AIGA San Diego already hosts two annual events for students and early-career designers (Portfolio Review and UNITE). So when AIGA was presented with the opportunity to partner with Intuit on design education for young and aspiring designers, we were all in.
This fall, AIGA San Diego kicked off the Designer Launch Series, presented by Intuit.
Together, Intuit and AIGA San Diego wanted to create an event that would be open to all local design students and early-career designers. The Designer Launch Series is a 4-part series that helps new and aspiring designers launch their careers, and it seemed a natural fit for a collaboration between AIGA and Intuit.
Called “DLS” by those in the know, the Designer Launch Series got under way with Stage 1: Design Thinking at the Intuit Design Studio on Sept. 26, 2019. To promote the event, the Intuit and AIGA San Diego teams blanketed local campuses with event posters and flyers, printed and graciously donated by Neyenesch Printers. The 90-seat event sold out quickly, showing the demand for an event like this in San Diego.
Stage 1’s featured speaker, Intuit Innovation Strategist Sara Katz, spoke about Customer-Driven Innovation and Design for Delight, two design thinking methods that Intuit uses to solve customer problems. Katz’s presentation was paired with a hands-on workshop where attendees partnered upto focus on connecting the dots between theory and practice to produce stronger design results.
Intuit pulled out all the stops. They served food and drinks and took attendees on a tour of the Intuit Design Studio (it’s cool). In a clever marketing tactic, attendees received T-shirts branded with the event tagline “Get a real job,” while Intuit staff and AIGA volunteers received T-shirts displaying the comeback “Design is a real job.”
photo credit: Pam Brown
Attendees loved all the banter, and it showed. Stage 1’s success was most evident in the smiles, laughs, note-taking and interaction of the attendees, and in how they lingered long after the event was over.
Of course, we wanted to hear what students themselves thought about the event. Here are a few testimonials that were shared with us:
“Coming to networking events/workshops can be intimidating, but this setup made me feel much more at ease. I also found the topic of the event engaging and I appreciate the intentional nature of how the information was presented, giving us clear “takeaways.”
“I liked being able to talk to the professionals afterward and tour the studio. It really gave me an idea of possible jobs.”
“Actual hands on workshop was very fun and useful!”
“The session was interactive, and it was all helpful information.”
“The leaders were very informative and took their time to talk to everyone after the event was over.”
What Intuit Has to Say About our Partnership
“We want to help early-career designers build their toolbox and become more knowledgeable about how theory translates to real-world design problems,” said Cesar Villegas, Intuit Director of Experience Design and head of Intuit’s San Diego Design Studio. “AIGA has a similar keen interest in helping design students realize their design career ambitions, and its long history and excellent reputation in the San Diego design community make them a perfect partner for DLS.”
About Designer Launch Series
The Designer Launch Series is free to AIGA Student Members and Early-Career Designers (defined as 1-3 years of work experience). There are four stages in the series. If you’re currently enrolled in school or just beginning your career, we’d love to see you there.
Word has it there is more awesome swag to come for those who are committed to advancing their education and careers through the Designer Launch Series, so don’t miss out on the remaining Stages. If you don’t have a seat yet, better hurry! Once we meet maximum capacity we will be sold out!