"Social design belongs in the center of the way we live, govern, create, and interact with each other."
Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA, founder of the design lab CommonWise and winner of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She is a business strategist and communication designer who has founded two companies and taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world, helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs. She is the former Board Chair and current Advisor to PopTech, a Senior Fellow at the Babson Social Innovation Lab, on the Innovation Advisory Board for the Lumina Foundation, and serves as an advisor to DataKind.
Cheryl created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given almost $13 million to designers working for the public good. She advised Paul Polak and the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum on the exhibit, “Design for the Other 90%.” Cheryl is a Matrix Award winner for excellence in communication and has been profiled through articles in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, BusinessWeek and many others, and her work has been published widely. She has written for many publications on the subject of social innovation design and creativity.
Tell us about a favorite project or accomplishment from this past year.
I’m writing a book, called The Intergalactic Design Guide, and just won a Rockefeller Bellagio Fellowship to complete it. Also getting a Ph.D. and founded The Measured Lab.
What is your favorite color, and why? Pantone numbers and Hex codes totally allowed.
I think designers have to be color agnostic, but I have a passion for the color of turmeric, or the saffron of monk’s robes.
Share a saying that inspires you, or theme song that gets you moving.
“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” Samuel Beckett (Twisted, I know.)
“If I wasn’t a designer (or in the design world), I’d be ________________.”
Avoiding the labels of professions completely. A scientist, writer, entrepreneur.
What’s your superpower, or one you wish you had?
Communication in all its forms.
This year, the theme of Phoenix Design Week is “Design Belongs.” What does “Design Belongs” bring to mind for you?
Social design belongs in the center of the way we live, govern, create, interact with each other.
All two-day tickets include entrance to the Method + Madness Conference, PHXDW 2017 Kickoff Party, Method + Madness Evening Reception, and the PHXDW 2017 Closing Party. One-day M+M conference passes, group and AIGA discount opportunities are also available at the tickets link.
See order form for details.