devices like the Hue lighting system. Maarten has also literally written the book – along with his co-author Stephanie Jansen – on how to succeed with co-creative approaches. He discusses his career path starting as an innovation consultant, discovering co-creation, founding an independent agency and most recently going in-house at...


Cognitive UX; Jennifer Sukis, Creative Director, IBM Watson

Jennifer Sukis is working at the intersection of user-centred design and artificial intelligence, leading the creative team for IBM Watson. She talks to MEX founder Marek Pawlowski about when truly cognitive digital experiences may arrive, the challenges of developing dynamic interfaces and the future of conversational interfaces. The discussion includes Jennifer's path into the world of design, what she looks for when hiring designers for her team at IBM and touches on the potential for...