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In 2019, we are all in a race to 2020.
Generation Z has arrived, and they expect intelligently designed brand experiences.  Gen Z’s 44 billion dollars of disposable income has triggered a tsunami of change as industry races towards 2020. In a recent C-suite study, 68 percent of C-suite executives expect their enterprise organizations to emphasize customer experience over products. During industry’s dance with disruption, Design has elevated itself at the new seat of power at the table and in the boardroom. 
That seat comes with expectations that design will act as a conductor of a symphonic enterprise.

Great design leaders share the same characteristics as conductors of an orchestra. Like Gustavo Dudamel or Alondra de la Parra’s ability to seat an inclusive band of musicians who bring to life a euphoric cacophony of sound that heals and inspires the soul, design leaders, have the ability to conduct the enterprise like a symphony to deliver intelligent brand experiences that matter for customers and our world.

As we shift from a brand-led world into a new intelligently connected world, business has  concluded that in order to survive the changes of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, their brand experiences cannot be led by advertising alone. Nothing creates word of mouth excitement like a well designed experience. From manufacturing to mobility, from financial to food service and from health and beauty to hospitality, enterprises are rethinking everything. The name of the game is designing net new innovations, products and services. At the center of orchestrating the organization's operations and experiences are brilliant problem solvers - designers that are catapulting us closer to meeting 2020 goals.


As a design leader at Amazon, I understood it was important to decode our peculiar culture in order to take ownership and establish a what we call a flywheel that keeps us laser focused on our customer experience while we listen, experiment, evolve, invent, and simplify in order to consistently deliver results. In our symphonic enterprise, the flywheel represents the repeating melody or tonic of a great song.  Embedded in those well written poetic stanzas, there are macro design movements and micro minuets redefining intelligent brand experiences for a GenZ driven 2020.   

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Design 2020 Talks
Design Deep Dives
Space Design & Astro

The space industry has evolved from a governmental structure to a public-private cooperative structure. The newest generation of pioneers of the industry are in the midst of redesigning the frontiers of space. With forward leaning leaders looking towards interplanetary civilization, new space designers are actively building the technologies, tools, and human experiences. Space design is inspiring creativity and helping us think differently about ourselves and our future.

Designing for space is pervasive across cultures, from fashion and entertainment to advertising and design. Even the perceived sound of space, or sonic space, is an extrasensory ingredient that can add to a design or experience. Designing products for use in severe environments ,such as space, opens up a new framework for innovating designs that ease our lives on Earth. This becomes more critical as we overpopulate the planet, become conscious of dwindling resources, and susceptible to radical weather patterns. Design in the new space era is unleashing a symbiotic relationship between space and Earth, as seen by the explosive growth of commercial satellites and a significant increase of private sector investments in the field.

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Disaster Design

Turmoil in the world — from terrorism to mass migrations to climate change — is resulting in growing disaster areas and temporary habitation, such as refugee camps. Designers, brands, NGOs and public-private partnerships are stepping in with innovations for relief infrastructure that also have legs for everyday use.

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Doobie Design

As this potent little herb is slowly getting legalized across the United States and Canada it is design that is shifting generational perceptions from stoner to super premium. Design will continue to build cannabis brands that radically change culture as it buds into the mainstream.

From Package Design and Advertising to Retail and Product Experience, design leaders are making some of the most inventive design choices.

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Design Ethics With D

The path to personalization at scale is riddled jagged ethical questions. Design Ethics require design leaders to honestly consider the impact their work has on the world. The May 2018 enactment of GDPR in the EU, The US Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Information Warfare on the electorate and the televised hearings of tech CEOs spotlighting luddite lawmakers in the US, It is no wonder that the topic of Ethical Design with Data continues to grow with a whopping 3,430,000 active conversations in social media and on top of mind for every design influencer who I’ve spoke with in the last year.  

The time for cynicism is over. This coming year the ground game will include:
1. Public discussion and policy debate about Ethical Design with Data from the corridors of power at Davos to the keynotes of SxSW, CES, iXDA and Cannes Lions all the way to in the jury rooms of awards shows.
2. An updated Code of Conduct with design certifications that outline Design professionals fundamental obligations to society, to clients, customers, to the profession, and to peers and colleagues.
3. Open source models and tools that facilitate sound ethical reasoning like Jet Gispen’s Ethics for Designers, Ind.ie’s Ethical Design Manifesto or Jan Chipchase’s The Field Study Handbook.  
4. The rise of Public Service Design initiatives that courts designers to serve the common good and outline a 21st century citizen experience with regulations for businesses and the new rights of citizens in a globally connected world. See NYC Design, The U.S.’s 18F,  Design for Europe or Nesta.

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Democratic Design

Today’s political landscape poses complex challenges to democracies on planet earth. Values, principals and beliefs are the intersection that public service, politics and design have long shared.

Democratic systems are in disrepair and we are once again defining who & what do we value and how the answers to those questions affect our decisions about solutions we design. At the forefront of the ground swell of discussions are designers who have made it their mission to save America’s democracy with new type leadership. From new ideas about connected community policing, to orchestrating step change in health care and education, to registering new voters, to eliminating biases in our democratic systems of governing, democratic service design is shaping policy of how we re-engineer democracy to a fairer future.  Whether designers are choosing to uphold values by committing to fair compensation and diversity in the workplace or acting as an engine for hot takes in the social and political media, driven by the 24-hour-a-day news cycle of network TV, design has moved from merely branding campaigns to composing values driven policies and everything in between.

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Atomic Design System

Atomic design systems, also known as component-based systems, have become an essential ingredient in Agile, Lean and Six Sigma working models.  While design system’s are not new, the rise of Atomic Systems have captured the imaginations of influential business and design leaders.

An Atomic Design System begins with the premise that all matter in their universe can be broken down into a finite set of atomic elements. As it happens, intelligent interfaces can be broken down into a similar finite set of elements. Atomic design is not a linear process, but rather a mental model to help us think of our user interfaces as both a cohesive whole and a collection of parts at the same time. These component-based systems require you to describe and organize every component of your design system for the scale of the connected universe. Sites like the Pattern Lab and tools like InVision's Design System ManagerFigma and Framer allow you to generate a static website for documenting your atomic library in a manner that unites developer’s code and your layer structure.

Minuets of Design Systems
Rise of inclusive design

There is a real shift from the AA ratings for accessibility standards to adopting becoming a culture of Inclusive designers. Inclusive design helps us create products that serve as many people as possible. While accessibility is a core objective, inclusion means much more. It enables people with diverse characteristics to design and use your product in a variety of different environments. Diverse and Inclusive design teams that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human difference is the formula for a fairer future.

maestros to monitor:

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Rise of Design Tech

Like the rise of the Chief Design Officer or DEO, the design technologist is playing an increasingly important role in crafting design systems.  As more industries find an intersection of tech e.g. MarTech, EdTech, MedTech and FinTech, the designer who can code is not longer a unicorn in the wilds of the internet, but a necessity on every design team. In the decade to come the designer who cannot work in code will be the designer who stands on the unemployment line.

maestros to monitor:

Dark Mode

Dark mode is not new.  But the standarization of of Dark Mode as a primary feature is new.  This has always been the perfect setting for people with command of the command line, now it is increasingly popular for night owls and users who prefer low light. These features reduce eye strain and make it easier for working during the night.  Regardless of the reasoning behind it, dark modes help make users more comfortable as they work late into the night.


Ingeniously curated by the by Loredana Papp-Dinea & Mihai Baldean 


In 2018 designers have used mostly vibrant colors and this trend is just going to grow bigger in 2019.
Colors will be even more courageous, with designers using supersaturated tones in their work. Pantone has already revealed their color trend forecast for 2019 so, this year, use bold colors if you want your work or business to stand out.

Bold Colors

(1) Author: Vladimir LifanovAslamova Viktoriya - Project: Loudhead; (2) Author: Van Orton Design® - Project: Billboard2018 ; (3) Author:Sagmeister & Walsh - Project: BABOON; (4) Author: Beetroot Design - Project: Onassis Cultural Centre; (5), (6), (7) Author: Vladimir Lifanov, Aslamova Viktoriya - Project: Loudhead (8) Author: Van Orton Design® - Project: Billboard • 2018


When most people hear about asymmetry they think about the lack of balance but asymmetry is so much more. Designers can use it to create harmony and to balance the whole composition by intentionally avoiding traditional balance. You can experience and play with the elements you are using, like typography, geometric shapes or 3d renders to create a unique outcome. Remember that the user’s eye will firstly see the bigger element and so on.


(1), (2) Author: CFC - Project: EASY PEASY; (3) Author: Jason Miller,  Mother Design - Project: AIGA

Isometric Design

We have seen Isometric design trending for the past years, but in 2019, with the illustrations taking over all design fields, we really need to add it this year as well.

Isometric Design_2

(1) Author: MORPHINE Motion Graphics - Project: McDonald's Monopoly; (2) Author: Igor KozakRocketboy Studio - Project:10012;  (3) Author:Cristian Malagón GarciaNúria Madrid - Project: Increment Mag issue 4; (4) Author: Peter TarkaMateusz Krol - Project: Adobe Government; (5) Author: Igor KozakRocketboy Studio - Project: 10012; (6) Author: Mohamed Samir - Project: Fast Company — 100 Most Creative People 2018

Broken Grid & Overlapping Elements

Overlapping elements in web design have been here for the last couple of years, combined with broken grids can create a unique creative layout. Always keep in mind the experience for mobile!

Broken Grid & Overlapping Elements

(1) Author: Abhishek Biswas - Project: Meaww; (2) Author: Daniel Tan - Project: Aero - Airline Flight Booking UI/UX; (3) Author: Slava Kornilov - Project: FRASH Canada; (4) Author: Soongyu GwonD.FY creative studio - Project: The D.FY you know, but better.;(5) Author: Ovik Mooshlyan - Project: Cittá | Furniture website concept; (6) Author: Soongyu GwonD.FY creative studio - Project: The D.FY you know, but better.


Bigger Bolder. Better.
With typography getting more and more into the spotlight, many giants, like Apple, choose to make a statement through bold typography. In many cases typography is replacing images.

Isometric Design

(1) Author: Murmure • - Project: Trempo; (2) Author: Gabriel Figueiredo - Project: GRAÚNA / Typeface; (3) Author:  Avant Post -Project: Les Salins 2018/2019; (4) Author:  Morgan Stephens - Project: Women‘s Foundation 25th Anniversary Campaign

Skillfully curated by GraphicMama

BLOCK 5 – Credits & Sources

Thank you to the hundreds of designers that connected with me this year whether in person, on social or at an event. After a year of deep learning and analysis of 272 reports on enterprise and consumer trends, social listening and conferring with over 111 influencers from across the business and design spectrum, I am here to report that Spaceship Earth needs design leaders more than ever.

List of sources influencing the Design 2020: Ingenuity In The Key of Industry



Joanna is regarded as a headline speaker at conferences, educational and professional organizations. Her subject matter expertise in tech, design, Ai and Web3 is customized to inspire and influence global audiences. 

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