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Designer’s Playlist #8

Apr 25 2017

In this series, we ask IDEO designers to share the stuff they're digging right now—tools, books, music, sites, people, places—so you, too, can drink from the fount of inspiration bubbling up here. This week's guest star: Katie Clark.

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Name: Katie Clark
Location: San Francisco
Role at IDEO: Digital Marketing Director
Joined IDEO: 2003
Instagram: @katieclark
Titillating Fact: I once ran a marathon on what turned out to be half a functioning heart. I had heart surgery one month later—good as new!

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Image by Billy Brown

1. NASA Social

I grew up in Central Florida watching more space shuttle and satellite launches from Kennedy Space Center than I can count. We had astronauts and astrophysicists as neighbors, and I had some pretty great show-and-tells in my day. I can still remember watching the Challenger explode and knowing instantly, even at age 6, that something was wrong.

Needless to say, I’ve had a lifelong obsession with NASA and became involved with NASA Social events a few years ago. The event series is NASA’s way of emboldening and educating social media-savvy citizens around events, launches, and the incredible work NASA does. The ripple effect means more and more networks learn about the variety of things happening throughout the space nerd universe.

The ripple effect means more and more networks learn about the variety of things happening throughout the space nerd universe.

Here’s how it works: You apply for specific events (sign up here for notifications) and, if approved, you receive press-equivalent access—a.k.a. “social media credentials”—to briefings, tours, NASA personnel, etc. I even got to meet Charles Bolden at the last one I attended in Lompoc, California!

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Soldiers at Camp Reynolds on Angel Island

2. Angel Island

Growing up in the U.S., kids are steeped in the history of Ellis Island, but Angel Island seems to be its unknown little sister. This is one of my favorite places to visit in the San Francisco Bay Area for a number of reasons, and yet, many Bay Areans have never even heard of it, even though it’s right next to Alcatraz. I recently became an Angel Island Conservancy board member, so I like to evangelize its awesomeness every chance I get.

The history of this island is incredibly fascinating (and at times fraught), from its time as an Immigration Station carved with Chinese poetry to its service as the Cold War-era Nike Missile launch site. Angel Island even has an endemic mole, found nowhere else in the world, aptly named the Angel Island Mole. You can camp there overnight or just come for a day and finish your hike with a beer, a cheese plate, and live music at the Angel Island Cafe. Get on the boat!

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It's a family affair: My son admiring Steph Curry.

3. Dub Nation

If you've heard of the NBA, you’ve heard of the Golden State Warriors. I know that loving the Warriors doesn't make me special, but my husband and I have been fans since long before they were considered a good team. (Read: we could actually afford tickets back then). Here are a few things that make this team inspiring:

  • Head Coach Steve Kerr. This man has been through some of the most earth-shattering events anyone can imagine, and is still one of the most inspiring leaders in professional sports. To boot, he and his family are active in several sport-related nonprofits including Peace Players International. As I write this, he’s suffering from major post-surgical complications and his team’s response has been nothing short of tear-jerking.
  • Point Guard Stephen Curry. If calm and collected had a name, it would be Steph Curry. His pregame tunnel shots alone are worthy of a few paragraphs, but I’ll just let you watch this (he does this before every game). You can catch a young Steph and his former-NBA dad in these clairvoyant 1990's Burger King commercials.
  • Dub Nation. I'm a former college athlete who grew up in the football-crazed American south, so I thought I knew something about intense sports fans. Nope. Warriors fans (we call ourselves “Dub Nation”) are among the coolest humans I’ve ever met. I still love this 2013 article about jumping on the Warriors bandwagon. Some of it is still applicable today, particularly Steph Curry’s mouthpiece chewing, so it's not too late to jump on yourself.

Read more from our Designer's Playlist series here.

Header image by Clem Onojeghuo.

  • Katie Clark

    Digital Marketing Director, IDEO San Francisco
    Katie Clark is a digital marketing director at IDEO. With a background in branding, illustration, and graphic design, she has worked in the marketing and communication design fields for 15+ years and for IDEO since 2003.