Elevating the Conversation at HOW Design Live

No sooner does one HOW Design Live end than planning begins on the next one. Researching prospective speakers, identifying key session topics and plotting all the extras is a year-round process. The goal? Create an all-new, amazing experience — every single year.

We recently chatted with HOW Design & Creativity program manager Bridgid McCarren about what’s on tap for HOW Design Live in 2016. (Scope out the program and see what we’re talking about!)

HDL in Chicago was SUCH a huge success. (Check out the Twitter buzz surrounding the 2015 event.) How did you approach creating the program for 2016 knowing the bar was pretty high?

It’s been so rewarding to hear so much positive feedback from HOW Design Live 2015! Our goal every year is to bring together the best, brightest minds in the industry who are working on some really groundbreaking and exciting projects that we felt the HOW community would benefit from hearing about. Like Veronika Scott with The Empowerment Plan, and Elle Luna with her book, “The Crossroads of Should and Must.”

We are also grateful to have some longtime HOW speakers like Stefan Mumaw, Von Glitchka and Sam Harrison joining us again in Atlanta with all-new content to share. Finally, we are looking to bring into the fold some of the local Atlanta community with speakers from Portfolio Center, Cartoon Network, NPR, HUGE, Matchstic and others.


There’s so much going on in the creative industry now. How have you developed the Design & Creativity program to reflect the latest issues and innovations in the field?

We ask a lot of questions: What information designers are looking for today? What are the new skills they are looking to acquire to meet the needs of their employers or clients? What will inspire them? How is new technology impacting design and how can that new technology be utilized to better meet the objectives of employers and clients?

Year-round we gather ideas and work to identify what we should bring to the program next year. It becomes a combination of covering newer topics that more and more designers are working on, like motion graphics, and looking at what’s new in topics that designers love to continually revisit, like typography.

What’s one big difference attendees will see in this group of sessions compared to 2015?

This year brings an elevated level of content with more discussion around the strategy and process behind impactful design. For years, HOW has been helping designers to get a seat at the table in the business world. Now that they have that seat, what are they going to do with it?  How can the impact the overall strategy and decision making in their organizations with their unique perspective and amazing problem solving skills? (Douglas Davis and Dana Arnett are two sessions that address this).

We have always had content throughout the program that discusses digital design but it is exiting to now have a dedicated track for it. And we’ve added workshops both in the Design + Creativity and Interactive programs. Having the opportunity to learn in a more hands-on way was one of the most requested additions from last year’s attendees.

See all the brand-new additions to the HOW Design Live schedule — including Oliver Jeffers, Chip Kidd, Rebecca Blake, David Butler and more. Browse all seven — count ’em: SEVEN — programs. And reserve your spot at HOW Design Live now.