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Designer Drugs

Taking an improper dose of Design at FUSE.

There’s a chemical anticipation that builds in the weeks before FUSE. The twitchy attributes become more accentuated. We find ourselves panning through the agenda PDF thinking, Pretty Darn Fanatic. It is as if the name FUSE describes the fire and sparks leading up to an explosion of ideas, perspectives, and nuances of knowledge.

If you’ve been in design as long as some of us, you can see it coming and know how to dose yourself. If you’re new to this party, keep a strong grip on yourself, the chemical enhancement of life known as Design is approaching.

The symptoms of the Design drug taking over include:

– mouth gaping open until it’s bone dry

– inability or pure resistance to blink due to classic fomo

– swearing to yourself, nearly inaudible as you leave a room

Aside from the socially awkward behaviors above, this isn’t a debilitating drug. Good Design can, and should make life better for you and others who experience it. In fact, it may counter some of the actual drugs you may have experimented with in college or graduate school because Steve Jobs told you it was a good idea. The Design drug will stimulate parts of your brain which may seem dormant during the other 300+ days of the year spent in conference rooms under fluorescent lights.

We have had the opportunity to spend nearly a decade reporting on this annual event. We’ve spent that decade building up an immunity to the Design drug handed out so freely at FUSE. Yet, we still have moments of inspiration, surprise or a slight giggle to oneself.

There are a few sessions where I know this Design drug will be lapped up like puppies fighting for a bowl of milk. Here are the sessions where this participant will wide-eyed.

Neil Blumenthal, Warby Parker, The Proven Value of Design

Cliff Kuang, Fast Company, Designing the 21st-Century User Experience

Nikki Mamuric, Sprout Innovation Co, How to Reach Female’s in Age of #MeToo

Dr Amanda Parkes, Manufacture NY, The Augmented Body

Jennifer Daniel, Google, Designing for Digital Communication

Jenni Friedman, HelloFresh, Selling Food from the Internet

If you’re not feeling it from the TrendWalk on Monday, just find a good seat on Tuesday and let the intravenous needle slip into your vein of consciousness. For those of us coming back again, we’re just chasing the dragon.

Thank you and I hope we connect at FUSE 2018.

About the Author:

Founding Partner

Capsule Design

Author, The Physics of Brand

Blogger, FEI, FUSE and a few others

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