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College of Human Ecology

Engage, imagine advises ATID symposium speaker

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lee Moreau was speaking at the annual Apparel Textiles and Interior Design Student Symposium but his advice spread across work and lifestyle boundaries:

• Keep your eyes open. “Engage in the world around us…music, the environment, food, the Kardashians.”

Lee Moreau explains about HAL 9000 from Kubrick's "2001 Space Odyssey."

• Use your imagination. Innovation is a team sport, he said, explaining some of his company’s projects. Moreau is a principal with Continuum, a global innovation design consultancy headquartered in Boston.

• Make stuff. “Make a decision, make change, make stuff,” he said.

• Don’t cut corners in thinking or production.

• “It’s okay to work hard,” he said. In fact, he recommended it.

To come up with good ideas for innovation, dig deeper and look around, Moreau advised. He was keynote speaker at the annual event in the Union. It is sponsored by ATID.

Business today is about engaging in a whole eco-system. “It’s about understanding people,” he said, careful not to call them “consumers.”

He is an architect and designer involved the new field of service design to provide unified customer experience. The movement, to focus on people more than products, is driven by social networking that has given individuals power to complain publically, Moreau said.

He and his teammates gather “ethnographic information” about customers of their clients. He is not a fan of focus groups. “Study people like YOU are from Mars,” he said.

The ultimate goal is to see the new in the familiar.

The architect/designer/thinker had more advice for students. “Don’t think you are going to go out and get a job that satisfied every fiber of your being,” he said, encouraging students to be involved in other interests, projects and “moonlighting.”

Story and photo by Human Ecology communications




This article was posted on Wednesday, May 2, 2012, and is filed under Apparel, Textiles, & Interior Design, College News.