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AIGA Design Adjacent

AIGA Design Adjacent is an award-winning podcast series with industry leaders who are innovating and designing the future. Alongside the popular AIGA Fireside Chats, this podcast explores groundbreaking topics shaping our future. Design can power the future and this podcast takes a surprising look at the ways in which design is helping to build a better future.

These conversations expand beyond the design community, encompassing industries and areas that intersect with design—legal, cutting-edge technology, and strategy—and shift the ways in which we think about and interact with each other and the world around us. Design is the dynamic inspiration for these conversations.

AIGA is a community of creatives committed to advocating for the value of design in organizations and we do that with your support. We bring together a community in action to amplify the voice of design and create the vision for a collective future. Through meaningful programs and initiatives, AIGA enriches the design profession and empowers designers at every career stage. We would love to have you join us in creating a design community for all.

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AIGA Design Adjacent is a 2022 Signal Award winner, Silver in Best Experimental Podcast category

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2022 episodes

October 25, 2022

Shauna Carey

Shauna Carey currently serves as Chief Executive Officer, leveraging her deep expertise in both design and social impact to oversee the strategy and vision for Previously, in her role as Executive Design Director & Chief Communications Officer, Shauna worked alongside design teams and communities to surface insights to unlock new possibilities, create narratives that inspire action, and share stories about the impact of design. Over the past nine years at, Shauna has worked on projects and programs focused on advancing health equity, criminal justice reform, refugee rights, gender equality, and climate resilience. 

October 20, 2022

Rebecca Tegtmeyer and Marty Maxwell Lane

Rebecca Tegtmeyer and Marty Maxwell Lane are authors of the book, “Collaboration in Design Education: Case Studies & Teaching Methodologies” which you can learn more about here: Rebecca is a graphic design educator and practitioner. Through her active research, writing, making, and teaching agenda she investigates the role of a designer and the creative process through a variety of forms – from static to dynamic, time-based to print. Marty is a graphic design educator, maker, researcher, and writer. Her research focuses on design that facilitates learning and empowerment through investigations pertaining to design pedagogy, collaboration, and participatory design. 

October 18, 2022

Zach Kaiser

Zach Kaiser is Associate Professor of Graphic Design and Experience Architecture at Michigan State University, USA. His research and creative practice examine the politics of technology and the role of design in shaping the parameters of individual, social, and political possibility. His work has been featured in national and international exhibitions, and his writing, on topics ranging from the future of the arts in higher education to dream-reading technologies, appears in both scholarly and popular publications.

October 13, 2022

Camille Finan

For more than 25 years, Camille Finan has been building kitchens and helping women create something beautiful. She started her journey in a rather unexpected way though. She was a business development consultant and taught marketing to graduate students in California, and while she loved helping people start and grow small businesses, she didn’t feel she had the chance to be very creative with her hands. She shut down her business and went back to the basics. She dug ditches and hung drywall in the beginning but slowly over time, she realized she really loved carpentry and joined the carpenters union. That led her down a path of exploring different kinds of carpentry, eventually falling in love with kitchens.

October 11, 2022

Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor is the Chief Creative Officer and Founding Partner at global branding agency BrandOpus. Founded in 2007, BrandOpus creates meaningful and connected brand experience for some of the world's most revered brands. Fusing wisdom with wonderment, his role today is to lead all creative output across the London, New York, Chicago and Melbourne studios. Paul has served brand experience for a wide portfolio of brands including Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, McCain, Britvic and First Direct. His work has been recognized by the likes of D&AD, The Design Business Association, Pentawards and The Drum.

October 6, 2022

Chris Hervochon

Chris Hervochon, CPA, CVA is the sole proprietor of his CPA firm. Chris Hervochon provides outsourced accounting and tax preparation for small businesses and individuals. Before starting his own CPA firm, Chris spent ten years between forensic accounting and corporate accounting and finance. He has been featured in publications such as the Journal of Accountancy, Accounting Today, AMEX Open Forum, Parakeeto Podcast, The Agency Management Institute Podcast and the Digital Marketing Agency Builders Podcast for his industry knowledge and accounting expertise.

October 4, 2022

Archie Boston, Jr.

Archie is a nationally known art director, designer, author, business owner, and educator. He was chair of the Graphic Design Program at California State University Long Beach for 12 terms and was named Outstanding Professor of the Year in 2004. He has also operated his design-consulting firm, Archie Boston Graphic Design, since 1972. He was the first African American recipient of the prestigious AIGA Fellows Award from the Los Angeles Chapter of AIGA in 2007. The Fellows Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to raise the standards of excellence in practice and conduct within their local or regional design community. In 2021, he was the recipient of the AIGA Medal for expanding voice—he was recognized for his longstanding commitment to his students as an educator, mentor, and profound influence on the community of Los Angeles, as well as his bold, funny, polemical designs from a lifetime body of work. 

September 20, 2022

Llisa Demetrios

Llisa Demetrios, the youngest granddaughter of Ray and Charles Eames, is a third generation maker, following in the footsteps of her creative legacy. Llisa is leading the Eames Institute as Chief Curator, and has previous experience as an Archivist at the MoMA, Eames Official, and has dedicated her life to keeping the Eames name present throughout design endeavors. Additionally, Llisa is on the Board of Directors for the Petaluma Arts Center, and is a passionate bronze sculptor.

September 6, 2022

Elise Schuster

Elise Schuster is a sexuality educator with 15 years of experience in youth development and pleasure-based sex education. Elise has a masters in public health from Columbia University with a specialization in sexuality and health. Elise began their work in public health at Physicians for Reproductive Health, training doctors to provide adolescent-friendly reproductive health care. They also spent many years teaching workshops at Babeland and having thousands of one-on-one educational pleasure-based sexual health conversations.

August 23, 2022

Margot Bloomstein

Margot Bloomstein is one of the most prominent voices in the content strategy industry. She is the  author of Trustworthy: How the Smartest Brands Beat Cynicism and Bridge the Trust Gap and Content Strategy at Work: Real-World Stories to Strengthen Every Interactive Project and the principal of Appropriate, Inc., a brand and content strategy consultancy based in Boston. As a speaker and strategic adviser, she has worked with marketing teams in a range of organizations over the past two decades. The creator of BrandSort, she developed the popular message architecture-driven approach to content strategy. Margot teaches in the content strategy graduate program at FH Joanneum University in Graz,  Austria, and lectures around the world about brand-driven content strategy and designing for trust. 

August 9, 2022

Meg Mothershed

Meg Mothershed is the strategy guru and resident wordsmith for Mothershed Design Co., a boutique branding and web design studio based near Denver, Colorado. Having wanted to own her own business since she was six years old, joining her partner, Josiah, was a no-brainer. Meg combines her passion for entrepreneurship with a love of problem-solving to help small businesses. Meg manages all the nitty-gritty details of the business, as well as handles the copywriting for brands and websites.

July 26, 2022

Diana Barnes

Diana Barnes (DB)  is the Chief Brand Officer and Creative Director at Munchkin. Under her leadership, Munchkin’s Brand Design team has won over 80 top international design awards for 360 designs, the highly coveted Red Dot Award among the latest. A passionate advocate for trees, animals, and the environment, she created and leads all Munchkin CSR initiatives such as partnerships with The Whale Sanctuary Project, Trees for the Future and IFAW (The International Fund for Animal Welfare) and Radiant Colors. Before joining Munchkin, she served as the Global Director of Brand Design for Dell, Inc. In this key role, she led global teams in Austin, India, and Asia. Prior to this, her career actually began in music and entertainment, holding executive creative positions at Sony and EMI, as well as several global ad agencies. 

July 12, 2022

Dave Garrett

Dave Garrett, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer, at PMI drives growth strategy by working across the organization to define, test, and deliver solutions that enable individuals and organizations to create impact and propel change. Dave was the co-founder, President and CEO of, an online community for project professionals. Dave’s passion for project management led him to serve in multiple volunteer positions for PMI prior to becoming employed by the organization. Earlier in Dave’s career, he also created Project Pain Reliever, a just-in-time handbook for managing projects and has published and bylined dozens of articles related to project management, technology trends, and more.

June 28, 2022

Ritesh Gupta

Ritesh Gupta is the founder of Useful School, the world’s first pay-what-you-can online design school for people of color. He specializes in product design, product management, branding, typography, and growth analytics. Ritesh has collaborated or worked for companies including Wieden+Kennedy, Mother Design, 2 Shark Tank companies, Sagmeister & Walsh, R/GA and Cooper Hewitt. His work has been featured in Adweek, AIGA Eye on Design, It’s Nice That, Wallpaper, Print Mag, Brand New, The Dieline, and more. He is also a volunteer for Where Are The Black Designers?. 

June 14, 2022

Lisa Sasaki

Lisa Sasaki is currently the interim director of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. The new museum was established by Congress in late 2020 as part of the Smithsonian. Lisa was appointed interim director in March 2021and before joining the Smithsonian, she was the director of the Audience and Civic Engagement Center at the Oakland Museum of California. Lisa was the director of program development at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles from 2003 until 2012, where she directed major institutional projects. During her tenure at JANM, she supervised the museum’s curatorial, public programs, web, education and collections departments and managed and led the strategic planning for programs, exhibitions, audience development and fundraising.

May 31, 2022

Regina Bain

Regina Bain is the Executive Director of the Louis Armstrong House Museum (LAHM). She is an artist, leader, facilitator and program designer with over 16 years of experience building non-profit capacity for organizational growth. Before joining LAHM, she served as Associate Vice President of the Posse Foundation. Posse is a national leadership and college access program which helps to send teams of students or “Posses” to top colleges and universities. She is currently the co-chair of Culture @3’s anti-racism subcommittee. She serves on the national advisory council of Urban Bush Women (UBW), a dance company that galvanizes artists, activists and audiences through performances, artist development and community involvement. She produces The Drama Podcast, leads the Yale Black Alumni Association and serves on the Yale Board of Governors. 

May 17, 2022

Catherine Clark and Paul McDowall

In 2001, Catherine Clark and Paul McDowall joined forces to create an original agency concept, built around the idea that true collaborative thinking and different perspectives can solve brand challenges holistically—and better. Together, with their talented team of brand architects, they partner with some of the world’s most forward-looking brands. Their strategic and creative guidance has helped brands better our world by tackling the important topics such as sustainability, health and wellness, and empowerment head on. 

May 3, 2022

Bret Recor

Bret is an industrial designer, entrepreneur, and investor. He is the founder and director of the award-winning design studio, Box Clever, which is renowned for creating physical products and experiences that delight consumers and build category-leading brands. The San Francisco-based design practice operates at the intersection of industrial design, brand strategy, and investment. Bret’s expertise lies in balancing creative vision with real-world experience and engineering prowess. He understands the nuances of taking an idea from concept to market. Specializing in consumer products, and with focus on the creation of physical experiences that enhance human relationships, Box Clever operates under the belief that anything can be successfully designed. 

April 19, 2022

Minal Bopaiah

Minal is an author, speaker, and strategic consultant with more than 20 years of professional experience. As the Founder and Principal Consultant of Brevity & Wit, Minal is passionate about designing for equity. Her work includes working with NPR’s news managers to design a system for diversifying news sources. She is also the creator and facilitator for the DEI Executive Forum, a six-month cohort learning experience for general managers in public media that helps them become more equitable leaders and develop a strategic plan to accomplish their DEI goals. 


April 5, 2022

Steven Heller

Steven is graphic designer, art director, design critic and author. He has held the position of senior art director at New York Times Book Review and is also a prolific writer, having authored and co-authored over 200 books about the history and practice of typography, illustration, graphic design, popular culture and propaganda. He also worked as an editor for the prestigious AIGA Journal of Graphic Design. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the MFA Designer as entrepreneur program at the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he lectures on the history of graphic design and teaches a writing class in SVA Design Writing, Research and Criticism. He also was co-director for ten years of SVA’s Modernism & Eclecticism: A History of American Graphic Design symposiums. In Fall 2022 his book, "Growing Up Underground: A Memoir Of Counterculture New York" will be published by PA Press.


March 22, 2022

Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg is the founding developer of WordPress, the Open Source software used by over 40% of the web. WordPress is a part of who Matt is; he can’t not work on WordPress. The company celebrated 15 years in 2018. The project touches a lot of people, something he’s recently begun to appreciate, and he considers himself very lucky to be able to work on something he loves so much. Join us for a discussion about working remote vs distributed work, music, distractions, and augmented reality. 


March 8, 2022

Brandi Parker

Brandi Parker is Head of Sustainability at Pearlfisher. In her role, Brandi challenges Pearlfisher's designers to think about the end game at the start, and encourages their clients not to problem-solve based on ease, but on brand experience and environmental impact. She is revered by both for offering innovation and problem-solving, grounded in practicality, which comes from her many years of experience and expertise in technical realization.She firmly believes that the future of sustainable design does not just come down to materials—and managing waste—but implementing realistic and incremental change through a multi-disciplinary approach. 


February 22, 2022

Maurice Cherry

Maurice is a designer, strategist and podcaster located in Atlanta, GA. He is principal and creative director at Lunch, an award-winning multidisciplinary studio he created that helps creative brands craft messages and tell stories for their targeted audiences, including fostering relationships with underrepresented communities. Maurice is also a pioneering digital creator who is most well-known for Revision Path, an award-winning podcast which is the first podcast to be added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. 


February 8, 2022

Pek Pongpaet

Pek Pongpaet is the founder of Impekable, a digital product studio that helps enterprise and B2B SaaS companies create better products through user experience design. Impekable has designed and created products for X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory, Adobe, Twilio, Pentair, two startups acquired by Palo Alto Networks. Impekable has been recognized as one of America’s fastest growing businesses on the Inc. 5000 list 3 times in a row. Prior to Impekable, Pek designed and developed next generation user interfaces at Accenture Technology Labs’ HCI group, and created interactive experiences for clients including Tesla and USAF at digital agency Roundarch Isobar.


January 25, 2022

Cheryl Heller

Cheryl Heller is a leader, designer, scholar, business strategist and an author. Her experience spans corporate, philanthropic, nonprofit, and academic worlds, and in each role and organization, she has created and grown groundbreaking programs. She founded two companies and created successful new programs at the School of Visual Arts in New York and Arizona State University. She has taught creativity to leaders around the world, helped grow clients’ businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs.  


January 11, 2022

Gail Anderson

Gail Anderson is an NYC-based designer, educator, scholar, and writer. She has taught at SVA for 30 years and has co-authored 15 books on design, typography, and illustration with Steven Heller. She is an AIGA Medalist and the 2018 recipient of the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Lifetime Achievement Award for Design. Her work is represented in the Library of Congress’s permanent collections, the Milton Glaser Design Archives, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture.


2021 episodes

December 14, 2021

Terry Irwin

Terry Irwin is a professor in the School of Design at Carnegie Mellon University and the Director of its Transition Design Institute. From 2009 until 2019, she was the Head of the School of Design, where she led the faculty in a redesign of curricula at the undergraduate, masters and doctoral levels to place design for society and the environment at the heart of all programs. In this episode of the AIGA Design Adjacent, Bennie Johnson talks with Terry about wicked problems, shifting our mindsets, waking up the knowledge we already have, and tango. 


November 30, 2021

Isaiah Steinfeld

Isaiah Steinfeld is Entrepreneur and Founder Fellow, On Deck. He is a proven startup veteran and innovation leader with the unique ability to deeply empathize with the user/customer while creating a big product vision. In the entrepreneurial space, he focuses on innovation capability that helps identify, develop, and invest in new future-focused opportunities. In this episode of AIGA Design Adjacent, Bennie Johnson talks with Isaiah about entrepreneurship, mentorship, and the future of design. 

November 16, 2021

W. David Hubbard

W. David Hubbard is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel for Verizon. He leads Verizon's Consumer Marketing and Products and Growth and Revenue legal team which provides support for Verizon's portfolio of consumer businesses including Verizon Wireless, Verizon Telecom, Verizon Consumer Markets, and Visible. David is the Chair of Verizon's Public Policy, Legal, and Security Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council and also oversees Verizon's Legal Internship Program. In this episode of AIGA Design Adjacent, host Bennie Johnson talks with David about not only the creative field but his path and why creativity was instrumental in his career and offers listeners an opportunity to hear how legal and marketing can work together.

November 2, 2021

Dominic Grijalva

Dominic Grijalva is a designer who primarily works on marketing and advertising projects that call for eye-catching imagery. His passions also lie in branding and identity design, as well as digital media projects that range from large scale such as digitally projected sets for theatre and live events to gifs and animations. Although California bred, he is currently living in Washington Heights, Manhattan and serves as Product Manager for TeeRico by Lin-Manuel Miranda. In this episode of AIGA Design Adjacent, host Bennie Johnson talks with Dominic about finding creativity in a pandemic year, being a Hamilton fan, and Broadway. 

October 19, 2021

Abby Allen

Abby Allen is the Founder of Neon Butterfly and as long as Abby can remember she has been fascinated with people and why they do what they do. In that vein she was drawn to the world of communications and has worked in advertising and marketing for over 20 years at some of the largest agencies across the country on brands like Twitter, Olay and Garnier. And just recently, she launched a new reimagine tomorrow project with Disney,, a platform amplifying underrepresented voices. In this episode of AIGA Design Adjacent, host Bennie Johnson talks with Abby about the strategy of design, the beauty of storytelling, and what it means to be authentic.

Building Partnerships With A Vibrant Community

The National Partnership Program is about leadership, relevance, and impact—with, within, and through design—to build and sustain programs, initiatives, and resources that champion a more contemporary and inclusive profession.