Cincinnati Design Week is almost here, so here are 9 TEDx talks to spark your own design inspiration

CINCINNATI - Cincinnati Design Week kicks off Monday, with a happy hour hosted by TEDxCincinnati. It's an appropriate intersection of interests, since TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged.

What is TEDx?

“In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDxCincinnati brings people together to share a TED-like experience. The “x” in TEDx represents independently organized TED events.”

As a designer and writer, TEDx is a wonderful source for inspiration. It's been great to see TEDxCincinnati gaining a following in the Tri-State.

RELATED: 'Sound Ideas' is the theme of TEDxCincinnati main stage event at Memorial Hall on Oct. 3, 2013

Listening to TED "talks" can spark newfound creativity, an idea, or the boost of inspiration you’ve been looking for--whatever your career or vocation may be

Here are 9 of my favorite TEDtalks found regarding design. Two of the speakers just happen to be from Cincinnati!

1. Selfless Design | Daniel Makoski | TEDxHongKongED

Makoski designed at both Google and Microsoft, but once never considered himself a designer. However, he believes design is the key to transform education, resulting in making information simple and clear for the end user.

A few experiences later, he became an experience designer working for United Airlines creating a new user-friendly website. This super complex website has tens of thousand pages but with the help of everyday people, he was able to create an outstanding website.

2. Designed to Inspire - Lessons from 2012 | Kevin Owens | TEDxFulbrightDublin

Owens was fortunate to win the bid for designing the arena for the 2012 London games. It was ten years in the making with nine million spectators, 17,000 athletes, more than 20,000 people from the media and a 4.3 billion television viewers. The costly structure was, for six consecutive weeks, the most photographed place on earth.

This designer's goal was to make the 2012 Olympics the most sustainable Olympics to date by leaving a lasting legacy in the form of memories in addition to physically. 

3. MAKE Me Happy | Sarah Colson | TEDxJESS

When Colson lost her job she loved so much in 2013, it triggered an identity crisis. She didn’t know the best way to brand herself. She was a lot of things: a designer, a traveler, daughter, a woman and the list goes on.

In this talk, she helps answer the question, “How can you talk about identity when there are so many different things that you can be identified as? What do you do?”

4. Design Thinking for Every Endeavour | Robyn Richardson | TEDxCreativeCoast

Richardson realized she had the knack for affecting the way people think. She’s a teacher but also a musician. Through her two different careers, she learned that by treating teaching as a musical gig, it was beneficial for all.

Her interest peaked in design thinking so Robyn attended grad school.

“Design thinking in this really important big revolutionary way. Taking the practice of thinking and applying is in any discipline."

5. Design in Your World | Patrick Lee Lucas | TEDxUKY

Lucas touches on conformity versus non-conformity and uses Starbucks as an example. On average, Starbucks sells 600,00 cups a day, totaling 218.4 million cups a year. Design works for them by reshaping and retooling the coffee making experience.

Aside from the actual cup of coffee, they transformed the business. They designed an experience where it’s a place to hang out that isn’t home or work.

6. The Opportunity To Design For The Experience | Luca Mascaro | TEDxLugano

Mascaro talks about his dependence on a smart phone and remembers one instance when he traveled to Hong Kong. He goes on to share his feelings about experience and how they truly define how we feel, our happiness and even our expectations. The quality of experience effects the quality of life, which in turn has designers now creating products based on the human experience.

7. Creation and Curation | Luke Davis | TEDxTelfairStreet

Davis explains why humans are special. It’s because they can make tools and we’re a technology-based species. Grumpy Cat is special because it’s an icon of being displeased, for example.

When we started to saturate the planet, there isn’t a frontier where you can runaway because for the most part, everything has been seen or done to some extent.

8. Re-creation of Design | Michael Beirut | TEDxCapeMay (Cincinnati)

Michael graduated from DAAP at UC, graduated suma cum laude and specialized in graphic design.

9. Design, Community, and Change |  Ramsey Ford | TEDxCincinnati

Ramsey and his team used the principles of good design to improve lives of those with the greatest need for improvement. Ramsey discusses the use of design as a means to empower the world's poorest citizens.

“Design can be used as access to healthcare, education and give people opportunities that they may not have experienced within their communities.”

Design Week TEDxCincinnati Happy Hour

As a sponsor of TEDxCincinnati, WCPO Insider invites you to join in! 


Megan Fenno is the newest member of the WCPO community team! She is a graduate of the Savannah College of Art Design. Connect with her on Twitter: @meganfenno


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