Sunday, April 25, 2010


Cubberly Auditorium, Stanford University

In a change of format, this Spring's Liu Lecture will feature a panel discussion that brings together the founders of some of the most innovative design firms and initiatives in the world.

Moderated by renown design author and lecturer Dr. Barry Katz, the panelists will discuss their answers to Alessandro Mendini's 1980 question: "What objects have the moral right to enter the 21st century?" Needless to say, this should be a lively one.

As always, the Liu Lectures are free and open to the public thanks to the generous support of Dr. and Mrs. Liu.

Gadi Amit (NewDealDesign)
Gadi Amit is the principal designer and founder of NewDealDesign. Gadi runs NewDeal hands-on, with great attention to the project strategy and goals, down to the finest details. His award-winning work has been featured in many design publications and exhibited at the Chicago Athenaeum, Cooper Hewitt-National Design Museum and San Francisco MOMA. Gadi is also a frequent jurist in Design panels, most on ID magazine, Fortune magazine and California Design Biennial. Prior to founding NewDeal, Gadi was with frogdesign for nearly seven years, ending as the Vice President of Design. He has extensive experience in consumer electronics, mobile and personal computing, household goods, and commercial and medical technology industries.

Robbert Brunner (Ammunition)

After graduating in industrial design from San Jose State University in 1981, Robert co-founded the design consultancy Lunar. Subsequently, he was hired as Director of Industrial Design for Apple Computer where he served for 7 years. In
1996, he was appointed partner in the international firm Pentagram, helping lead the San Francisco office. In 2006, Brunner and entrepreneur Alex Siow launched the start-up Fuego, a new concept in outdoor grilling. In 2007, Robert founded Ammunition, focusing on the overlap between product design, brand and experience. He continues to lead Ammunition and Fuego concurrently.

In 2008, Robert co-authored the book Do you matter? How great design will make people love your company with Success Built to Last author Stewart Emery. He also teaches advanced product design at Stanford University

Valerie Casey (The Designers Accord)
Valerie Casey is a globally recognized designer and innovator. She consults with start-ups, governments, and organizations all over the world on challenges ranging from creating new products and services, to transforming organizational processes and behaviors.

Before starting her own practice, Casey held executive leadership positions at IDEO, frog design, and Pentagram. Her work has been highlighted in multiple publications, and she has been named a “Guru you should know” by Fortune magazine, a “Hero of the Environment” by Time magazine, and a “Master of Design” by Fast Company. She was also selected as one of the “World’s Most Influential Designers” by BusinessWeek.

Casey is the founder and Executive Director of the Designers Accord, the global coalition of designers, educators, and business leaders focused on creating positive social and environmental impact.

Casey speaks globally on systems thinking, cultural change, and sustainability , and is an Adjunct Professor in the graduate design program at CCA. She holds a master's degree in cultural theory and design from Yale University and a BA from Swarthmore College.

Dan Harden (Whipsaw)
Dan is Principal and chief designer of Whipsaw Inc. A consumer designer and prolific creator, Dan has been an industrial designer for 27 years and has designed hundreds of hit products. He has been honored internationally, winning over 100 design awards, including many Red Dot, GMark, IDEA, ID Mag, IF, and MDEA awards. He has also been granted over 150 patents. Dan's views and work have been featured in Axis, Business Week, CNN, Design (UK), Design Report, Domus, Fast Company, Form, Fortune, ID Magazine, Metropolis, Newsweek, New York Times, Nikkei Design, PBS Television, San Francisco Chronicle, Time, The Wall Street Journal and Wired.

Several of Dan's creations are in the permanent collection at the Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design, the Pasadena Museum of CA Art, and the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt Design Museum.

Prior to founding Whipsaw in 1999, Dan was the President of frogdesign, where he helped build frog into one of the world's top design firms. Before joining frog in 1989, Dan worked at Henry Dreyfuss Associates in NYC, and Dolphin Design in Germany. In the early 80's, Dan worked with design master George Nelson and interned at Hewlett Packard and Richardson Smith. Dan graduated from the University of Cincinnati, College of Design, Architecture, and Art in 1982

Dr. Barry Katz (Stanford - Moderator)
Barry Katz was educated at McGill University in MontrĂ©al, the London School of Economics, and holds a doctorate from the University of California at Santa Cruz. He is a professor of Humanities and Design at California College of the Arts, consulting professor of mechanical engineering at Stanford University, and fellow at IDEO, Silicon Valley’s leading design and innovation consultancy.

Earlier books of Katz include Herbert Marcuse and the Art of Liberation (Verso), Foreign Intelligence: Research and Analysis in the Office of Strategic Services, 1942–1945 (Harvard), and Technology and Culture: A Historical Romance (Stanford). More recently he has coauthored Change By Design, with Tim Brown, a book on design thinking, and with Branko Lukic, an exploration of Design Fictions. A new book, Tectonic Shift: The Unstable History of Silicon Valley Design, is forthcoming from MIT Press.

Katz has served as executive editor of the Design Book Review and contributing editor to I.D. and Metropolis magazines, and his writings on the history and philosophy of design have appeared in many academic, professional, and popular journals.


  1. Enjoyed the discussion a lot!

  2. I was expecting to read some of their experiences with designing.. But anyway, great to know that they also started as a humble normal designer way back then.

    James Francis Web Design For Internet Marketers