Last year, Fuse introduced a new focus, "4D: Digital and Interactive" which featured sessions digging into interactive and digital design and focus on translating brand assets and values to the interactive environment.

For 2013, we've labeled Transmedia & Interactive Design as a critical topic, and are pleased to present the Transmedia & Interactive Design track at the annual FUSE Symposium Day on April 15, 2013.

This symposium will include sessions such as "Breaking Down Silos: Tethering Your Brand Experience Across Your Customers’ Journey" with Peter Merholz, VP of Design, Groupon.

This session demonstrates how you’re probably in a bureaucracy without even knowing it, and the power of breaking down organizational silos to provide a desirable service experience. Merholz will provide tools to institute customer-driven practices.

In "How Interaction Design is Replacing Branding," a Panel Moderated by Cliff Kuang, Founding Editor, CoDesign,Fast Company and featuring Jenny Ji, Design Director, Path and Robert Fabricant, Vice President, Creative, frog design, we'll explore the ways that web and apps are changing branding. This panel, comprising some of today’s leading design thinkers, will offer insights into creating a user-experience oriented company.

Plus, attend: "Digital and User Disruption Driving Brand Clarity" with CNN, "Multi-Screens, Emerging Patterns of Consumption & Brand Voice: A BBC Insights Report & Case Study" and more!

To learn more about these, or other FUSE 2013 sessions, visit the event website and download the conference brochure.  Readers of our blog can save 15% off the price of registration. Use code FUSE13BLOG to save.

(Note: attendees of the symposium day can attend any session in any symposium, at any time. We encourage you to attend sessions in both to diversify your learning.)
A visual exploration of the factors influencing the creation of brand value:

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We recently wrote of the inspiring voices that are the hallmark of the FUSE conference brand. Over the next several weeks, let's take a deeper look at some of the speakers that are going to make the FUSE 2013 our most captivating lineup to date.

This week, we're featuring:

Dennis Furniss, Vice President, Global Design, Unilever

Furniss is a strategic design leader, blending innovative thinking and award-winning work with experience in strategic branding. In 2012, Unilever's senior vice-president (VP) of marketing Marc Mathieu told Marketing Magazine that Susini and Furniss will work with Unilever’s global brand teams and advertising agencies to "elevate the quality of the brief and make it more daring, maximising the chances of great work".

In his 2013 session, "Imagining, Crafting, and Producing Brands That Are Designed to Inspire and Engage" Dennis Furniss, Vice President of Global Design at Unilever and Walter Susini, Vice President, Creative Excellence at Unilever will discuss how Unilever is leading the thinking that will make sustainable brands irresistible.

To learn more about this, or other FUSE 2013 sessions, visit the event website and download the conference brochure.  Readers of our blog can save 15% off the price of registration. Use code FUSE13BLOG to save.

We are excited to announce that FUSE 2013 has already reached record breaking registration levels and is projected to sell out! More than ever before, 2013 is THE YEAR you do not want to miss.

FUSE is and has always been about the people behind the most exciting, provocative and successful brand stories of the year. Join with the industry’s best as we champion a more collaborative approach to building the world’s best brands with ONE COLLECTIVE VOICE.

The FUSE 2013 Attendees by the Numbers:

1341% more attendees from CPGs and Manufacturers compared to 2012

More cross industry representation than ever before: triple the attendees from the Travel and Hospitality Industry and double the attendees from the Retail, Entertainment and Health Insurance Industries compared to 2012

10 times more Brand Managers compared to 2012

77% more Packaging Designers compared to 2012

Take a look at just some of the companies already confirmed to participate:

121 Corporation
Academy Sports & Outdoors
Acorda Therapeutics
Ampacet
Beardwood & Company LLC
Bedford Industries/ElastiTag
Belcorp
Blue Marlin Brand Design
Botanicare
Burt's Bees
Central Garden & Pet
CFA INSTITUTE
Chevron
CIULLA ASSOC
Colgate Palmolive
Conagra Foods
CooperVision
Crown Equipment
Culinary Edge
Del Monte Foods Co
Dew Gibbons
Eckart America Corporation
Foresters
Fred Meyer Inc.
FutureBrand
Glenn Davis Group
Harvey & Daughters
Heinz
Honest Tea
Insight Strategy Group
Interbrand
J M Smucker Co
J.Miller Design Strategies
JDK Design
Kaiser Permanente
Kaleidoscope Imaging
Kellogg Company
Kimberly-Clark
Kiss Product, Inc.
Little Big Brands
Microsoft
MillerCoors
Mode Design Group
Nestle
Norfolk Southern Corporation
PepsiCo
PepsiCo/Gatorade
Perception Research Services
Petco Animal Supplies Inc
Pfizer Consumer Health
Red Peak Branding
Robert Bosch Tool Corporation
S2 Design Group
Schawk
School Specialty
Schumann & Company
Scotts Miracle-Gro
Smith Design
Soulsight
Spring Design Partners
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
Sterling Rice Group
Sun Chemical
Team Detroit
TFH Publication/Nylabone Products, Inc.
TharpeRobbins
Think Kaleidoscope
Triunfo
Ultra Creative
Weatherchem
Williams Murray Hamm
You On Demand
YUPO Synthetic Paper
Zion & Zion
Zunda Group LLP

This is your chance to make history: break down the “proverbial” walls of functions and participate in a more holistic experience than ever before - provocative, content driven and inspiring.

YOUR VISION is more than your title, your department or your role. Join us in championing ONE COLLECTIVE VOICE. 

Can you afford to not be at FUSE this year? Register today.



In creating Fuse 2013, we’ve moved away from labeling session based on the “function” of design or strategy and present them to you just as they are—provocative, content driven and inspiring stories. However, it has been important in this process not to lose our focus on differentiation through design, the perfect balance of practical and provocative and the annual celebration of what’s already happened and a dialogue around what’s next.

One such session will be our kick-off keynote, "The Future of Design Begins Now" with Jared Weiner, of Weiner, Edrich, Brown, Inc.:
Several emerging consumer trends will impact and inform the future of design. Design is one of the most important strategic differentiators and growth areas of the new economy. The economy is evolving to put more of a premium on design than ever before. We will discuss n evolved understanding of human sensory systems, the effects of rapid global urbanization on design, the Maker Movement, the 360 design experience within the company and the importance of distinguishing between innovation and imagination.
Another to look forward to is "Design Thinking: Championing the Strategic Integration of Design Within Your Organization" featuring Sean Hughes, Chief Design Officer, Philips Healthcare, Willy Wong, Chief Creative Officer, NYC & Co, and Vince Voron, Head of Design, The Coca-Cola Company. This panel unites inspiring and influential design leaders to share how to strategically elevate the influence and impact of design within your organization and the potential for collaboration at the most strategic levels.

Vince Voron at Fuse 2012
Other design focused sessions will include:

"Creating Harmonious Experiences With A Common Design Language System" with Klaus Kaasgaard, Director of Experience Design, Intuit and "How Design Thinking Leads to Category Transformation" , with Neil Grimmer CEO/Co-founder, Plum Organics

And more!  To learn more about these, or other FUSE 2013 sessions, visit the event website and download the conference brochure.  Readers of our blog can save 15% off the price of registration. Use code FUSE13BLOG to save.
Drawing inspiration and learning from different and parallel industries has never held more promise as we face increasingly similar challenges with more complexity and uncertainty.

At FUSE 2013, you’ll be exposed to leaders at the TOP of their game across all major industries bringing you a rich mix of unique perspectives:

Consumer Goods

- Wendy Orner, Design Leader, Surface Care, PROCTOR & GAMBLE 
- Keynote: Dennis Furniss, Vice President, Global Design, UNILEVER
- Dr. Dondeena Bradley, VP, Fobal R&D Nutirtion and Nutrition Ventures, PEPSICO
- Neil Grimmer, CEO/Co-founder, PLUM ORGANICS

Digital/ Media/ Entertainment 

- Ben Barry, Designer, FACEBOOK
- Marisa Gallagher, VP, Design, Photography, Multimedia, CNN DIGITAL
- Julia Whitney, General Manager of User Experience & Design, BBC
- Melissa Waters, Director of Brand Marketing, PANDORA

Retail/Services

- Keynote: Shawn Gensch, SVP Marketing, TARGET
- Danielle Monti, Creative Director, Brand Expression, STARBUCKS
- Peter Merholz, VP Global Design, GROUPON
- Sonia Whiteley-Guest, Brand Development Director, MORRISONS

Travel/Transportation/Hospitality

- Tom Ouleete, Director, Global Brand Management & Strategy, INTERCONTINENTAL HOTELS GROUP
- Curt Wilson, Innovation and Design Team Lead, NAVISTAR
- Willy Wong, Chief Creative Officer, NYC & CO

Healthcare/ Pharmaceuticals

- Sean Hughes, Chief Design Officer, PHILIPS HEALTHCARE
- Scott Power, Senior Brand Strategist, KAISER PERMANENTE 

Technology/Tele-Communications

- Karen Edwards, GM Consumer Marketing, BING
- Gregg Heard, VP, Brand Identity & Design, AT&T
- Klaus Kaasgaard, Head of User Experience, INTUIT

To see what these visionaries, storytellers and leaders will be talking about at FUSE 2013, download the full agendaRegister today and to save $600.
Fittingly, with diversity this grand, join us for a WHOLE new FUSE.









This 18-minute "Connecting" video documentary explores the future of Interaction Design and User Experience with some of the industry's thought leaders created by Bassett & Partners.

Bassett & Partners are brand and design strategy experts who use ethnographic understanding of people to find original emotional insights. Here they explore the role of software as it is catapulting forward,and Interaction Design is seen to be not only increasing in importance dramatically, but also expected to play a leading role in shaping the coming "Internet of things."

Ultimately, when the digital and physical worlds become one, humans along with technology are potentially on the path to becoming a "super organism" capable of influencing and enabling a broad spectrum of new behaviors in the world.

 Definitely worth viewing, as we navigate a future where we are all connected in real time via products and an environment that is both intelligent and responsive.


Connecting (Full Film) from Bassett & Partners on Vimeo.

About the Author

Valerie M. Russo, Social Innovation Lead, Senior Strategist at IIR USA, has a background in technology, anthropology, marketing and publishing.  Russo has worked in a variety of digital media roles at Hachette Book Group, Aol, and Thomson Reuters. She is a published poet and maintains a literary blog. She may be reached at vrusso@iirusa.com. Follow her @Literanista.  
We recently wrote of the inspiring voices that are the hallmark of the FUSE conference brand. Over the next several weeks, let's take a deeper look at some of the speakers that are going to make the FUSE 2013 our most captivating lineup to date.

This week, we're featuring:

MARIA POPOVA, FOUNDER & EDITOR, BRAIN PICKINGS 

Maria Popova is the founder and editor of Brain Pickings, has written for Wired UK, The Atlantic, Nieman Journalism Lab, The New York Times, and Design Observer, among others, and is an MIT Futures of Entertainment Fellow. She is on Twitter as @brainpicker.

Popova's session for FUSE 2013 is entitled "Anatomy of Magic: Serendipity, Discovery, and the Architecture of Combinatorial Creativity." We live in a culture nursed on the Eureka! myth of creativity. But the history of ideas tells a different story, one where creative magic comes from the alchemy of fusing existing pieces of knowledge and transmuting them into new combinations—a process driven by equal parts serendipity and purposeful grit.

In this piece on Brain Pickings, Popova wrote "Perhaps George Lois was right, after all, when he stated that creativity is discovering ideas rather than “creating” them and John Cleese correctly defined it as “a way of operating” rather than a mystical talent."

To learn more about this, or other FUSE 2013 sessions, visit the event website and download the conference brochure.  Readers of our blog can save 15% off the price of registration. Use code FUSE13BLOG to save.
Drawing inspiration from different and parallel industries has never held more promise as we face increasingly similar challenges with more complexity and uncertainty. Fittingly, with diversity this grand, there’s something for everyone at FUSE 2013.

This week, we take a close look at sessions that focus on packaging as an impetus to stronger impact on shelf, category innovation and brand success:

Taking A Holistic Approach to Brand and Product Development Tina Zinter-Chahin, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Creative, Fisher-Price

Creating Harmonious Experiences With A Common Design Language System Klaus Kaasgaard, Director of Experience Design, Intuit

Exploring New Creative Territory For Organics in a Mainstream World Webb deVlam
How Design Thinking Leads to Category Transformation Neil Grimmer CEO/Co-founder, Plum Organics

Imagining, Crafting, and Producing Brands That Are Designed to Inspire and Engage Dennis Furniss, Vice President, Global Design, Unilever and Walter Susini, Vice President, Creative Excellence, Unilever

The Rebranding of Tazo Tea: A Starbucks Case Study Daniele Monti, Creative Director, Brand Expression, Starbucks

Fun is Not Good Enough: Winning at the Business of Play Chris Down, VP Global Creative, Mattel, Inc

Reanimating An Icon Wendy Orner, Design Leader, Surface Care, P&G

Why Choose FUSE?  

We were curious. Why, after all these years, do people continue to return to FUSE? Sure, we had our speculations and best guesses, but we wanted to hear the real reasons right from the horse’s mouth. We were blown away by the responses. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing some of the reasons why people choose FUSE with you.

 Here’s why Vince Voron, AVP, Head of Design at Coca-Cola North America chooses FUSE each year:

FUSE is my favorite design conference. I look forward to attending FUSE each year with anticipation. It is the perfect blend of corporate design leaders and icons from the most prestigious design agencies. I recommend this conference for corporate packaging design professionals looking to connect and learn best practices from industry experts and leading design agencies. 

Want to share why you choose FUSE? We'd love to hear from you. Tweet@NextBigDesign #FUSEDesign, via Instagram @nextbigdesign or share your thoughts below.We'd love to hear from you too.

To see full details on the FUSE 2013 program, download the brochure here


One hundred years ago - Feb. 2, 1913 - Grand Central Terminal opened to the public for the first time.

Back in March 2012, Next Big Design guest blogger Dan Madinabeitia wrote our own ode to Grand Central in the post "Good Design Feels Like 10 Seconds, Bad Design Feels Like 10 Years" writing
"To me Grand Central Station feels like 10 seconds. It is the ‘iPhone’ of commuting by train into New York City. Penn on the other hand feels like 10 years. Its disrupted by commercial vendors and is overshadowed by Madison Square Garden which sits heavily on top of it like an oversized red starburst on a magazine cover… I think you get the picture. I will close by saying that I am by no means a ‘train station architectural expert’. I just know what I like in a train station."

The New York Times recently ran an excerpt of the forthcoming book “Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America,” by Sam Roberts, their urban affairs correspondent which included the following quote on it's original design:
“Without exception it is not only the greatest station in the United States, but the greatest station, of any type, in the world.”
So here's to that classic NYC icon of design, now celebrating it's anniversary with a new logo from Pentagram team Michael Bierut, partner-in-charge and designer; Joe Marianek, designer (pictured above), we're happy to have it here.

Michelle LeBlanc is a Social Media Strategist at IIR USA and a big fan of public transportation.
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