Bloc Thinking
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With a friendship forged in Poland, Jonathan Gall and Werner Puchert explore ideas and concepts that make designers tick. Join us as we feed our insatiable curiosity with voices from inside and outside Central Europe. Feel invited.

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    Unlocking the rich harmonies of [Service] Design

    Ever contemplate the similarities between Design and playing Jazz? Not only the interplay between musicians but also the courage required to get on stage to do the work. For Marina Terteryan a Service Designer and musician all the way from Los Angeles, Armenia it's an obvious analogy. We talk about a brave grandma, brave parents who moved to make a new life in America and to be bold in Design.

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    It will be underwater and upside down

    Paul Bulencea, is a Romanian Experience Designer, with an unquenchable need to play and explore the universe. He is the co-author of the book Gamification in Tourism and one of the founders of the College of Extraordinary Experiences a remarkable, physical interpretation of Pine and Gilmore's "Experience Economy". Paul was also recognised by Forbes in 2018's 30-under-30.

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    'Design through the Lens of Culture'

    I invite you to look at design through the lens of Culture, with Olga Skoczylas. Olga is a Cultural Economist and co-owner of the Design Agency 'Cultural Design'. In this episode, we cover culture, what it means and why it's important but we don't stop there. She has this innate obsession to create domain names and attach projects of all shapes and sizes to them. To that point, the conversation takes an unexpected detour past blockchain, brutalist design, innovation and art.

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    Structured experience design, adult pillow forts and a dungeon bar

    Andrew Lacanienta is a Doctoral Candidate in Experience Design at Texas A&M University. He is a close friend who makes a yearly pilgrimage to our side of the world to attend the College of Extraordinary Experiences at Czhocha Castle, Poland. We took some time out of the College schedule to talk about his insights on Experience Desing and focused our conversation on the Theory of Structured Experience Design.

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    Unlocking human potential one brick at a time

    Michel Cloosterman from the Association of Master Trainers in the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® provides us with an insight into the method initiated by LEGO CEO Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen back in 1996.

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    Allow yourself to surprise yourself

    What if you could practice what you preached? Well, Seth Minard, a former Interaction Designer at Cooper is an Example of that. Seth has turned the focus of his design practice inwards to re-design his life. Perhaps, transformation starts with the designer, before attempting to design experiences for others?

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    Mini-Episode - Tipping my hat to Jonathan Gall

    We have a few short announcements and thought we'd try a Mini-Episode. Jonathan's business is growing which is GREAT! However, it has a ripple effect on his involvement in this project as my co-host. We discuss this along with some news about our workshop at Product Development Days.

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    A sneaky plan to get rid of Dinosaurs

    Wojtek Kutyla values the ability of a designer to play the role of enabler, and we ‘absolutely’ agree with his approach. If you building something with a team of people they, we, are all busy with the act of creation. In his words, he has a sneaky plan to replace the old dinosaurs with teams with an user-centric approach.

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    Olga, an agent of effective [marketing] communication

    This week we are joined by Olga Kovalenko. She has found her niche in digital marketing and join us from Kiev, Ukraine where she applies her trade at Trionika as Marketing Team Lead. Here she focuses on email marketing; she's fast to point out that the humble E-mail is not dead [yet], and still remains a key part of the digital communication mix. She recently finished a PhD that focused on unpacking the value of micro-copy within digital communication, amongst others.

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    "Do what you love."

    Toto Castiglione, pragmatic leader, designer and Team Leader at Netguru takes some time out of his holiday to speak to us. He is a multi-disciplinary professional big picture thinker passionate about solving problems. He shares some insights around becoming a leader in a fast-growing company, some of his favourite tools, the importance of motion in design and a few notes on his favourite projects. Join us for a conversation with Krakow's favourite Italian [Net]guru.

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    A curious soul solving modern challenges

    Mariusz Ciesla is a Polish Product Designer who has an uncommon multidisciplinary background. Mariusz is a designer, a developer, a photograph and even more. Before all, he is someone who is curious about all things in life. It led him to work on an amazing journey, working on projects at the edge of technology. Another side of Mariusz is his love for teaching and mentoring, something he does across Europe. During this interview, we touch those points and also the challenges of his life as a freelancer in Berlin.

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    Friends, Romans, Machines listen to my voice!

    Rafal Cymerys is a talented software engineer from Krakow (Poland) who realised that he was more than just a technologist; he is an explorer! Rafal is part of a team of brave explorers who are leading the way into the new and uncharted frontier of voice technology.

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    Honest, authentic, Aga.

    From academia, corporate and being an owner of her own independent Experience Design consultancy it’s hard to find a design professional with more hands-on experience than Aga Szostek.

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    From practising UX to creating a learning platform; a journey in good design

    After moving from Estonia to London, Sergei Golubev has made a name for himself in the world of Design. He built a great career as a designer and a major learning platform for UX Designers in Europe. Leading The School of UX and The UX Conference in London, at only 32 Sergei is definitely someone to keep your eye on.

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    ‘Design is about being practical, and building something that works’

    Hubert Turaj is the founder of Edisonda, well known and acknowledged UX Design outfits from Krakow Poland. He and his team have managed hundreds of multichannel experiences, starting out as a small circle of friends to a close-knit group delivering work for multinational like ING, ABB, Autodesk and Goodyear. Hubert appreciates the value human-centric design, not only in the work they create for their clients but the close-knit team bond they share within the Edisonda team.

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    Friendship, Partnership and hard work, Elements of Design

    You have an opportunity to make a difference and be a designer of the extraordinary, no matter the medium. For Olga Rafalska and Paulina Kacprzak, it’s building a platform where designers can learn, share and co-create

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    A digital specialist with an analogue secret in his back pocket

    Responsive in many ways, from web design, podcasting, newsletters and a custom Pocket Books range Justin Avery is a Designer unable to sit still. Originally from Australia, sprouting roots in the UK, he is a thought leader and the creator of www.responsivedesign.is a rich treasure trove of knowledge focusing on the design and development of responsive web solutions.

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    A little research, goes a long way

    If you want to create experiences people love you have to leave the studio to observe, engage and listen. Kasia Gawlik, born and bred in Warsaw (Poland), is a UX Research Manager with over 15 years experience in Research.

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    Practice makes [for great learnings]

    Nicole Saidy is a global citizen and talented digital nomad passionate about travel, design, collaboration and mentorship. She has more than 7 years experience in front-end design, user experience, active prototyping, digital products and shaping new designers through her activities as a mentor within the design community.

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    Honest stories from a poor lonesome product guy

    Shaping products through the art of storytelling is just one of the many things that drive Nicolas Vérité. He has over 20 years experience and has held various roles from product owner, scrum master, agile coach to a product manager.

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    Life's a journey [map]

    Yuri Vedenin is the founder of UXPressia.com an online platform for visualising and managing Customer and User Experience. He hails from Belarus and represents an interesting combination of UX Designer, Entrepreneur and Engineer.

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    'Serving the design, team, business and not your ego.'

    Meet our friend Sophie Freiermuth, a Senior User Experience Designer and independent consultant from the UK. Sophie whips products into shape and embodies the confident servant leader needed to shape effective teams and product. This show is chock-full of truth, advice and tips for designers currently shaping their careers.

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    Red Pill, Blue Pill? (feat. Maciej Jakubowski)

    Maciej Jakubowski asked his audience, “Red Pill or Blue Pill?” Intrigued? Amongst many of his accolades and experience, Maciej’s also the (former) Head of Service Design at Alior Bank.

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    Strive to be the best you can be (feat. Lynn Skotnitsky)

    With a holistic and multidisciplinary approach to change, Lynn supports individuals on their journey of personal mastery, and guides teams, organizations and communities to co-create environments that bring out the best in people.

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    Driving meaningful change (feat. SuiLin Yap)

    SuiLin Yap wants to change the world for the better by building stronger economies. Whilst on this quest she also finds the time to be a Product Manager at Facebook in Seattle where she takes care of B2B analytics solution.

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