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From the biggest of smiles and equally intimidating air of cool confidence, you couldn’t help but love something so “huge” at first sight… Claudia impressed the audience in a split second of bright pink screen and her simple logic paired with the boldest of designs; designs that leapt through the page to create tangible movement and stand tall among less fortunate web screens we might browse daily. A complete redesign for Target Online was the largest of its kind in more than one way, and the Alvin Adley dance company’s site could have sat us two inches from center stage. Ideas as positively colossal and simultaneously socially conscious like Pepsi Refresh’s “1000’s of ideas,” a Super Bowl advertising campaign turned on its head that allows consumers to contribute their own hometown improvement projects, along with web overhauls like Jet Blue and iVillage that create a consumer experience intensely tailored to each visitor, displayed that HUGE, along with Claudia, doesn’t do anything on a small scale. Funny though, that Claudia claims it all started with a minuscule contraption: a highly practical pencil case that she first used as a child in Asia; something that worked together so well that she just had to take it apart… and start designing herself.

Missed all the fun? Check out the recap on our Flickr page.

Gaining her roots in mechanical design was no child-like decision either; her background embedded in logic and practicality created a current theme for her work at HUGE: “paring art and function” to create inspirational experiences for consumers. As she said best, “Great design is achieved when the functionality of the design matches the user’s experience”; since after all, “the things we love and use every day are often ugly, yet we love how they make us feel,” and we can’t get away from them — places like Google or Gmail, Facebook and Netflix. Sometimes we spend so much time on “new” design; trapped so deep in the confines of our Photoshop cell that we forget that user experience component. To Claudia, this is where we need to flip the “pencil case” around, tear it apart and “build” something new; “The best design gets beyond ourselves, and lets the product sing… it creates an irrational bond between itself and the consumer it reaches,” she breezily relayed. And isn’t that what were ultimately shooting for? A little bit irrational and emotional, but inseparable encounters with what we’ve created…a perfect relationship in creative terms.

Claudia also filled us in on how we get to this “inseparable type of inspiration” in the consumer’s mind: “rigorous and innovative refinement of designs,” realizing that as designers we are “the most obsessive types of creatures on this darn Earth (straight from Claudia),” and that when it all comes down, “the best idea might still come from an intern.” Combining that subtle humor, smooth vocal tone, and rock star smile, we were amused to hear her last advice to continually “give a crap”: keep utilizing our functional design toolbox, gracefully tie those ideas to our best pieces of inspired art, and “make something you love,” every day, “huge.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011
275 W Woodruff Ave, Columbus, OH 43210, United States