Keynote: Design, Sensory-Thinking, and Uncovering Lo-Fi Magic

  • Session Number: FKEY2
Friday, May 05, 2017: 2:15 PM - 3:00 PM


Kelli Anderson
Designer, Animator, Illustrator


Sometimes the hand is smarter, more nimble, and more responsive to feedback than the brain alone. The craft of design taps into this sophisticated—and uniquely human—way that our senses “feel-out" problems. When we push to assess material resistance or squint to gauge contrast, we employ lo-fi physical intuition (actually: a superpower honed over millions of years of evolution) to make sense of the world around us. 

Unlike in other fields, there are no universal rules that designers can take for granted. We must remain nimble and attuned to subtle cues from the outside—whether it's the minute feedback from an ever-shifting visual culture, from the physicality of materials, or from the ever-evolving logic of user expectations. We feel our way through all of it it, A/B test, and create experiences that lead others to our discoveries. Because of this, design can be considered a radically firsthand approach to uncovering new knowledge. Here, there is a high capacity to make work that subverts a viewer’s expectations and brings truly unique experiences into existence. 

This session will explore how designers’ unique set of sensitivities can be used to create work that seems like magic, while challenging their audience’s expectations. We will dive into this process-philosophy with a combination of project show-and-tell, research findings, and also complimentary texts from outside of the field.