When I'm not designing, I use my free time to volunteer with local design organizations to foster community engagement and discuss design and its future.
“I wanted to explore areas that are relevant to the current state of design and user experience in the digital world as we expand into new interfaces and gestural interactions beyond our phone screens.”
As the AIGA Austin Chair for the Small Talks series, I have worked to elevate the program by partnering with industry leaders in the community, increasing attendance and interest, and keeping the content fresh and exciting.
UX for New Tech Series discussed the evolution of design as it moves away from phone screens.
The following blog recaps highlight the content in more detail:
• "Wearables" at Under Armor
• "Omni-Channel Design" at Mutual Mobile
• "Integrated Reality" at argodesign
The upcoming event series will focus on accessibility design, cross-cultural design and designing for diversity beginning in March 2018.
“All these brave and eloquent storytellers shared vulnerable stories, full of emotions and resolve. They shared how they overcame obstacles and got to be where they are today in their design careers. The stories were full of inspiration and encouragement. They were human, and relatable.”
I am also one of the organizers for fresh2design, a local meetup group for up-and-coming designers. We have over 2000 members and just opened a second chapter in Dallas. My responsibilities focus on Member Experience & Operations, but I have also organized events for the community.
The massive reach of the fresh2design member platform allowed to host two very different types of event, a software education panel, and a storytelling event.
The following blog recaps highlight the content in more detail:
• Adobe XD event "Evolution of the Design Process" during the the week of SxSW Interactive
• LGBTQ Voices in Tech storytelling event
We are currently working on a Harvey Relief Pin Show to raise funds and help those affected in Houston, TX. Proceeds will go to the Heart to Heart International foundation. The show will run December 7th and 8th, 2017 at ICOSA.
"What an incredible week and it was all due to your efforts. What you all pulled off was an exceptional year and I can't tell you how happy the community is about it, so congratulations!
~Candice Digby / ADW Co-Founder
I’m also the Workshops and Education programming lead for Austin Design Week. This year the conference ran on the week of November 6 – 10, 2017. 
Austin Design Week's mission is to bring together all different verticals and sectors of Austin design - to showcase and celebrate their work, and invite everyone to participate. There were events happening all week, from early morning workshops, afternoon studio tours, and evening events.

My job was to coordinate 30+ events and their respective hosts to facilitate a smooth successful experience during the months leading up to the event, and on the event’s date.
"It is a common practice in human-centered design to cast a wide net during the discovery stage, releasing all bias assumptions. In this way we objectively developed an objective view of the organization. Not only did we learn what the organization structure was like, but also their predisposition, challenges and joys. We helped them see, from this unbiased point of view,  how they could evolve and grow. This is our duty as designers: to utilize the power of design for good."
Last July I was featured on AIGA National panel on Diversity & Inclusion, where I presented my Human-centered design and data visualization work with the non-profit organization Out Youth.
If you have a good idea for a panel, or your company would like to get involved, let's chat.
email: or twitter: @artawake