Kevin Bethune

Design can change your life in unexpected ways, and Kevin Bethune is a testament to that. He is the founder and chief creative officer of dreams • design + life, a think tank that delivers design and innovation services using a human-centered approach. (It sounds lofty, but with over 20 years of experience in mechanical engineering, product creation, strategy, and industrial design, Kevin is a true master of his craft.)

We started off talking about how business has shifted over the past year as he’s transitioned further into the entrepreneurial life, and he shared a bit about his process when diving into new projects. Kevin also talked about his prior stints at Westinghouse and Nike, and how those experiences informed his later work for some of the nation’s top consulting firms. Design has truly helped transform Kevin’s life, and it can do the same for you too!

Mark Smith

The journey of a creative is never a straightforward path, and Mark Smith knows this well. As the head of design of Studio Mark Smith, he’s went from designing t-shirts and textiles in NYC for urban apparel brands like Avirex to studying design at Auburn University to serving as the head of idea and innovation for iconic luxury brand Swarovski. Whoa!

Mark and I talked about his current project — a collection of jewelry — and he spoke about his time working in Austria and Denmark. We also discussed his time at Pratt Institute in the 1990s and how that brought him to southern Alabama and the creation of DesignSeed, a project to help leverage local resources to create design-based startups. Mark also spoke about redefining the concept of luxury in our current pandemic times, the challenges of designing for an international audience, and what success looks like for him now at this stage of his career. From the country to Copenhagen, Mark Smith is a true design visionary!

When Jomo Tariku reached out to me to tell me about his work, I knew I had to have him come on the podcast and tell his story. His furniture designs draw heavily from his Ethiopian background, and has been exhibited in Accra, Dubai, Lagos, Venice, New York, Montreal, and in other spaces around the world.

Our conversation began with Jomo describing growing up in Ethiopia and how that led him into industrial design. He also talked about the importance of building a support network to ensure your work is sustainable, why he took a seven year break from his work, and he explained his signature piece, The Birth Chair II. Jomo really uses his heritage as a source of inspiration, and I’m excited to see what else he’ll create in the future!

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Revision Path is sponsored by Facebook Design. No one designs at scale quite like Facebook does, and that scale is only matched by their commitment to giving back to the design community.
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When I first heard Ben’s amazing story of becoming an industrial designer, I knew that I had to have him on the show. Chairs, tables, utensils, plates…industrial design touches our world in even the smallest things.

We started off with a dive into the world of industrial design as Ben described how he got interested in the field. From there, we go deep into Ben’s time at Philadelphia University, his discovery of famed industrial designer Noel Mayo, and his love of volunteering and mentorship. Ben is all about paying it forward to the next generation of designers, and I couldn’t think of a better interview to end Black History Month with. Thanks to Terri Burch for the introduction!


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Revision Path is sponsored by Facebook Design. No one designs at scale quite like Facebook does, and that scale is only matched by their commitment to giving back to the design community.
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Revision Path is also sponsored by Hover. Visit hover.com/revisionpath and save 10% off your first purchase! Big thanks to Hover!
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Revision Path is brought to you by MailChimp. Huge thanks to them for their support of the show! Visit them today and say thanks!
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