Design Strategy Talks & Workshops

Listen to my chat with Thomas Girard

In this episode of the UniqueWays podcast, I talked to Thomas Girard about how collaboration is more about mindset than with physical colocation.

I recently spoke to Thomas Girard for his UniqueWays podcast, which has an impressive roster of previous participants, including John Maeda, Bruno Porto, and Debbie Millman.

In this episode, we talked about the future of design, how collaboration has a lot more to do with mindset than with physical location, work-life balance, how AI will automate a lot of tasks that designers take for granted, and some advice I wish I had got when I first started my career.

Physical location plays a much smaller role in my work than most people with in a 9to5 job: even before the pandemic (actually for the last 15 years), I’ve been working in teams that are completely distributed and very much remote. For example, I can count on the fingers of both hands the number of times I actually have to go to the office since all my counterparts are in the United States, or in India or China or Australia.

Itamar Medeiros in conversation with Thomas Girard

Thomas and I met when we both taught at Raffles Design Institute way back in Shanghai, and we both share a passion for teaching and coaching the next generation of designers.

A piece of advice I told Thomas I share with people in an individual contributor capacity is that questions have more power than they think: while it might be perceived as irritation at first, teams are more likely to be thankful for people asking questions that ensure they are on the right track. As Andy Stanley says, “Well-placed, appropriately timed, thought-provoking questions help us think through our decisions.”

By Itamar Medeiros

Originally from Brazil, Itamar Medeiros currently lives in Germany, where he works as VP of Design Strategy at SAP and lecturer of Project Management for UX at the M.Sc. Usability Engineering at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences .

Working in the Information Technology industry since 1998, Itamar has helped truly global companies in multiple continents create great user experience through advocating Design and Innovation principles. During his 7 years in China, he promoted the User Experience Design discipline as User Experience Manager at Autodesk and Local Coordinator of the Interaction Design Association (IxDA) in Shanghai.

Itamar holds a MA in Design Practice from Northumbria University (Newcastle, UK), for which he received a Distinction Award for his thesis Creating Innovative Design Software Solutions within Collaborative/Distributed Design Environments.

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