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I really had a blast talking with Kristy Tillman, the design director for the Society of Grownups. While she’s probably most well-known for The Detroit Water Project, Kristy has also been a designer at big agencies and companies like IDEO, Reebok, and PUMA.

We started off talking about the rigors of the hiring process when it comes to designers, civic design and what that means to her, and then went straight into dissecting diversity in the design industry (particularly as it relates to the workplace). It’s a little more candid than most interviews, but it’s 100% real talk. I just wish our conversation would have been longer! Maybe a Part 2 of this interview will come in the future…

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Over 300,000 Detroit residents face water shutoffs due to past due water bills exacerbated by Detroit’s ongoing economic woes. When designer Kristy Tillman and developer Tiffani Bell heard about this, they took action.

The result of their collaboration is the Detroit Water Project, and to date they’ve helped match donors from around the world to Detroit residents in need of help with their water bills.

In this brief interview with Detroit Water Project co-founder Tiffani Bell, she explains some of the feedback about the project and ways that others can help out.