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Kickering Myself

When I first started at Adaptive Path, one of the many striking things about how different Adaptive Path is from most other companies was explained to me by then-CEO Janice Fraser. “When we set up Adaptive Path,” she said, “We wanted the company and its mission of improving the lives of people through good design to inspire and spawn other companies, both from people outside the company, as well as from those inside. One measure of our success is going to be those other companies. It would be great if we had hundreds of Adaptive Paths.”

Three years later, I’m taking her directive (which she took herself by starting Emmet Labs) and starting my own design firm with some partners: Kicker Studio.

Kicker will focus on designing interactive objects such as appliances, consumer electronics, and devices. (We won’t be doing much web work; Adaptive Path is too good at it!) We’ll be working mostly at the intersection of interaction, industrial, visual design to create physical products and environments that redefine their categories. (Of course, this includes my current passion for touchscreens and other gestural interfaces.)

I plan on relishing my remaining time here at Adaptive Path, even though I know with a pang in my heart the end is coming, and soon. I’ve worked here longer than any place I’ve ever worked. Here, I learned everything I know about running a design consultancy, and, truthfully, a lot of what I know about being a designer in general. It was here I sharpened my interaction design and product strategy skills, as well as honing my speaking and writing chops. Here, I was challenged and re-challenged to really think about the beliefs I held about design and about being a designer. And it was here I made many colleagues and friends who showed me every day what being in this business should be like: inspiring work, joyful play, and always, always, the search for the best idea.

These are the things I will carry with me.


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