Picture of IBM Studio neon sign
Picture of IBM Studio neon sign

As many of you have heard, the IBM Design studio in Austin was heavily damaged last week when a pipe burst during the severe winter weather in Texas, flooding the entire 8-floor building. We haven’t been able to access the building yet to fully assess the damage, but the assumption is that the studio floors are a total loss. Nobody was in the building at the time, so thankfully there was no danger to team members or others.

Thanks so much to all of you who have reached out with words of concern and kindness as this news has spread…


This article is the companion piece to a talk I gave at Interaction 20, the IXDA international conference in Milan, during the first week of February 2020. Now, two months later, it is hard to believe what has transpired around the world since that week. The coronavirus health crisis is sweeping across the planet, and Milan and the Lombardy region of Italy emerged as the European epicenter soon after our time together there. While the talk, and the original version of this article, were conceived without direct reference to the health crisis, I have subsequently added some material to this…


We’re excited to announce this year’s cohort, who are exemplars of design practice, craft, and leadership for the industry-standard design program we’ve built at IBM.

As we have built the program and practice of design at IBM since 2012, we’ve placed a special emphasis on nurturing great design leaders. Design leaders at IBM must not only be experts in creating delightful human-centered outcomes that drive business results, they must also possess a deep understanding of the technical and business domains in which they work and the resilience to advocate for design-driven change in a complex global enterprise. …


On behalf of the IBM Design Leadership Review Board, it’s my great privilege to announce the 2019 IBM Distinguished Designer appointments.

Gorham Palmer, IBM iX
Sabine Roehl, IBM iX
Joni Saylor, IBM Design Program Office
BJ Scheid, IBM Systems Z

IBM Distinguished Designer (DD) is an executive level appointment that follows an intensive peer, and corporate review of a candidate’s impact to the company, professional eminence, and portfolio of work.

At IBM, Distinguished Designers are leaders in the design profession within and beyond our company. They are exemplars of design practice, craft, and leadership and serve as models for the…


Last week I had the pleasure to visit The Hive, a hub for creative collaboration at The Claremont Colleges just east of Los Angeles. I was blown away by the experience directors Kareem Collie and Fred Leichter are building for their students, and how closely it mirrors the human-centered design and design thinking culture we are building at IBM.

The Hive students come from across the five Claremont Colleges (Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, and Scripps College), and from all possible academic disciplines. This cross- and inter-disciplinary approach is essential to preparing students for the…


Recently I had the honor of delivering the closing keynote at the 2018 Rosenfeld Media DesignOps Summit in New York City, a sold-out gathering of 700 self-professed “spreadsheet geeks” seeking answers to the central question, “How do we operationalize the practice of design at scale?”

The conference — the second of what will hopefully become an annual gathering — was excellent! It featured rich discussions on a range of relevant topics, including: organizational structure, team building, recruiting, onboarding, metrics and measurement, culture, and more. …


We are in the midst of an awesome and unprecedented moment in the (relatively brief) history of the design profession. Designers at IBM, and many other globally-scaled organizations, are being included at the highest levels of leadership, and are contributing to vital strategic missions in a deep way, resulting in transformative outcomes. This ascendancy is a tribute to scores of gifted and resilient designers and design advocates who have been striving for a “seat at the table” for generations. IBM has played a major part in this movement having made a massive investment in design in the last six years…


On behalf of the IBM Design Leadership Review Board, it’s my great privilege to announce the second round of 2018 IBM Design Principal appointments.

Matthew Calkins, IBM Corporate Marketing
Alison Cox,
IBM iX Canada
Bob Lukasik,
IBM iX
Christine Mauro,
IBM Global Technology Services
Tony Moreno,
IBM iX
Sabine Roehl,
IBM iX

IBM Design Principals are leaders in the design profession within and beyond our company. They are exemplars of design practice, craft, and leadership and serve as models for the world-class design program we have built at IBM. Design Principal is the highest non-executive level in the IBM designer…


On behalf of the IBM Design Leadership Review Board, it’s my great privilege to announce the first round of 2018 IBM Design Principal appointments.

  • Dawn Ahukanna, Watson IoT
  • Ryan Caruthers, IBM Design
  • Ami Dewar, Watson Talent And Collaboration Solutions
  • Maui Francis, Watson & Cloud Platform
  • Ellen Kolstø, IBM Research
  • Sophia Levens, Watson Customer Engagement
  • Eric Mahlstedt, Hybrid Cloud
  • Rosie Martin, Watson Health
  • Sarah B. Nelson, IBM Design
  • Camillo Sassano, IBM Systems
  • Jennifer Sukis, Watson & Cloud Platform
  • Susan Teague Rector, Watson Health
  • Greg Parrott, Watson & Cloud Platform

IBM Design Principals are leaders in the design profession within and beyond…


What’s the true value of design to business? This has been an unanswered question since Thomas Watson Jr. first uttered the words “Good design is good business” more than 50 years ago. Now we have a clear and powerful answer! Forrester Research studied IBM’s design practices and has determined that our unique programmatic approach to design and design thinking results in a dramatically faster and more efficient workflow, yielding a massive return on investment for IBM and for our clients.

While focused on IBM, the Forrester study is good news for any designer whose clients, patrons, and partners are hungry…

Douglas Powell

Vice President of Design & Distinguished Designer at IBM focusing on designer practices and community.

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