December 29, 2022

Design Feast’s Makers Series—122nd Interview: Ashley Lukasik Designs Immersive Experiences that Stoke Deep Collaboration and Ideation

Photographed by Miriam Doan.

The cultural trifecta of the Bauhaus (especially the legacy of László Moholy-Nagy), Design Methods and Human-Centered Design culminated in discovering Ashley Lukasik, who is one part documentarian, one part curator, one part facilitator—all parts designer. She founded and leads Murmur Ring—specializing in immersions. Here at Design Feast, she elaborates on this tactile, visceral offering and her creative process to stimulate collective curiosity as a humane, holistic asset to enhancing business strategy.

During your talk to the Chicago chapter of CreativeMornings, I wondered (verb intended, since the team of your talk was aligned to the CreativeMornings theme of “Wonder” at the time) what an accurate, even precise, job title would apply to you. Iterations included Metaphysical Yenta to Director of Narrative Vibe to Keeper of Stimuli. Yet, I kept returning to you as an Experience Designer. When you describe the kind of creative work you do to people who don’t know, what do you call yourself?

Wow, all of these titles are 1,000 times more interesting and lyrical than those I’ve mustered for myself! I tend to refer to myself primarily as a producer of experiences and stories, grounded in the ethos of human-centered design. I’m mainly driven to unearth the creative talents of others and bring them to wider audiences who can expand upon them. When done well, it is a very organic and collaborative process.

It was at IIT Institute of Design where you discovered the label, concept, discipline of human-centered design. Is this true? Can you describe this process of discovery?

Very much so. I entered the field of design when it was rapidly gaining attention and application in industry at a broad scale. In large part, corporate interest was stimulated by the rapid advancement of digital technology that was forcing organizations to think differently about how their products/services/culture could appeal to people and–more importantly–how they would contend with what was emerging, murky and not yet codified.

At ID, my role was to shepherd in new research and projects in collaboration with organizations who were interested in adopting tools from design. I also produced events and content to broadcast the incredible work of our design community but with the goal of making fairly abstract content and projects more accessible (penetrable?).

At first, arriving in the world of design was like landing in a Utopia. Really?! There are other nerds out there who are just as interested in trying to make sense of the mess of the world?! With real methodologies to go about it?!

As time went on, I became interested in how we can effectively infuse more creativity back into the discipline. I get bored easily and was starting to find the typical design project to be formulaic. The heavy focus on

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