Top Names Headline HOW Design Live

If you could invite any three people from throughout history to dinner, who would they be?

When they’re planning HOW Design Live, the programming team riffs on this classic cocktail-party question by asking, If we could invite anyone to speak at the HOW conference, who would they be? The HOW team assembles a “dream list” of keynote presenters and keeps fingers crossed that they’re able to accept the invitation.

Allow us to brag a bit and share some info on these supersmart people from design and beyond who will be joining us at the HOW conference in Chicago next May:

Michael Bierut — You know him as a partner in Pentagram’s New York office and a co-founder of A long-overdue monograph of this AIGA Medalist’s work is due out in 2015. Bierut teaches in the Yale School of Art. He’ll be speaking with Robin Colangelo about Pentagram’s teamwork with the elite international law firm White + Case on a rebranding effort.

Matteo Bologna — Expect Matteo Bologna’s HOW Design Live session to be sparked by a fierce sense of humor and beautiful typographic work. He’s the founding partner and creative director of Mucca Design. Born and raised in Italy, Bologna brings a multidisciplinary background in architecture, graphic design, illustration and typography to work for global companies like Whole Foods, Victoria’s Secret, Adobe Systems and Target.

karim-rashidKarim Rashid — Global, multidisciplinary designer Karim Rashid could be known simply for his prolific output — product, identity and packaging designs for clients like Christofle, Alessi, Samsung, Method and Kenzo. But it’s not just volume: Rashid’s work is simply stunning, the perfect fusion of function and form. He’s a designer without boundaries, and he’ll be talking about how design can touch every facet of life and culture.

Aaron Draplin — This HOW Design Live favorite returns to share a few “tall tales from a large man.” Draplin brings a rugged Americana style to his print and illustration work, and he likes to get ink on his hands with the occasional Gocco screen-printing project. Of his session in Chicago next May, he simply says, “Be there!” You’ll want to.

Tom Peters — The bestselling author of “In Search of Excellence” has gone on to produce a remarkable body of written work about how leaders and employees, designers and suits, thinkers and doers can be more engaged and more awesome at work.

tina-eisenbergTina Roth Eisenberg — Her blog swissmiss quickly became one of the most-read online sources of inspiration and information related to all things design, and no wonder: Eisenberg has a great eye and an engaging writing style. Born in Switzerland and based in NYC, she’s pursued numerous side projects that have organically turned into businesses: a collaborative co-working space called Studiomates, a global, monthly lecture series called CreativeMornings, a simple to-do app called TeuxDeux and Tattly, a designer temporary tattoo shop.

Jessica Helfand — We’ll admit to a professional crush on Jessica Helfand, the founding editor of and partner with William Drenttel in Winterhouse, a multiplatform effort that has its hands in education, publishing and design. Her work is extraordinary, and we especially admire her commitment to building the design field through writing, publishing and teaching.

Michael HendrixIDEO remains one of the most influential multidisciplinary design firm on the planet, and partner Michael Hendrix heads up their East Coast practice from Boston. His sensibility is unorthodox, his method inspiring, his work groundbreaking. We’re eager to hear him speak about how he fuses linguistics, math, psychology and cognition into his design work.

Simon Sinek — Here’s a guy we’re excited to spend time with: Simon Sinek describes himself as an unshakable optimist. Put simply, Sinek teaches leaders and organizations how to inspire people. But his true vision is far more significant: to help build a world in which the vast majority of people go home everyday feeling fulfilled by their work. (Can we get an ‘Amen?”) The author of “Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action” and “Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t,” he’s an active speaker and commentator — and the guy behind the second-most watched talk of all time on

jessica-walshJessica Walsh — Stefan Sagmeister was quick to recognize Walsh’s jaw-dropping talent, and she joined him as partner in Sagmeister & Walsh. She’s won scads of top design awards. But it’s the story of her remarkable career trajectory that we’re eager to hear.

At HOW Design Live, you’ll have the opportunity to hear from — and connect with — these and other remarkable speakers. Never before has this group of radicals and thinkers and influencers been together. You don’t want to miss it. Register now.