Physical Design Meets Digital

KPCB Design Partner John Maeda hosted a conversation on design, technology and leadership with four visionary leaders in the design industry at Ammunition’s offices in San Francisco. Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, Erin McKean, Founder of Reverb/Wordnik, Robert Brunner, Founder of Ammunition, and Margaret Stewart, Director of Product Design at Facebook, participated in “baton relay panels” in which they took turns interviewing each other on the importance of design and how they see their role as designers.

Generative design and having the computer do the job KPCB’s John Maeda and Carl Bass, CEO of Autodesk, discuss generative design or computer-aided design and how to best leverage computing power to solve problems – which is the main function of design. To illustrate this controversial topic, Carl Bass brought two objects entirely designed by a computer, one of which is… surprising.

Computer languages from a linguistic perspective Erin McKean, Founder of Reverb and Wordnik, describes her approach to computer languages as a former employee of a dictionary company and a self-proclaimed “word lover”, and how fascinating it is to work with programmers.

Robert Brunner on the inseparability of form and function in design Using the design of Beats headphones as an example, Robert Brunner, Founder of Ammunition, explains how form and function should be first driven independently and then united.

Margaret Stewart’s mission as a designer Margaret Stewart, Director of Product Design at Facebook, describes her ultimate goal as a designer: facilitate unique experiences in design and help people express themselves, with a combination of audacity and humility.

Never forget that people have ownership over the product Margaret Stewart favors an empathic approach to people’s reluctance to redesign of very established products.