Speaker Recap – Dan Makoski: Fearless, Human-Fueled, Fast

Fearless, Human-Fueled, Fast… words to live by and words that perfectly describe our Speaker Series guest Dan Makoski. We laughed, we sketched, we designed futuristic toothbrushes in 60 seconds with Play-doh, we were inspired.

Not only has Dan Makoski designed for companies such as Google, Capital One, Dell, and Microsoft, but he has built and led discussions about fostering inspiration, collaboration, and building an innovative culture around design. That’s precisely what he did the night of February 25th, 2016 at the Denver Art Museum.


Photo by George Foelsch

Dan took us on a journey of the “epic sh*t” (his words) he’s accomplished, created, and experienced in his career, sprinkling in nuggets of practical and imaginative content that was seamlessly applicable to any designer in any field.

But let’s be honest, the real reason we were there that night was the free Play-doh. Yes it’s Play-doh, which is pretty awesome in and of itself, but we held a very powerful design tool in our hands that night. Dan uses Play-doh because in his words, “It is a simple tool for making and innovating.” This tool takes us off the computer, out of our heads, and lets us explore a more playful side where innovation lives.

We are so thankful that Dan didn’t pursue his first creative passion as part of an international hip-hop group (true story) and instead he started designing for experiences, thus making our world a little more intuitive.

And let me leave you with this question posed by Dan…What would you do if you couldn’t fail?

By Jenny J Taylor, AIGA Speaker Series Chair
Published April 5, 2016
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