Mr. Nathan Shedroff

Member Type Non-member
Bio

Nathan Shedroff is the chair of the ground-breaking MBA in Design Strategy at California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, CA. This program prepares the next-generation of innovation leaders for a world that is profitable, sustainable, ethical, and truly meaningful. The program unites the perspectives of systems thinking, design and integrative thinking, sustainability, and generative leadership into a holistic strategic framework. Students learn to create innovative products, services, and policy, as well as new business models.

He is a pioneer in Experience Design, Interaction Design and Information Design, speaks and teaches internationally, and is a serial entrepreneur. His many books include: Experience Design 1.1, Making Meaning, Design is the Problem, Design Strategy in Action, and the upcoming Make It So.

He holds an MBA in Sustainable Management from Presidio Graduate School and a BS in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design. He worked with Richard Saul Wurman at TheUnderstandingBusiness and, later, co-founded vivid studios, a decade-old pioneering company in int

  • Nathan authored "A Commitment to Design’s Future"
  • Nathan authored "Want to Actually Change the Future of Business? Bring Designers to the Table"
  • Nathan Shedroff commented on the article "Developing AIGA’s strategic plan"

    Mobile, social, collaborative, personal, systemic... this feels so much like where the organization should be going (because that's where the world is going).

  • Nathan commented on the article "A Commitment to Design’s Future"

    Yue Chen, I view design in a much bigger context. You say that Chris Rock isn’t expected to be thought-provoking or insightful, just funny. To me, design has always been more than just beauty—an beauty is always fleeting. There was a time when the Tour Eiffle was considered ugly. So, too, the Centres Pompidou. Some consider a windmill an eyesore while others see a beautiful—and efficient—form (not to mention solution). Is a beautiful photo that glorifies racism OK with you? Should we not be aware of and concerned with the impacts of our beautiful things, from an ecological, social, and economic perspective? I don’t see that the USA or other nations are shying away from beauty and I don’t think I’ve argued that beauty isn’t important. I see as many advertisements for and discussion of beauty as ever. Nor did I ever say that creating beautiful things was easy. However, I think what we’re seeing is a discussion of more than just beauty. Yes, beauty is a ubiquitous core meaning (though we don’t always agree on what is beautiful) but it’s only one of at least 15 of which people strive for and respond to. Should we, as creators, not work with those, as well (and these are much harder to create than beautiful things)? Design has the power to make change in the world. Sometimes, the forms of these solutions are beautiful, sometimes not. But, the change itself can also be beautiful—and important. In fact, the design of new systems is critical since we’ve done such a poor job creating the systems we have now. If this organization is only going to care about beauty, then we can’t complain when things don’t work well, we aren’t appreciated or paid what we think we’re worth, we aren’t respected, and we don’t have influence to make things better in the world. If we want to be taken seriously as more than merely those to turn to at the end of a project to put a pretty “face” on it, then we need to understand more than just the rules of appearance. I don’t need an organization to tell me what I think is beautiful or not. In fact, much of what is deemed beautiful is only temporarily so, a product of trends. What I do want from a professional organization are tools, methods, insights, and opportunities to learn about design in all its forms and values, not just the ones that are prettifying. I believe that’s what are members are asking for, as well.

  • Nathan commented on the article "A Commitment to Design’s Future"

    Paula, As a visitor to NYC, I thank you for helping make it a more accessible, friendly, and beautiful city. I absolutely do share your and Mayor Bloomberg’s perspective that solutions can be beautiful as well as functional as well as meaningful. It’s also possible—and common, now—that some of the designers you refer to that were bored by Pivot were so because they had already seen much of the visual material presented. This is a growing issue for conferences—especially those that feature “work” since much of this work gets seen on a multitude of websites and other media continuously and long before any conference. It’s no different than the fact that most trade shows have become “boring” to many because everyone in the industry who is up on their profession already knows what to expect and has seen the rumors and teasers, read the reviews, and often even experienced these new things themselves. I’m sorry some were bored at Pivot but as my friend Mark enlightened me years ago, boredom is one’s own responsibility, not that of others. There are hundreds of things in your fields of view, right now, to be interested in. We don’t need others to call our attention to them or make us interested in new things. If you’re friends were bored, they must have been either tired or boring themselves and they need to take responsibility for their own interaction with the world.   It is my experience that we get what we measure. For example, when we use the GDP as a measure of success for society (something it was never designed to measure), we get a world where only money matters and divorce, natural disasters, and terrorism are just as valuable to the economy as productivity, innovation, and progress. Justified and other initiatives are only at the beginning of trying to inform a conversation for design that is about more than appearance. Just as those projects you oversee for NYC need to be economically viable, socially appropriate, culturally sensitive, ecologically acceptable, and inspiring, we need to develop new cases, examples, and even competitions that use these as judging criteria, too. Otherwise, we’ll never see, promote, and inform future work that is.   Because we’re just at the beginning of understanding how to work with these 40+ year old realizations (that’s how overdue these changes are), I don’t expect the process or results to be perfect. This is, itself, a design process. But, we also can’t shy away from our responsibilities or ignore them. Yes, some of it will be clunky for awhile, just like desktop published solutions were, just like letterpress was, just like every other medium was at its beginning as we investigated new forms, solutions, and opportunities.   I wish I could agree that all design is for the public good but much of the design I see—and have seen throughout my career–has not served the public but mostly those in the profession (and, often, just a subset of those). Design has been used just as often as a weapon to wield against people’s hopes and fears as it has to uplift, inspire, and improve their lives. I hope we get there and I look forward to AIGA’s leadership to help us get there. I, too, like looking at “cool” things but I’m not looking for an organization to mediate this for me. I can do it just fine on my own with the media at my fingertips. What I look for in an organization is a place to discuss important topics (like this), learn new approaches, perspectives, and skills, and advance the education of students and professionals in these skills.

  • Nathan Shedroff commented on the article "Developing AIGA’s strategic plan"

    Mobile, social, collaborative, personal, systemic... this feels so much like where the organization should be going (because that's where the world is going).

  • Nathan commented on the article "A Commitment to Design’s Future"

    Yue Chen, I view design in a much bigger context. You say that Chris Rock isn’t expected to be thought-provoking or insightful, just funny. To me, design has always been more than just beauty—an beauty is always fleeting. There was a time when the Tour Eiffle was considered ugly. So, too, the Centres Pompidou. Some consider a windmill an eyesore while others see a beautiful—and efficient—form (not to mention solution). Is a beautiful photo that glorifies racism OK with you? Should we not be aware of and concerned with the impacts of our beautiful things, from an ecological, social, and economic perspective? I don’t see that the USA or other nations are shying away from beauty and I don’t think I’ve argued that beauty isn’t important. I see as many advertisements for and discussion of beauty as ever. Nor did I ever say that creating beautiful things was easy. However, I think what we’re seeing is a discussion of more than just beauty. Yes, beauty is a ubiquitous core meaning (though we don’t always agree on what is beautiful) but it’s only one of at least 15 of which people strive for and respond to. Should we, as creators, not work with those, as well (and these are much harder to create than beautiful things)? Design has the power to make change in the world. Sometimes, the forms of these solutions are beautiful, sometimes not. But, the change itself can also be beautiful—and important. In fact, the design of new systems is critical since we’ve done such a poor job creating the systems we have now. If this organization is only going to care about beauty, then we can’t complain when things don’t work well, we aren’t appreciated or paid what we think we’re worth, we aren’t respected, and we don’t have influence to make things better in the world. If we want to be taken seriously as more than merely those to turn to at the end of a project to put a pretty “face” on it, then we need to understand more than just the rules of appearance. I don’t need an organization to tell me what I think is beautiful or not. In fact, much of what is deemed beautiful is only temporarily so, a product of trends. What I do want from a professional organization are tools, methods, insights, and opportunities to learn about design in all its forms and values, not just the ones that are prettifying. I believe that’s what are members are asking for, as well.

  • Nathan commented on the article "A Commitment to Design’s Future"

    Paula, As a visitor to NYC, I thank you for helping make it a more accessible, friendly, and beautiful city. I absolutely do share your and Mayor Bloomberg’s perspective that solutions can be beautiful as well as functional as well as meaningful. It’s also possible—and common, now—that some of the designers you refer to that were bored by Pivot were so because they had already seen much of the visual material presented. This is a growing issue for conferences—especially those that feature “work” since much of this work gets seen on a multitude of websites and other media continuously and long before any conference. It’s no different than the fact that most trade shows have become “boring” to many because everyone in the industry who is up on their profession already knows what to expect and has seen the rumors and teasers, read the reviews, and often even experienced these new things themselves. I’m sorry some were bored at Pivot but as my friend Mark enlightened me years ago, boredom is one’s own responsibility, not that of others. There are hundreds of things in your fields of view, right now, to be interested in. We don’t need others to call our attention to them or make us interested in new things. If you’re friends were bored, they must have been either tired or boring themselves and they need to take responsibility for their own interaction with the world.   It is my experience that we get what we measure. For example, when we use the GDP as a measure of success for society (something it was never designed to measure), we get a world where only money matters and divorce, natural disasters, and terrorism are just as valuable to the economy as productivity, innovation, and progress. Justified and other initiatives are only at the beginning of trying to inform a conversation for design that is about more than appearance. Just as those projects you oversee for NYC need to be economically viable, socially appropriate, culturally sensitive, ecologically acceptable, and inspiring, we need to develop new cases, examples, and even competitions that use these as judging criteria, too. Otherwise, we’ll never see, promote, and inform future work that is.   Because we’re just at the beginning of understanding how to work with these 40+ year old realizations (that’s how overdue these changes are), I don’t expect the process or results to be perfect. This is, itself, a design process. But, we also can’t shy away from our responsibilities or ignore them. Yes, some of it will be clunky for awhile, just like desktop published solutions were, just like letterpress was, just like every other medium was at its beginning as we investigated new forms, solutions, and opportunities.   I wish I could agree that all design is for the public good but much of the design I see—and have seen throughout my career–has not served the public but mostly those in the profession (and, often, just a subset of those). Design has been used just as often as a weapon to wield against people’s hopes and fears as it has to uplift, inspire, and improve their lives. I hope we get there and I look forward to AIGA’s leadership to help us get there. I, too, like looking at “cool” things but I’m not looking for an organization to mediate this for me. I can do it just fine on my own with the media at my fingertips. What I look for in an organization is a place to discuss important topics (like this), learn new approaches, perspectives, and skills, and advance the education of students and professionals in these skills.