About Me

Versatile and customer-focused UX Designer, Researcher, Strategist and Storyteller who consistently delivers high-quality designs and data. Conceptualizes and produces UX solutions for complex scenarios and simplifies experiences across platforms engaging audiences. Experienced working through ambiguity and adapting to change. Enjoys designing end to end. Work includes enterprise, e-commerce, intranets, B2C, B2B and medical SaaS.

Pacific Red II, 2017 © Larry Bell

Pacific Red II, 2017 © Larry Bell

Organic Design

The longest running design project in my life is my garden. I have studied horticulture formally, but am mostly self-taught. I follow the credo "right plant, right place." My garden is designed for four seasons of flower and fragrance with a preference for variegation and blue and green flowers. A general design guideline in this small, urban yard is most plants will have two seasons of interest (fragrance, color, flowers or fruit). I grow edible and decorative berries all year long. The yard is as much for me as it is for the pollinators and birds, the true users of this space. Diurnal visitors are many different types of bees and birds like Hummingbirds, Wrens, Spotted Towhee, Bushtits, Stellar Jays, Crows, Robins and Black-capped Chickadees. Rarely, but much to my delight, an American Goldfinch, Cedar Waxwing, Swallowtail butterfly or Dragonfly will stay awhile.

The design is a blend of French Garden design with its structure and use of plants like lilacs, hydrangea, lavender, Acanthus mollis, agapanthus, allium, dahlias and lily of the valley; and English Garden design with its chaos and variety of ferns, roses, phlox, delphinium, salvia, masterwort, hellebore and honeysuckle. Chinese plants like peonies are a personal favorite. Another gift from China is corydalis flexuosa whose flowers have a wonderful, subtle fragrance and are aquamarine blue. Clerodendrum trichotomum is also a feature with its jasmine scented flowers, tahini smelling leaves (when crushed) and captivating blue & pink winter berries.

It would be very interesting to design HCI with bio-materials and to use more organics in product cycles à la circular design. I am currently fascinated by the research of Florianne Koechlin and Peter Wohlleben as they are revealing the ways plants communicate.

Zzzz... sleeping bee - dear glutton didn't make it home before the sun went down.

Zzzz... sleeping bee - dear glutton didn't make it home before the sun went down.

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The complex interdependence of life in a garden provides many rewarding design challenges.

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Inspiration and Influence

The textures of these massive glass sculptures and the way they interact with light are intriguing. It looks like they are holding water, but the surface is just polished glass.

Water Double, v. 3, 2013-2015 © Roni Horn

Water Double, v. 3, 2013-2015 © Roni Horn

Water Double, v. 3, 2013-2015 © Roni Horn

Water Double, v. 3, 2013-2015 © Roni Horn

 

I love how this sculpture by Carsten Höller is designed to be interactive. I think more art should be interactive or at least tactile. Art is a sensory experience, so let's not limit what senses we are using and the information we are processing by only interacting visually.

Dice, 2014 © Carsten Höller

Dice, 2014 © Carsten Höller

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Mobiles appear lifeless in museums hoping for a breeze from the AC or the breath of a child to animate them. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Alexander Calder's birth, docents at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NY are initiating scheduled movements of the mobiles so users can experience them better. These mobile activations demonstrate an awareness that we've distanced the user from the experience of art, particularly when kinetic sculpture is hung in a museum.

 

The architecture and fashion below challenge accepted norms of design in their disciplines. Asking questions is an important part of any design process. Are we meeting our users' needs? What if we tried another way? We have to take risks to learn what is possible and to grow.

Construction on the High Line, NY

Construction on the High Line, NY

Architecture along the High Line, NY

Architecture along the High Line, NY

Architect Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid

Architect Zaha Hadid

 
Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

Comme des Garçons

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Photographer

Pamela Jacobson