In-house Out & About: AIGANY “In The House”

If there were two overarching takeaways from the AIGANY “In the House” event last night, they were that in-house designers, at least the ones from kate spade new york, JetBlue and the Whitney Museum of American Art, are incredibly committed, creative, business savvy and articulate, and that there should have been a sea of “suits” in the audience to hear them along with the designers in attendance.

Any businessperson’s prejudiced assumption that designers are just people who make things look pretty would be quickly laid to rest after listening in on the presentations and subsequent dialogue. In addition to the artfully designed artifacts that these teams presented, was the design thinking mindset that they clearly possessed and acted upon in the execution of their projects.

Their perfect blend of bottom-line priorities and top-line aesthetics showed up in considerations like designing aircraft graphics that use a minimum of paint so as not to weigh down the plane and use extra fuel or constructing websites designed to enhance collaboration within the entire organization by basing them on the wiki model.

Branding was a central theme but it was embraced in differing ways. While some of the teams employed a top-down approach, not all pushed it out beyond their internal groups and, most interestingly, some allowed the brand to express itself organically and over time before committing to formal brand guidelines.

Most obvious was the passion expressed by all of the panelists. Passion for design, passion for their companies and passion for the people in and the culture of their teams. Their companies are fortunate to have them and the New York design community was fortunate to experience that passion – at least for one night.

4 thoughts on “In-house Out & About: AIGANY “In The House”

  1. Brendon Derr

    Great event last night Andy! It truly is remarkable to see first hand, just how much Design Thinking can positively impact an organization when the most senior leadership of a company embraces design and drives it into corporate culture as a strategic advantage. It opens up a whole new world when in-house designers are liberated to focus on “how design can help their businesses” as opposed to focusing them on building the case for “why the business needs design”, which is what many in-house creative leaders end up doing most of the time.

  2. Lynny

    Hi Andy,
    Any chance the event was filmed last night and will be made accessible to all of us designers that couldn’t be there? It sounds like it was amazing and inspirational to all of us in-house designers.

    Thanks for all the work you do!

    1. Andy Epstein

      Hey Lynny,

      First – I want to make sure to acknowledge AIGANY for hosting such a great event.

      I checked with the folks at AIGANY and their resident blogger will be posting photos of the event on their site shortly. The video will take a bit longer, but I’ll provide a shout-out and link to it from this blog once it goes live.