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A Most Informative and Amusing Talk with Professor Dr. Barry Katz

By Karla Schlaepfer
ideo, creative, company culture, design, interview

Meeting with prominent people tends to be exciting. Especially since you have spent much time preparing the logistics of the interviews and trying to formulate questions that dig a little deeper without being too nosy.  Our talk with the amazing Barry Katz was scheduled at 11.30 on a bright Monday morning and at that time, we were stuck in traffic on the Bay Bridge. When we finally arrived 45 minutes late at IDEO in Palo Alto, we were SO relieved that he still had time for us. A good sign that he understands the capricious nature of California traffic.

“I’m a slut when it comes to free airplane tickets.”

Prof. Katz devoted an hour of his time talking with us in his lively personal manner about the implications and necessities for Design research in education, business and social improvement. Most insightful his contextual and historical assessment on the development of the design during the last 10 years, development of creative company culture and  on what he would like to pass on to his students so that they find their way in a design-research team and maybe become better people. WE were surprised that he does not believe that the term Design Thinking coach is appropriate – he’s just finished his book on Design as Philosophy. And much more. We were privileged and delighted with his colorful stories and antidotes on a number of known institutions like Facebook, Steve Jobs and on his travel to China with the impossible mission of teaching the audience of over 1000 people how to become a Design researcher in 5 short hours!