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Though the 2020 AIGA Design Conference isn’t for another few months, some key information about the event was recently released—the theme, location, and the roster of speakers that will be presenting. 

The conference will be defined by Bridges, AIGA says, a theme that’s certainly apt for the Conference’s host city—Pittsburgh, the “City of Bridges.”

Past AIGA Design Conference speakers include renowned graphic designer Paula Scher, Facebook VP of Product Design Julie Zhou, and comedian / late-night musician Reggie Watts. As he has in previous years, podcaster Roman Mars will serve as host of the conference.

Who are some of the guest speakers joining this list of distinguished speakers at this year’s AIGA Design Conference? Check out a few of them below.

David Carroll

Associate Professor of Media Design, Parsons School of Design

Carroll is best known for filing a formal complaint against Cambridge Analytica following its Facebook data scandal in 2018, resulting in the only criminal prosecution of the now-defunct company. This past March, Carroll gave a Ted Talk on the subject of data security and his experience with the Cambridge Analytica case. He was also featured in the Netflix documentary “The Great Hack,” which examines the data scandal through the eyes of a number of individuals. Currently, he is a teacher in the Design and Technology and Transdisciplinary Design MFA programs at Parsons.

Rumman Chowdhury

Global Lead for Responsible AI, Accenture Applied Intelligence

Chowdhury is a data scientist studying the intersection between AI and humanity. At Accenture Applied Intelligence, she works to create cutting-edge technical solutions for ethical, explainable, and transparent AI. Chowdhury spoke in 2018 about the need for humans to maintain the human connection to these machines they program and control. As AI continues to advance, this advice seems more and more critical.

Greg Lutze

Co-Founder and CXO, VSCO

Lutze is the Chief Experience Officer of an extremely popular photo app that’s given birth to a whole subtype of teenage girl. Even if you’re not on the app yourself, you can still appreciate the community that Lutze & Co. have built with their company. 

VSCO has been named Apple’s “App of the Year,” Google Play’s “Best Apps” and Fast Company’s “Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Media.” The $550 million company has over 150 million mobile downloads since it first launched in 2012. Included in that number is over 2 million customers who pay for a premium version.

Tim Allen

VP of Design, Airbnb

Allen has emphasized in his past work that his focus was to marry design and inclusivity, and he’ll continue this mission in his new role at Airbnb. Recently hired alongside Chief Design Officer Alex Schleifer, Allen will be tasked with improving the company’s product while also developing a welcoming culture. He says his team’s mission for 2020 is to help build the most creative company in the world. In addition to his work at Airbnb, Allen teaches design at schools and events globally. 

Giorgia Lupi

Partner, Pentagram

An information designer and Partner at Pentagram, Lupi’s work is part of the permanent collection at the MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 2011, Lupi co-founded the data-focused design firm Accurat. Her company helps its clients in one of two ways: Accurat can either create data-driven art or develop enterprise analytics software. Accurat has worked with organizations like Starbucks, Google, and the World Health Organization.

Earlier this year, Lupi gave the above talk about finding humanity in data, encouraging creatives to harness data but maintain respect for human privacy and experience.

Stefanie Posavec

Designer and Author

Like Lupi, Posavec makes frequent use of data in her work. In fact, the two actually wrote a book together called Dear Data. It was a year-long creative project between the two individuals, during which they’d record data about their daily lives (like the number of times they laughed, felt lonely, etc.), turned the data into a drawing, and mailed it on a transatlantic postcard.

Dear Data was nominated for the Design Museum’s “Designs of the Year 2016” exhibition, and many of the postcards that the individuals shared are now on display in the permanent collection of the MoMA.

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