Tomorrow is our last event of 2018! We’re so excited to cap off the year with Audience Takes the Stage, featuring presentations from three of our very own community members– Bruno Pieroni, Marta Cuciurean-Zapan and Daniel Orbach

December’s global theme is Context, so, in that spirit, we reached out to Bruno, Marta and Daniel to learn more about them–namely, the things we can’t learn just by reading their bios. Check out what they had to say below, and join us tomorrow at Sprout Social. We’ll bring the coffee and treats. See ya there, morning people!

List three words that begin with the letter C to describe yourself/your personality.

Bruno: Curious, centered, Carioca (google it!).

Daniel: Candid, clever, and charming. 

Marta: Curious, cheerful, and interested in culture.

In one sentence, how does context (December’s global theme) play into your work?

Marta: In anthropology and human centered design, we look to the context of people’s lives to create impactful, relevant, and desirable experiences.

Bruno: Because I work with very different clients and very different teams all year long, context is key; what is a great idea/pitch/joke to one group of people may be seem completely off-brief/off-brand/inappropriate to another group.

Daniel: In consulting, context is everything. Understanding your client and where they’re coming from informs the work you do on a day-to-day basis. Additionally, we’re able to transpose useful insights and information from one industry to another. The industries themselves are contexts. Finally, knowing the right tools to use in a given situation is also dependent on context. For example, the tools you can use to do user research depend on where you’re doing research and a variety of other factors; the tools you use to actually build out a design depend on the geographic context of your developers as well. It’s all context.

How does Chicago influence you and/or your work?

Marta: The rich history of work and design, as well as cultural and neighborhood events.

Bruno: It would be enough if the city was simply the home of some of the world’s most talented creatives, which it is. What makes this city different, however, is how often those creatives are willing to share their process, their insights, and their stories in free events like this, lectures at the city colleges that are open to the public, and workshops led by any of those crazy talented people all over town. You could literally spend a whole week hopping from an inspiring talk by an artist at the MCA one evening, to a Chicago Humanities Festival panel the next, to a Second City class the following day, to a workshop with Jay Ryan the next morning, to a CreativeMornings event that Friday.

Daniel: Being from Chicago originally (okay, okay, the north suburbs) it’s difficult to separate Chicago from the rest of me because it’s such a foundational aspect of my identity. Growing up in Chicago has definitely fostered my love for all things sports, and all things food (especially the unhealthy type). The city’s identity is also the perfect fusion of midwestern friendliness and humility crossed with big city culture and impact. People move here because they love it, and the city is really a part of who they are. It keeps me grounded and excited for the future. Additionally, living here in the winters isn’t easy, but it’s always a good reminder to never give up! There’s always a spring around the corner.

What has been your most memorable CreativeMornings experience to date?

Daniel: I loved the CreativeMornings a while back with Susan Messing & Rachael Mason. It was also my first ever CM/Chicago, but that’s almost besides the point. They did such an unreal job captivating and energizing a room full of sleepy adults, and they did it all off the top of their heads. It was unreal, and gave me a deeper appreciation for the power of presentation.

Marta: Dawn Hancock for the trajectory of building a business with purpose, Sonnenzimmer for a unique presentation, and Rashayla Marie Brown for her striking work and insight into the Art Institute community.

Bruno: I saw Kevin Lynch, creator of @yearbnb, in 2015, and was so inspired by his self-imposed project (spending a year living in different Airbnbs around Hong Kong, one week at a time) and the funniest CM talk I had heard thus far, that I started following him on Instagram right away. We started commenting on each other’s photos, and last January met up for dinner in Shanghai, where I got to follow up with his project and career and get a million recommendations for Hong Kong. It was like having my own CreativeMorning — even though it was evening (wait, it was probably morning here in Chicago! It counts!)

What are the top three places you find inspiration?

Marta: Art installations to inspire the design of experiences, environments, and emotions; novels to put myself in someone else’s mind and how the story is told; the enthusiasms of other people.

Bruno: I get a lot of ideas while walking, so… sidewalks? I’m grateful to have very talented and creative friends, who are not only far more cultured than I am but are also very generous with their time and knowledge when I try to pick their brains (my talk, for example, wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t done some good, old-fashioned brain picking). Finally, I know there’s a lot of (fair) criticism of social media and what it does to us, but I’m a big fan of all the amazing photos, drawings, and art in general I can soak in just flicking my thumb over my phone screen for ten minutes (or maybe I’m just lazy).

Daniel: This first one is a weird one, but those moments right before I fall asleep are somehow SO inspiring. I keep a notebook/phone by my bed and frequently find myself having amazing, creative ideas when I’m about to hit the hay for the night. Second is probably reading. I read a ton of non-fiction (hardly any fiction, though) and love learning about those weird niche stories and histories no one has really brought together. My talk at CM is actually inspired by a book I read! I’m currently reading one about the history of energy and how it’s influenced the evolution of society. Endlessly interesting. Finally, for visual inspiration, I actually have a curated set of RSS feeds I check every morning. I had a professor say that your visual vocabulary is like a muscle, and looking at inspirational images is how you exercise that muscle. I try to look at 50-100 images a day from different blogs/channels/feeds that I find interesting and inspiring. I’m a big fan of Nick Felton, House Industries, Gather Home & Lifestyle (local fave), and AIGA’s Eye on Design Instagram account.

What’s one fun fact about you that’s not in your official bio?

Daniel: I’ve never had a hot cup of coffee in the morning. I always thought coffee tasted disgusting, and had never actually had a coffee in it’s entirety before I tried one over the summer. I’ve had sips here and there and always hated it. Hopefully I can stave off the addiction and keep living off of my natural energies.

Marta: I took swim classes this summer so I could learn the “put your face in the water” part that seems so important. 

Bruno: I can recite virtually every line in the movie “High Fidelity.” But I try not to.