Ever eager to help expose our Shillington students to life inside a creative agency, we sought the expertise of Thom Huxtable for a guest lecture—Interaction Designer originally from England, now based in New York working at global design company, IDEO. Thom’s talk was a truly enlightening experience, commencing with the trajectory of his career and leading to life at his current workplace.
While explaining what it’s like to be a designer at IDEO Thom described it as an environment unlike your traditional office and something more akin to, “a playschool or a workshop” or “like a bomb went off in a post it note factory”—which conjured up all kind of wonder and intrigue in our minds!
Next we gained insight into the processes embedded in IDEO design strategy. Thom explained, “The process at IDEO can feel uncomfortable at times… it’s a series of divergent and convergent modes, we often use a technique called ‘how might we’ where we can use it to frame problems and come up with solutions”. We learned how this open and investigative method is particularly active with the brainstorming sessions at IDEO which Thom expanded on as being, “Sort of like Improv theatre, where you build on what the person before you has said”. The notion of improv seemed to permeate Studio life at IDEO with a recurring ‘design charrette’ taking place, where the whole office gathers to share their thoughts on a particular project—something which we all wanted to have a stab at.
Thom rounded up his guest lecture with a series of useful tips surrounding particular points he’s gathered throughout the last 10 years of his career. We’ve shared these tips below, so read on to hear the importance of finding your ‘Wu Tang’, ways to stay curious and why Typography is essential.
Huge thanks to Thom for visiting us at Shillington New York. If you’re keen to see more from Thom remember to visit his website for a broad selection of work and follow him on Twitter for regular updates.
Top image from Thom’s website—IDEO Kraftwerks
Want to win some amazing prizes and stay in the loop with all things Shillington? Sign up to our newsletter to automatically go in the draw.