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Entrepreneurship + Emerging Technologies: Rob Girling

April 2, 2019
6:00-8:00pm CST
IIT Institute of Design
3137 South Federal Street 2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60616

Bridging technological developments with the needs of everyday life, design is instrumental in introducing novel solutions to our most complex problems. But emerging technologies often have unintended consequences. Design tools can not only stimulate the generation of new applications for emerging technologies, they can also facilitate the discussion about their implications. Girling will discuss the intersection of design and emerging technologies and share his expertise in working on a broad spectrum of projects and solutions, from designing new products that integrate emerging technologies, to introducing systemic interventions, to confronting complex urban problems.

About Rob Girling

Rob Girling is a co-founder and design principal at Artefact, a Seattle-based design and innovation consultancy where he oversees creative work, methodologies, and daily operations. Rob has 16 years of experience in the field of user experience design and has worked as a design manager at Microsoft, a senior interaction designer at IDEO, and a lead game designer at Sony Computer Entertainment of America. He started his career at Apple after winning its Apple Student Interface Design Competition. He has a master’s degree in Interaction Design from the Royal College of Art in London.


Jessica Charlesworth
Jessica Charlesworth is a British artist, designer, and educator.  With her husband Tim Parsons, as art and design studio Parsons & Charlesworth, she explores how object design can play a greater cultural role in the discussion of contemporary issues such as human enhancement, climate change, personal survival, and happiness. She is the co-founder of the London-based arts salon Alterfutures, and lectures in speculative design in the Designed Objects program at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Jessica graduated from the design interactions program at the Royal College of Art in London and has collaborated with artists, futurist, and scientists including think tanks Foresight (UK) and the Institute for the Future (US). Her work has been exhibited widely including at the Chicago Cultural Center, Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago), the Science Gallery Dublin, Museum of Arts, Architectural and Technology MAAT (Lisbon),  the Istanbul Design Biennial, and the Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna), which holds her work in its permanent collection. She will be giving a keynote lecture along with Tim Parsons at the upcoming speculative futures Primer conference at the New School in New York in June.

Josh Lucas-Falk
Josh Lucas-Falk is the CEO of Grand Studio, a digital product design studio that was formerly known as Moment. We help big, complex organizations ask and answer questions that lead to better products and services. 

Josh started his career in web design many years ago after graduating with a degree in Art History from Columbia University. For several years, he worked for museums and cultural institutions, including large projects for the city of Chicago and the Detroit Institute of Arts. Josh was the VP of Digital Learning at the Museum of Arts and Design, where he was responsible for all visitor-facing technology. These days, Josh leads teams at Grand Studio creating digital products and services for clients in a range of industries, including manufacturing, banking, insurance and sports/entertainment. He’s happy to surround himself with a team of designers who are far more talented than he is; he’s happiest when he’s helping design teams figure out how to clarify the most ambiguous design challenges. 

John Cain (Moderator)
John Cain is a strategist, serial entrepreneur, and educator whose career has focused on innovation—pioneering robust methods for the creation of products and services amid the startling challenges and opportunities of the past three decades. In the face of new technologies, globalization, and the current Data Economy, he has worked to establish effective innovation methods, drawing on the humanities, technology, and design traditions to inform his own work, and that of his clients and students.

He is most widely known as the co-founder of the consumer research firm e-lab, the first globally scaled research company that established social science and ethnographic methods as an important business capability. E-lab part of a wave of new practitioners that formed the human-centered and user-centered design and innovation methods widely practiced today. His background includes ownership, early-stage investing, operating and leadership roles across fields such as design, healthcare, technology. He is a globally recognized speaker and educator on topics ranging from design and innovation to consumer research, data analytics, and the design of technology. 

About the Latham Lectures

Richard Latham (1920–1991) was an influential figure in strategic design who studied design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the early 1940s. Latham believed that the principles of design should be the core of business planning. Committed to this philosophy, he worked only with those who had a deep respect for users—and who understood that sustaining their organizations depended upon this respect. Today, Latham Fellows connect to Latham’s philosophy and are selected because of their ability to challenge the boundaries of design and transfer knowledge about design planning and its value. Fellows give a lecture hosted by ID and share their emerging ideas with the ID community and the wider public by publishing freely available digital content in the form of a paper, article, or other presentation that acknowledges their fellowship.

About ID Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation

In addition to developing concepts and interventions, today’s designers and leaders must direct the implementation of those concepts and interventions. Achieving systems-level success requires cultivating and activating networks—technological, infrastructural, and social—that support new collaborative activities, process, and mindsets.

Starting in February with a pre-conference event series, Design Intersections 2019: Design + Networks + Activation invites diverse leaders, including designers, executives, strategists, policymakers, and entrepreneurs to explore emergent practices for activating networks and designing infrastructures that lead to large scale impact. The series will culminate in a two-day conference (May 22–23, 2019) featuring talks, breakout sessions, and workshops across three programmatic areas:

  • Activism + Policymaking

  • Entrepreneurship + Emerging Technologies

  • Adaptive Leadership for New Economies

Together, we'll discover real-world contexts where organizational behavior, entrepreneurship, policymaking, and design are already colliding. We’ll examine new tools and methodologies to evolve our individual and collective points of view about adaptive leadership and the transformative practices—and challenges—of large-scale collaboration. We’ll learn new approaches for a range of industries (food, energy, financial services, housing, healthcare, hospitality, mobility, waste, public services, technology) and disciplines (behavioral science, public policy, communications), and reveal how design can do more than think—it can do.

About IIT Institute of Design (ID) 

IIT Institute of Design (ID) continually challenges what design is and can be. We focus not just on design itself, but the impact it has on the world around us. Founded by László Moholy-Nagy in 1937 as the “New Bauhaus,” for over 80 years ID has ignited designers’ imaginations—evolving design to combine form with human behavior, conquer complexity with clarity, and challenge convention through innovation in pursuit of a more sustainable future.

Our new home in the Kaplan Institute, just south of the Loop, is near the 35th-Bronzeville-IIT Red and Green Line stops, 90/94, and Lake Shore Drive.