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Duncan Hoge: Creativity Gets Easier with Collaboration

Trends and Insight 188 Add to collection

R/GA senior experience designer Duncan Hoge his fascination with experience design

Duncan Hoge: Creativity Gets Easier with Collaboration

“I love that no one can really nail down experiential design. It's a very fluid field, and there are so many different deliverables, methodologies, and perspectives that experience designers can specialise in,” said Duncan Hoge, senior experience designer working out of the R/GA Portland office about why he finds experience design to be such an interesting field.

 

Q> Tell me about your career path. What brought you to R/GA?

Duncan> I stumbled into the marketing and product design world after studying journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill. I worked as a newspaper designer at a small publication after undergrad and wanted to marry my love for design with that of my love for emerging tech. I just didn't know how to do it. Eventually, my search landed me at VCU Brandcenter, where I studied experience design and fell in love with R/GA when Chloe Gottlieb gave a talk on how the agency creates work that lives at the intersections of multiple disciplines. I interned at R/GA New York for a summer and then made the move to R/GA Portland the next year.


Q> What do you enjoy most about experiential design? How has it changed in the last few years, and how do you see it developing? You can talk about trends here etc..

Duncan> It's a very fluid field, and there are so many different deliverables, methodologies, and perspectives that experience designers can specialise in.

It seems like every year we are trying to define the differences between experience design, interaction design, product design, creative technology, UX design, etc. I hope this is always the case: the growing number of related titles means that human-centred design is being applied in a shifting landscape of deliverables. The human experience is dynamic and our discipline should mirror this. For example, verbal design and service design have existed for many years, and now we are applying these in new ways like conversational AI.

Over the next few years, I look forward to the countless conversations we will have about data ethics and privacy as technology permeates more facets of our daily lives. As a designer and consumer, I hope we can develop universal protection for the right to privacy and personal data online. It's great to see headway being made with so many companies signing on to the Contract for the Web.


Q> What makes you the most excited about a project you are working on/have worked on?

Duncan> Collaboration is and likely always will be what I love most about my work. I am more creative with a team and our tools and clients are making collaboration easier than ever. We've started using Figma with our teams and clients to make designing and communicating designs easier, even when doing so remotely. R/GA has embraced dispersed teams for a long time and I had been collaborating with our San Francisco office remotely even prior to COVID-19.


Q> What are some of the biggest growth moments for you?

Duncan> I'm always quick to jump into solution-solving and ideation, but our experience strategists have shown me the value of giving additional time to ask questions. Sometimes they'll ask a question during a workshop that they're well aware of the answer, but just want to hear how the client answers it.


Q> What would you say one should do to maintain creativity?

Duncan> New experiences, challenges, sights, and people keep me creative. I'm also a huge fan of structured time for disconnecting. I used to be under the impression that more input meant more creativity and I spent time scrolling other people's books, the trades, and tech news. While these things are important, I’ve found that I get most inspired when I step outside of the design channels, learn about a new field. Ultimately, new perspectives will find their way into your design thinking as long as you seek them out. Since spending more time at home, this practice has recently resulted in my purchasing a table saw and a lot of beginner woodworking projects. 


Q> Do you have any passion projects outside of work?

Duncan> Much of my ‘structured disconnection’ time is spent training for ultramarathons. I run with Nike's Bowerman Track Club Elite and on the buttery trails of the Pacific Northwest. My competitive events have been canceled for the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so I have shifted my focus on running trails and peak bagging in remote areas of Oregon and Washington.


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R/GA New York, Thu, 16 Jul 2020 15:42:45 GMT