November 9th 2007
New York City

Design, Wit, and the Creative Act

Leveraging the power of humor towards great customer experiences

Core77's Offsite series brings you the most provocative thoughts from the most innovative design thinkers. Afternoon events are comprised of speaker presentations and a panel discussion, followed by a cocktail reception where attendees can spend time with panelists and network their heads off.

Ze Frank
Digital Age Satirist

(discussion moderator)

Kelly Dobson

Tobias Wong

Paul Budnitz
Founder, Kidrobot

Steven Heller


Business and design leaders are increasingly aware that some of the most successful goods and services are those that elicit emotion. Trading in this spectrum poses some unique challenges to the designer, however, since the creative process of generating this kind of work presumes a shared set of cultural experiences and some deft leaps of faith, especially when it comes to humor.

How do designers employ wit, irony—even subversion—in the service of making a connection with their audience, and how can they replicate these connections across a body of work? Are there limits to commercializing this kind of design, or are we seeing new opportunities for the provocateur in an ever-commoditized world? What is the role of the brand in this context, and to what degree does a sly exchange between designer and user create a new kind of brand experience?

This panel will discuss ways of leveraging the droll parts of the emotional spectrum to provide impactful products and experiences to users. Did we say users? We meant people. Smiling ones.

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