27 episodes

Welcome to Design Nerds Anonymous, the interiors industry-focused podcast that sparks curiosity at the intersection of business and design, from ThinkLab and SANDOW.

Design Nerds Anonymous ThinkLab

    • Arts
    • 4.9 • 44 Ratings

Welcome to Design Nerds Anonymous, the interiors industry-focused podcast that sparks curiosity at the intersection of business and design, from ThinkLab and SANDOW.

    The Future of NeoCon Shows + Hot Topics in the Design Industry

    The Future of NeoCon Shows + Hot Topics in the Design Industry

    In this episode, ThinkLab interviews Byron Morton, vice president of sales and leasing for NeoCon and theMART, and Avinash Rajagopal, editor-in-chief of Metropolis.
    Morton discusses the changes that are coming to NeoCon 2022 and beyond, as well as sharing details about MART 2.0, a renewal and renovation project of theMART that will expand on its amenities and sense of community. Rajagopal touches on three hot-button topics currently influencing the interior design industry and which will drive conversations at NeoCon: technology, sustainability, and DE&I (diversity, equity, and inclusion).

    In this episode:
     
    [3:01] Byron describes what kinds of products he expects to see at NeoCon 2022 now that the purpose of the office has changed.
    [14:34] “A showroom anywhere other than at theMART is just a showroom in an office building. You don't get that sense of community.”
    [17:45] Avinash discusses how developing hybrid experiences is becoming more central to interior design.
    [24:09] Avinash explains the importance of considering the impact of interior design beyond just the occupants of space. “Every interior that you design, through the products and materials that you put in it, touches the lives of hundreds of people around the world.”

    Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn:
    Byron Morton
    Avinash Rajagopal

    This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward.
     
    Download our leading-edge playbook: 100 Ways to Create a Phygital Sales and Marketing Strategy.
     
    Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode.

    • 38 min
    How This Commercial Real Estate Firm is Redesigning Design

    How This Commercial Real Estate Firm is Redesigning Design

    In this episode, ThinkLab explores disruption in commercial real estate and the sector’s entrée into design services. We focus on JLL’s new solution to simplify the design process and accelerate the time from design to build.

    First, we speak with Thales Teixeira, former Harvard professor and co-author of Unlocking the Customer Value Chain: How Decoupling Drives Customer Disruption. Drawing on his work in consulting and his book, Thales shares his advice on how to avoid disruption, including staying vigilant for trends outside your own industry.

    Then, we discuss JLL’s latest product offering with its head, Lori Louis, and global product lead Christine Hong. They explain how coming up with the new service actually led them to reconsider the traditional design buying process. They realized that JLL serves two different user groups — economic buyers and end users — whose needs diverged during the pandemic, and described to us how they tailored the service accordingly.
     
    In this episode:
    [14:01] Thales explains how and why the buying habits of consumers and B2B customers are converging.
    [23:54] Christine describes JLL’s human-centered approach to design, focused on the end user.
     [24:40] “What people say and what people do are very, very different things. And we're trying to design for what we think people will end up doing.”
    [31:24] Lori discusses how the new offering helps companies test and pilot design solutions during this time of uncertainty.

    Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn:
    Thales Teixeira
    Lori Louis
    Christine Hong
    Bill Wittland

    This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward.
     
    To take part in the conversation, we invite you to join us on Clubhouse in our club, Design + Data w/ThinkLab, on Fridays at 9 a.m.
     
    Download our leading-edge playbook: 100 Ways to Create a Phygital Sales and Marketing Strategy.
     
    Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode.

    • 43 min
    The Future of Events in the Design Industry

    The Future of Events in the Design Industry

    In this episode, ThinkLab explores the changing landscape of events in the design industry, whether they’re digital, physical, or hybrid. Our guests each provide a unique perspective — from how manufacturers, distributors, and event producers should create events to how architects and designers should leverage them.  
     
    First, Chuck Saylor, principal at Designvox, speaks about tailoring events to the current moment so that designers will be inspired to attend in person. Marco Giberti, entrepreneur and co-author of Reinventing Live: The Always-On Future of Events, draws his experience with B2B marketing to explain how events are changing across industries. Finally, A.J. Paron, design futurist at SANDOW Design Group, shares some tactical ideas for how to adapt to the hybrid era and use events to build stronger connections between designers and manufacturers. 
     
    In this episode: 
    [6:00] Find out the #1 thing that compels people to attend design industry events 
    [8:00] Chuck discusses how creating meaningful content for a local audience can build community. 
    [16:10] “Disruption is happening faster than ever before. You can deny this potential disruption, or you can engage disruption and be prepared for the next generation of events.” 
    [19:30] Marco explains the need to develop “digital headquarters” to extend the life of physical events. 
    [27:48] A.J. shares 3 ways organizers can prepare to pivot their plans in the face of shifting COVID-19 restrictions.  
     
    Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn: 
    Chuck Saylor  
    Marco Giberti 
    A.J. Paron 
     
    This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward. 
     
    Download our leading-edge playbook: 100 Ways to Create a Phygital Sales and Marketing Strategy. 
     
    Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode. 

    • 41 min
    Pioneering the Future of Product Specification

    Pioneering the Future of Product Specification

    Amid so much upheaval in the design industry, product specification is undergoing a sea change. In this episode, ThinkLab examines pain points in the process and dives into how two leading-edge companies are developing phygital solutions to chart a new course (no pun intended.)

    Our first guest, Amanda Darley, vice president of marketing at Mannington Commercial, discusses how the company has responded to industry-wide challenges, such as an uptick in re-specifications, by developing its own online inventory tracking, visualizers, and content – and why those innovations have proven successful for specifiers.

    Then we’re joined by Meghan Sherwin, Keilhauer’s chief marketing officer, who shares the one big play everyone in the industry should be considering when it comes to technology. Listen in as she describes the firm’s innovative approach to the showroom experience and the unique ways they are integrating a phygital (physical + digital) journey for designers.

    In this episode:
     [5:24] Amanda describes how a simple website addition has become an important pipeline for connecting designers to reps.
    [12:40] Amanda talks transparency and the key areas where it could drive growth in the industry.
    [14:03] Meghan shares the unique blend of physical and digital elements involved in elevating Keilhauer’s new showroom design.
    [19:09] Meghan explains the one thing she thinks is set to fundamentally change the specification process in the near future.


    Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn:
    Amanda Darley
    Meghan Sherwin


    This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward.

    Download our leading-edge playbook, 100 Ways to Create a Phygital Sales and Marketing Strategy.

    Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode.

    • 31 min
    The Future of the Firm Library

    The Future of the Firm Library

    The pandemic has forced many functions of the design library online. Does this mean that library will pivot to primarily virtual in the future, or will there be a move to return to more physical spaces?
     
    In this episode, ThinkLab explores both sides in a discussion with two expert guests. Erica Buss, research and information services manager at Ankrom Moisan Architects, emphasizes the remaining importance of physical spaces along with expert guidance and curation. And Kristin Cerutti, a design leader at NELSON Worldwide, stresses their approach to the digital space.

    Ultimately, both agree that it’s time for the library to be reconceived as a dynamic, living space, one that supports the larger ecosystem of the firm and is a source for both information and inspiration. It’s not a matter of digital or physical. It’s really a both/and.
    In this episode:
     
    [6:35] Erica explains how the library is not just a physical space, but also a service.
    [10:37] Kristin details ways to repurpose the space once used for books and shelves.
    [16:49] How can virtual events help foster deeper connections with colleagues?
    [21:31] Kristin urges A&D consider the environmental impact of keeping libraries stocked.
    [27:16] Erica talks about the power of collaborations with reps.
     
    Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn:
    Erica Buss
    Kristin Cerutti

    This season of Design Nerds Anonymous is brought to you by Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, companies doing big things to move the design industry forward.
     
    Take Action
    We put together a complimentary cheat-sheet featuring our top 10 tips for creating an integrated physical + digital go-to-market strategy. Want to email it to your team or print it out and pin it up at your desk? Download yours here.
    Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode.

    • 35 min
    The Future of the B2B Showroom Experience

    The Future of the B2B Showroom Experience

    We’re at a critical point in the evolution of showrooms in the design industry. New digital dimensions are expanding what a showroom can do and how it can engage with architects, designers, and end users in a radically altered experience. In this episode, ThinkLab explores the possibilities of all this upheaval and asks the experts – what steps should we take now? 
     
    First, Kelly Bacon, global practice lead of Workplace Advisory at AECOM, discusses the physical/digital convergence of the showroom and envisions one possible scenario for how a furniture rep and a designer might interact. Darren Ross, our second guest, runs the Magic Castle Hotel in Los Angeles. He tells us about the hotel’s celebrated “Popsicle hotline,” an example of Darren’s customer-focused mindset and commitment to creating memorable moments — both useful attributes when building a showroom experience. Our final guests are Bitreel CEO Cosmo Kramer and COO Renu Chipalkatti, who discuss what the metaverse is and what it means for manufacturers and designers: Will there continue to be physical spaces? What will their role be?  
     
    In this episode: 
     
    [8:48] Kelly urges designers to consider functionality, especially when creating hybrid workplaces. 
    [19:12] Darren talks about the power of connection as the real secret to his hotel’s appeal. 
    [23:38] “It was pretty stunning to see a gaming application that could be life-changing in terms of shopping.” 
    [26:37] Cosmo advises manufacturers on their next steps to prepare for the metaverse. 
    [30:43] Renu discusses how showrooms will transition within the next five years. 
     
    Take action:  
    Our latest ThinkLab playbook includes 20 easy-to-implement tactics to help you find success with an integrated phygital showroom experience –and to say thanks for listening, we’re giving our podcast listeners the first chapter featuring all 20 ideas for elevating your showroom experience absolutely free. Visit https://info.thinklab.design/playbooks to download your complimentary chapter  
     
    Connect with our interviewees on LinkedIn: 
    Kelly Bacon 
    Darren Ross 
    Cosmo Kramer 
    Renu Chipalkatti 
     
    Special thanks to our episode sponsors Mannington Commercial, Keilhauer, theMART, and NeoCon, thoughtfully selected because they both represent companies that are bringing new techniques and thinking from outside the design industry for positive application. 
    Finally, thanks to Hannah Viti, our audio producer, and Blue Dot Sessions for providing the music for this episode. 

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
44 Ratings

44 Ratings

LFR777 ,

Always fantastic insight

Should be required listening for brands in the interiors industry. I particularly appreciate the input from outside design.

jinxycanflush ,

Excellent and insightful!

This is one of the best design related podcasts I’ve listened to. So many great insights are shared each episode that are relevant and actionable. I end up listening multiple times due to the robust content. Thank you to the ThinkLab team for putting together such a great resource for the design community!

dpiro42 ,

ThinkLab

ThinkLab’s insights are more important now than ever before. I’m thankful that they’re sharing their research here!

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