Featured on Jun 03, 2011
"Always keep your hands in the dirt."
I'm a French Canadian, South Korean RISD grad. Design thinker and Tech Enthusiast turned Digital and Innovation Director at a global Advertising Agency. After a decade plus working and traveling in Design, Digital and Advertising agencies in Montreal, Hong Kong, San Francisco and London - I can finally call New York home.
In my spare time I'm looking to make products that blend brilliant design thinking, beautiful art direction and sound usability that makes the technology disappear. Big fan of good brand storytelling infused into the product development process and simple behavior driven problem solving.
Founder and Designer at Projeqt - a non-linear creative storytelling platform, created as a device agnostic web publishing tool. Projeqt has been featured on Mashable's Spark of Genius Series and is in private beta.
Looking for my twin who happens to be a rock solid developer and software engineer to make other good stuff happen.
- Title: Founder and Design/UX Director at Projeqt
- Age: 32
- Location: Tribeca
- Contact: projeqt, @dmklee
Your expertise spans a wide breadth of media including print, interactive, and motion. Do you find that you like working in one particular media over the others? How does your design process differ whether you are you are working on something that is time-based, static, or interactive?
I would like to think of myself as a problem solver first and foremost, so I try to look at solutions through a media agnostic lens. With that said, I tend to lean towards Interactive and Digital Media.
Design means very different things in different industries. In Advertising - whether its a print ad, billboard or a film, Design tends to be coupled with Art Direction. Usually briefs tend to be more communication and messaging focused, so design plays a more specific role in bringing a campaign idea to life from a visual stand point. A large amount of time is spent coming up with a campaign idea, then we figure out how to bring it to life. In Interactive, design thinking is a critical part of the overall process, whether its a digital marketing campaign, a mobile app, a web based utility or an e-commerce website, design and user experience are an integral part of the ideation and execution of the idea. The teams consist of very different people depending if you're creating a marketing campaign vs a platform or utility.
As a designer who is well recognized with numerous awards under your belt, many aspiring designers look to your work as inspiration. In your career, who have you looked toward as inspiration? Who are your heroes in the field?
There have been numerous and varied inspirations throughout my career. John Maeda has always been someone I look up to for being an early innovator who combines art, design and technology. This is something that I'm very passionate about and it's almost serendipitous that he has recently become the president of RISD where I graduated from. Paul Rand for simplifying things down to its truest form and creating some of the most iconic symbols and brands. Jonathan Ives and Apple for showcasing the power of a brand who knows exactly who they are. For balancing the blend of industrial and interface design and for humanizing technology. Finally, Aaron Koblin for showing the world what can be done when you bleed the boundaries between storytelling, interface and technology.
After working in so many cities around the world, what made you choose New York above the rest as a place to call home?
I love traveling - and probably do a little too much of it right now, but after 10 years, 3 continents and 6 different cities, I can honestly say that New York has everything I dreamed of and more. I love the fabric of the city, the diverse culture and energy that can change with every block. I love the entrepreneurial spirit and the fact that it has become the silicon valley of the east. But more than anything I love the feeling of optimism and competition that if you can make it here - you can make it anywhere. It keeps me sharp and keeps my train of thought focused in the right direction.