Maggie is a designer, anthropologist, and mediocre developer. She currently leads design at Elicit, an AI research lab exploring how language models can support scientific research and open-ended reasoning. She’s enthusiastic about tools for thought, end-user programming, and digital gardening.
This is the the heart of our event: the speakers. They are the ones who want to inspire, encourage, educate and motivate. The people delivering the content for this year's Düsseldorf edition will be revealed bit by bit. Come back and find out who’s part of the 2024 Düsseldorf show.
Chris is a designer and writer, she develops ideas with text and expresses them in letterforms.
Chris specialises in lettering because she loves language and letterforms equally and couldn’t make up her mind between writing and designing. Working at the intersection of text and image, art and design, Chris creates experimental lettering that is both expressive and thoughtful. Her guiding question: „Does it have to be this way?“
For clients she designs book covers, illustrations, logos and murals and she is happy to be one of the chosen few who design stamps for the Federal Republic of Germany.
After studying Illustration in Hamburg and Paris, Chris was a Fulbright Scholar in the U.S. and got her M.A. in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She wrote several books on letter design and shares her knowledge in workshops and as a speaker.
David de Léon is a designer and researcher with 25 years of academic and industry experience. You can tell by his hair and beard that he has been doing it for a while
At the start of his career, David worked a decade for Sony Mobile with user research and design and innovation of mobile phone interfaces. Towards the end of his tenure at Sony, he reviewed all the design output produced by the UX teams in Sweden, Japan and China. It was then that he became obsessed with the factors that contribute to effective and impactful feedback.
That obsession resulted in a pack of cards of design critique questions, which is now also a website. Since people sometimes misunderstood the use of those questions – and missed out on some powerful subtleties – David wrote a book on design feedback, which may (or may not) be published by the day of the conference (the last 10% of any project are often the hardest).
David lives in the south of Sweden, where makes his way through the world as a freelancing designer, researcher and design strategist. When not working, he reads obsessively, performs magic, plays with his wife, chats with his kids, and naps on the sofa.
Stefan Sagmeister has designed for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, and the Guggenheim Museum. He’s a two time Grammies winner and also earned practically every important international design award.
Stefan talks about the large subjects of our lives like happiness or beauty, how they connect to design and what that actually means to our everyday lives. He spoke 5 times at the official TED, making him one of the three most frequently invited TED speakers.
His books sell in the hundreds of thousands and his exhibitions have been mounted in museums around the world. His exhibit “The Happy Show” attracted way over half a million visitors worldwide and became the most visited graphic design show in history.
A native of Austria, he received his MFA from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and, as a Fulbright Scholar, a master’s degree from Pratt Institute in New York.
Oliver Schöndorfer is a renowned typography expert and freelance UI & app designer from Austria. He is obsessed with everything type, feels physical pain when spotting bad kerning, and even had to switched banks, because he could not stand an updated logotype.
His vision is to make digital projects more successful and beautiful through type. To share his knowledge, Oliver hosts the popular YouTube channel Pimp my Type, runs the weekly Font Friday Newsletter, writes articles, speaks at conferences and podcast. His energetic, unique style sets Oliver apart, while motivating thousands of designers and developers to leverage the power of typography.
When Oliver is not thinking about letters, he practices Yoga daily, enjoys hiking with his wife Birgit, takes care of their three girls, and manually grinds coffee to keep it all going.
Natalya is a designer, developer, artist, author, educator, and doer of good deeds. She leads a team of talented designers and coders working on Primer, GitHub’s open-source design system. Previously, she worked at The New York Times, contributing to various projects from experimental apps to the main core home page. Additionally, she taught at Harvard Extension, where she created a course on Modular Design Patterns with React. She loves to write, publishing the Design Engineering Handbook and articles for various online publications. When not attending or speaking at conferences, she loves sketchnoting them with watercolours and ink.
Natalya holds bachelor’s degrees in Studio Art and Psychology, and a master's in Creativity and Talent Development. Crossing disciplines and building bridges between design and engineering is at the foundation of much of her work, and building teams and creating at scale is the next big adventure.
Adrienne is a Filipina software engineer, keynote speaker, author of the best-selling book Coding for Kids: Python, and a LinkedIn Learning instructor who's reached over 65,000 learners with her courses (a number she'll likely surpass when you read this). She is writing Looks Good To Me: Constructive Code Reviews, a labor of love that she hopes will improve code reviews everywhere. Perhaps most important, however, is that she spends way too much money on desserts and ungodly amounts of time playing Age of Empires II.
Sophie Tahran is the Director of Content Design at Condé Nast. After establishing the discipline at The New Yorker, she built out and now leads a team of content designers across Vogue, GQ, Architectural Digest, Bon Appetit, and more publications.
David Dylan Thomas, author of Design for Cognitive Bias, creator and host of The Cognitive Bias Podcast, and a twenty-year practitioner of content strategy and UX, has consulted major clients in entertainment, healthcare, publishing, finance, and retail. As the founder and CEO of David Dylan Thomas, LLC he offers workshops and presentations on inclusive design and the role of bias in making decisions. He has presented at TEDNYC, SXSW Interactive, Confab, An Event Apart, LavaCon, UX Copenhagen, Artifact, IA Conference, IxDA, Design and Content Conference, Emerging Technologies for the Enterprise, and the Wharton Web Conference on topics at the intersection of bias, design, and social justice.
Michael is the founder of NWMS GmbH, consultant, keynote speaker and co-host of the podcast “On the Way to New Work” for over 6 years. After studying business administration and completing a PhD in ecology-orientated marketing, he started his career at Bossard Consultants and held positions as Managing Director at Springer & Jacoby and Global CMO at Audi. In 2004, together with André Kemper, he founded the advertising agency kempertrautmann, which became thjnk AG. Michael is also co-founder of Hyrox, the world's first fitness competition for everyone.
He has received numerous awards for his work, such as, Top 40 under 40 in European Marketing, Global Newcomer Agency of the Year, “Man of the Year” (horizont) and LinkedIn Top Voice. In the more than 400 episodes of his podcast, he has spoken with business leaders, innovative thinkers and scientists (including Harvard, Stanford, INSED, St. Gallen) about the future of work. Of course, he is also co-author of the book “On the Way to New Work”, which was published in 2022 and became a bestseller.
Ferdinand Ulrich is a typographer and a type history researcher living and working in Berlin. He designs publications on architecture, art and design, and spends much time writing about type for book projects, magazines and type foundries. Aside from several letter-related interests, his main research focus lies in the transitional periods of changing type design technologies and tools in the twentieth century, particularly during the early digital period (pre PostScript) — his dissertation on the subject earned him a PhD from the University of Reading in 2023. For several years Ferdinand taught graphic design, typography and some type design at Burg Halle and at UdK Berlin; he is currently a visiting lecturer in Salzburg, where he enjoys the hospitality, landscape and Schnitzel.