Ingrid will join us in Bismarck on Monday, March 14, as one of our national speakers taking the evening stage. She is the design director for IDEO, a global design company, and is based out of the New York office, where her work focuses on the emotional, aesthetic side of human-centered design. Through her blog, Aesthetics of Joy, and in her work at IDEO, she brings together perspectives from neuroscience, ethnography, and product design to show how design can help people live happier, healthier lives.

Who is your community?

The wonderful thing about writing about joy is that my community is based around such a positive thing. This work connects me with joyful people and people seeking more joy in their lives, as well as designers, DIYers, artists, makers – people who are looking to make a positive difference in the world.

Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.

Thankfully, I have no average days! I often start the day by working on a blog post or doing some other writing, because that’s my most productive time. From there, it’s some mix of: working with teams on different aspects of the design process through writing or sketching, reviewing and critiquing design work, having conversations with new clients to figure out how to shape our work together, mentoring, and figuring out ways to keep teams feeling inspired and creative.

What passion project are you working on right now?

My book, The Aesthetics of Joy, is definitely my passion project! I worked on it for seven years on the side, and am just starting to focus on it more deeply. Working on this project over the years has changed my life in so many ways – I’m excited to share these ideas in one place!

What challenge in your life are you most interested in overcoming?

I’m trying to pay more attention to what my body is telling me. My brain runs a mile a minute, pretty much every waking minute (and sometimes the non-waking ones, too!). It’s easy to live in my head and lose track of the fact that my posture is all scrunched up or that I’m tired or that I need some exercise. I’ve been learning that maintaining more awareness of my body ends up making more intuitive and creative, so it’s not hard to justify. I just have to remember to do it.

At what intersection do you live your life?

I live in so many intersections! One is science and art. When I was younger, my favorite subjects were Biology and Creative Writing. I’ve always been attracted to the rigor and logic of science and the sheer sensorial beauty of art. That curiosity led me to a fascinating field of work, where I feel like I get to explore new territory in the space between.

What is one current trend you think will change the world?

We’re seeing an explosion of research and smart thinking about the connection between mind and body. Research like Amy Cuddy‘s work on power poses and new research on the placebo effect are showing that this link is real and powerful. I think it will change the way we look at our health, but also will create a new self-awareness in many areas of life, including love, work, and education.

What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?

Just start making something. It doesn’t have to be right or good, but you have to start. I’ve learned this separately in writing and in design. The first stuff that comes out is usually more obvious, and it takes multiple revisions to get to something good. The longer you wait to get the first pass done, the longer it will take to get to something amazing.