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Interview with Stephanie Di Biase – Creative Director at Teague

Stephanie Di Biase is a creative director at Teague, Seattle’s leading design and innovation company. Stephanie draws on her 20-year design career, starting as a graphic designer and moving into interaction design around 2007. She has led global multidisciplinary design teams from strategy through implementation on enterprise level digital products. Her clients have included Target, lululemon, Walmart, and Enterprise Rent-a-car to name a few. She also interned at the Jim Henson Company in NYC in 2000 where she fulfilled a childhood dream of working for the Muppets. Originally from the Midwest, Stephanie still retains a bit of a Midwestern accent and a love of all things Cleveland and Chicago. Be sure to check out Teague’s festival event that Stephanie will be moderating, Reimagining Retail in the Time of Coronavirus, August 18, 10am – 11:30am.

Question (Q:) About Time in design is…
Stephanie Di Biase (SDB):
About Time in design is about meaningful change and taking a people-centered approach to the new and very real challenges in our shared world. We have a chance to design solutions, interactions, and brands that are inclusive of everyone, connect us across divisions, and reimagine the systems around us from the past. It’s about time designers lead the charge for meaningful change.

Q: Where have you found About Time in design?
SDB: I love seeing the design community shine a light on itself and our system of exclusion in defining what good design is and who can create it. Seeing people help amplify black voices, connect black designers to opportunities and dig in on thoughtful debates and new perspectives online has given me a sense of optimism and excitement for what the design community becomes in the future.

Q: What is it About Time for in design?
SDB: Design for delight and connection in addition to speed and convenience. It’s about time for us to be more thoughtful about what we’re designing and the goals of what we do, especially in technology where speed to transaction or MVP is more typically the goal. We have a huge opportunity and obligation to the world we shape as designers to take advantage of this economic disaster to be more intentional about the value we bring to the world.

Q: Who or what inspires you?
SDB: I get really inspired and excited talking and debating design with other designers and Creative Directors. I love hearing how other people think about design problems, organizing teams, and methods they use to design. I also get inspired by talking to people in other industries. I recently interviewed several teachers and social workers about how they develop methods for reducing anxiety for students. There were so many parallels between what they shared and what we think about at Teague when trying to design interactions with new technologies like eVTOLs and autonomous vehicles.

Q: My favorite thing about my city is…
SDB: I love the access to nature and delicious Washington wine, which go hand in hand right now with COVID. Some of my favorite wines right now are Mark Ryan, Browne, Thurston Wolfe, and Darby (cheers!).

Q: What is your ultimate goal when it comes to your work? What do you want to contribute?
SDB: My ultimate goal is to facilitate design. I want to contribute the tools, questions, and information to help design become an action taken instead of a title that’s held.

Q: What’s next for you?
I’m teaching the School of Visual Concepts Capstone class this fall! It will be my first time as a teacher there. I’m excited to see what the teams come up with and help non-profit clients solve some design challenges.