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Designer’s Playlist #4

Oct 10 2016

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: Ben Syverson.

Syverson Ben 1

Name: Ben Syverson
Location: Chicago
Role at IDEO: As a senior software designer, I apply an interaction design lens to software development (or vice versa?) to take our prototypes further faster. Our development needs are as diverse as our projects. Lately, I've been helping our team prototype concepts for the operating room using VR.
Joined IDEO: 2014
Instagram: @bensyverson
Titillating Fact: I've always been into typography, and after I joined IDEO, I started drawing letters after work. It's very meditative! Before I knew it, I had designed two large type families. Unbeknownst to my fellow IDEOers, I've been able to sneak those typefaces into every one of my IDEO projects, in some form or another—from wireframes and prototypes to client presentations.

Unison 3

Image by Ben Syverson

1. Unison

Unison is a textile design company that I really admire. They often collaborate with local artists and designers, and I just love their taste and sense of style. Unison has a great little store here in Chicago, and a beautifully shot catalog that my wife and I absolutely pore over.

Rotrig 1

Image by Ben Syverson

2. Rotring Rapid Pro

My Rotring Rapid Pro lead holder is my security blanket. I take it everywhere. It's mostly brass and steel, giving it the satisfying weight and premium feel of a classic Leica. The 2mm lead can give you fine marks or subtle shading, and can stand up to more pressure than thin leads. I bought two Rapid Pros, in chrome and matte black, because YOLO.

Sheppard 1

Image by Ben Syverson

3. John Sheppard

I recently learned that my friend John Sheppard quit his job as an art director at the Wall Street Journal to fully focus on his gorgeous ceramic work, and I couldn't be happier for him. He has this amazing way of subverting the clean minimalism of his geometry with organic cutouts, intricate textures, and unexpected surfaces.

  • Mollie West Duffy

    Senior Organizational Designer, IDEO New York
    Mollie loves creating order out of chaos and helping people work better together. In her free time, Mollie enjoys taking personality tests, listening to podcasts, and seeing comedy shows.
  • Ben Syverson

    Senior Software Designer, IDEO Chicago
    Ben Syverson is a software designer, developer, photographer, and serial entrepreneur.