What is normal? What does a normal designer look like? Should our ability status inform who we are as designers or affect other people’s perceptions of us as designers? How can we best advocate for ourselves, help others understand our unique experiences, and gain access to the tools and resources we need to thrive in the design industry? Join us to discuss these questions and more around the topic of neuro and physical diversity in the design industry. We’ll kick off the night with a short intro from local designers Katie Leech and Keith Kreisel followed by an open group conversation. Participants should feel free to come with questions and stories of their own to share.
- 6-6:30 pm - Check-in + networking
- 6:30-6:45 pm - Intro by Katie + Keith
- 6:45-8:00 pm - Open group discussion
Light refreshments provided.
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Katie Leech is a graphic designer and educator. She originally hails from Chicago but believes Philadelphia is the best home for her studio of five years, Vary Studio. As a designer in Philly, Katie has worked for health care agencies, architecture firms, and various institutions and nonprofit organizations. She is also a Part-Time Lecturer in the Graphic Design Department at Rutgers University, Camden. At Rutgers, she enjoys exploring and sharing her passion for typeface and experimentation in design with her students.
Katie also supports students and educators in the region as co-chair of AIGA Philadelphia's Education committee. She holds a BFA in Drawing & Painting from Maryland College Institute of Art, an M.ed in Arts Education from DePaul University, and an MFA in Graphic Design from Boston University.
Keith Kreisel is a Senior Designer, Brand Manager, UX Designer, and Photographer. Originally from a little town in south-central Pennsylvania, Keith’s has now called Philadelphia home for the past six years. Currently, he works as a senior designer and brand manager for a global 2,000-person $1 billion automotive engineering design brand. He is part of a team that maintains 7 sub-brands’ stories, design systems, and overall brand experience.
In his spare time, Keith advocates for human-centered design and in-house design teams, volunteers as a member of the Civic + Community Engagement committee of AIGA Philadelphia, and shoots lifestyle and landscape photography as a creative outlet. He holds a B.F.A in communications from the Pennsylvania College of Art & Design and several certificates in UX, branding, and in-house design management.